Baseball represents one of the most varied sports betting markets for US players. With so many ball games taking place throughout a typical season, there are countless opportunities for fans of sports bets to have a punt on their favourite teams.
Naturally, this creates quite the collection of wagers and possible ways to bet. Baseball fans are spoilt for choice when it comes time to place bets on the sport, and we’re going to look at some of the ins and outs of baseball betting right here.
What Competitions Can I Bet On?
First and foremost, most baseball betting fans are going to want to put their money on a competition that they know and love, and that would be Major League Baseball (MLB). Major League Baseball and All-Star games provide the bulk of the competitions you can wager money on as a US sports bettor. We’re sure that you already have an inkling as to how these tournaments work and when they are played, but if not, here’s a quick run-through.
- Major League Baseball (MLB): 30 teams play in two leagues, the National League (NL) and the American League (AL). Between April and October, a team will play 162 games, with 5 playoff spots available in each league during the regular season. The post-season then begins, with the 6 divisional winners and 4 wildcards playing to win the World Series.
- All-Star Game: Played in-between the regular and post-season periods, the all-star game takes place in July, and is an exhibition match between star players in each league. It can prove to be one of the most entertaining games to bet on.
Before you can do any betting, though, you need to understand what bets you have open to you. So, let’s begin.
Types of Baseball Bets
There are three fundamental types of bets when betting on baseball. Each of these bets brings something different to the table, with players able to choose the kind of bets which work for them. Naturally, some baseball bets are considerably more complex to grasp than others. The three main types of bets are:
- Money Line: This type of bets involves betting on one of the two teams to win the game. It is a simple, straight-up type of bet.
- Run Line: You need a bit more know-how to place run line bets, but the reward is usually greater. Run line bets are placed on teams and scores with a 1.5 margin. So, for instance, you can bet on a team to win by 2 runs or more, or to lose by 1 run, or to win. Some sportsbooks offer different run lines, but 1.5 (or +1.5) are the standard.
- Totals: These should be somewhat self-explanatory types of bets. You are essentially betting on the total number of runs (and thus points) a team will have in a game. Although a wilder type of bet, you stand a greater chance of winning money should total bets come off.
The more you know about baseball and how it works, the more educated you are going to be when it comes to betting. It always pays to do your homework first before you decide on what type of bet to place and what to bet on.
Doing Your Homework
There are a couple of things you may wish to consider, whatever type of bet you decide to wager. For instance, did you know that the starting pitcher may make a massive difference to your stake? The starting pitcher has the potential to really mix things up, as does the order of the relief pitchers. A wealth of stats which include Innings Pitched (IP), Earned Run Average (ERA) and more are worth checking out.
Bettors can also look at the hitters or batsmen. The same kind of rules applies here. Look at each hitter’s stats and the order in which they are coming to the plate. Stats to keep an eye out for include the number of appearances they have at the plate (PA), the number of runs, and strikeouts, etc.
There is a wealth of baseball stats out there for betting nerds who want to make sure that they are as thorough as possible before wagering. Take advantage of those. There are, of course, plenty of other things to consider, too, when wagering on baseball. These things, though far less predictable, may still influence how likely you are to come away with a win.
Other Things to Consider
Variables can be nasty when they help contribute to the outcome of a game, primarily when they aren’t related to the play. There are many of these which may interfere with your bets, and they can include but aren’t limited to:
- Weather: The general weather, including the wind, humidity and temperature can all wreak havoc with the performance of your team or your opponents. Although difficult to gauge, it is worth keeping tabs on.
- Morale: A player under stress and with bad form may rise to the occasion or may fall by the wayside. Again, keeping tabs on the stats may just tell you whether a player is up for the big game. Injuries, too, are worth keeping tabs on, especially since players are fresher at the start of a season than at the end of one.
- The Big Game: Some baseball stars rise to the occasion when it is a particularly big match they are set to play in. Is there something at stake or is the game dead rubber? This can affect the performance your chosen team puts in.
There isn’t really any bona fide way to gauge those variables but keeping an eye out for the more obvious ones which can interfere with play and performance at least keeps you in the loop and may just swing you one way or another.
Where Can I Bet on Baseball?
Pretty much all the major US sportsbooks offer baseball bets. A few of the larger, more international ones will also provide you with an ample supply of international baseball games, too. This is handy if it doesn’t happen to be baseball season in the USA, but your baseball knowledge extends to worldwide baseball.