Betting on the MLB
“You have to be more disciplined every day to get better and learn the game” Yasiel Puig
In the world of sports betting, baseball is considered a really unique sport.
Baseball is incredibly technical in some respects but there is also a larger variety of outcomes that are more dependent on external factors than other sports, such as weather.
With the right strategy and experience Baseball can be one of the best sports to bet on, but it requires patience and discipline.
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Betting on baseball in the US
At bettingscanner.com MLB remains our favourite league to bet on over the long summer months. Whilst football, ice hockey and soccer players rest their feet over the summer, Baseball players are slogging it out all over the USA.
Moneyline betting is the most popular form of sports gambling when it comes to the MLB and with 2,430 games in a season you’ve no shortage of options.
Why we like baseball as a sport to bet on, is that there are so many factors that can affect play as well as an endless amount of statistics and analysis.
This might seem like a headache to some, but with over a decade of experience with online betting, we can tell you that this just provides more of an opportunity to beat your sportsbook. The more information you have at hand, the more you can place an informed bet and in turn, increase your chances of winning.
Until recently, betting on the MLB online has been difficult, but perhaps surprisingly, baseball has become a popular sport to bet on internationally.
The sport is huge in Japan and South Korea where online sports betting has been popular for some time.
Now that the US market has opened up, we expect the larger sportsbook to utilize their experience with online baseball betting in other parts of the world.
We are also looking forward to seeing how the recent multi-year sponsorship deal between the MLB and Fox Bet will pan out.
To put it simply, 2020 looks like a great year for betting on the MLB!
Best sportsbook for MLB betting in New Jersey
MLB betting is not quite as popular in New Jersey as betting on the NBA or the NFL but still draws a large amount of interest.
Luckily for residents of New Jersey, they have possibly the best selection of sportsbooks for betting on baseball in the whole of the US.
Betting online in New Jersey is still a more attractive prospect than Nevada, where you have to sign up, deposit and withdraw in person or Pennsylvania where a high tax rate has led to a reduced amount of sportsbooks setting up shop in the state.
playMGM is - at the moment - is he exclusive gaming partner of the MLB, which means that not only will you get a wide range of bets and great odds, you will also find more MLB specific promotions and statistics available with their service.
What makes the best sportsbook for MLB moneylines
When it comes to betting on the MLB, you can't take any short cuts. Baseball is unique in a number of ways and so it is more crucial than ever that you pick the right sportsbook.
There are a number of factors we consider when looking at what makes a great sportsbook for the MLB:
- A wide range of baseball specific bets: 5-inning lines are a great example.
- Stats galore: the technical nature of baseball requires you to have a sportsbook which provides you with all the numbers.
- Odds: you can have all the baseball-specific bets in the world but if you don't have great value odds then there is no point
- In-play betting: this form of betting is growing in popularity amongst baseball games.
- A great app: American bettors love to use their phones.
MLB betting moneylines explained
Moneylines are the most common form of bet in almost any sport. A moneyline is simply backing who you think will win the game.
The favourite will be marked with the symbol (-) and the underdog will be marked with a plus symbol (+). If the team are considered even they might both be given a minus symbol. After this symbol your sportsbook will provide you with the odds.
The Cardinals are playing the Brewers.
The Cardinals are the favorites for this game and the Brewers are considered the underdogs.
The Cardinals are given a moneyline of -200 and the Brewers are given a moneyline of +150.
You have been analysing both teams’ recent innings, as well as the local weather conditions and expected line ups. You are confident that the Cardinals are going to win, so you decide to put down $10 on them.
There are two potential outcomes:
- The Cardinals win. You receive your $10 wager back and $5 in profit ($15 total).
- The game ends in a draw or The Brewers win. The Sportsbook wins.
MLB moneyline betting
Minus moneyline odds
Another way of understanding baseball money lines is to learn how to calculate potential winnings: which, after all, is what this is all about!
Let’s use the same example as above where you place a $10 wager at moneyline odds of -200
To calculate this you can use the following formula:
- Winnings = (your stake / minus moneyline odds) x 100
- Winnings = ($10 / 200) x 100
- Winnings = (0.05) x100
- Winnings = $5
Plus moneyline odds
Let’s say you put down a $10 wager on the underdog, the Brewers, at moneyline odds of +150
To calculate this you can use the following formula:
- Winnings = (your stake x plus moneyline odds) /100
- Winnings = ($10 x 150) /100
- Winnings = 1500 / 100
- Winnings = $15
MLB 5-Inning lines explained
This type of bet is entirely unique to baseball, but it could be compared to betting on the first quarter of a basketball game or the first period of an ice hockey game.
With this type of bet, you simply treat the first five innings of an MLB game as its own game.
It is a moneyline bet - so you select a winner - that only applies to the first five innings.
This type of bet is usually used by bettors who have analysed the starting pitcher as their influence on a 5-inning bet is greater than on a normal moneyline bet.
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MLB run line betting
This form of bet is very similar to a spread bet in football or basketball. In baseball, the run line is usually -1.5 or -2.5.
This is a handicap attached to the favourite, as it means that they must win by 2 if there is a -1.5 run line or they must win by 3 if there is a -2.5 run line.
The Mets are hosting the Philies.
The Mets are the favourites to win this match and having analysed their recent performances you agree with the market on this one. You also believe that they will win by more than 2, so you take a look at the run line.
Your sportsbook are offering the following run line:
The Mets -2.5 (-110)
The Phillies +2.5 (+100)
You decide to place a $10 bet on the Mets to win with run line of -2.5
There are two potential outcomes here:
- The Mets win by more 3 or more. You get your original $10 wager back and $9.09 in profit.
- The Mets win but by less than 3. It ends as a draw. Or the Phillies win. You lose.
MLB alternate runlines
This is a runline but the other way around. With an alternate runline the underdog and favourite trade places.
This type of bet can be useful if you strongly feel that the underdog has been undervalued and so you want to increase your payout.
If you feel that the underdog will win, then think about betting on the underdog with a normal moneyline. If you feel that the underdog is greatly underrated and will win by some margin, you should think about an alternate runline.
An alternate runline should also be a way of mitigating your risk when backing the favourite. If you do this, the odds may not offer much in terms of payout.
An alternate runline will be offered by all reputable sportsbooks, but this option type might not be available for every single game
MLB Over/Under or Totals
This betting type is easy to understand. It simply forces you to choose whether you think there will be more or less runs, by both teams, than a predetermined number.
The Angels are travelling to Seattle to face the Mariners and your sportsbook is offering:
Over 9.5 (-110)
Under 9.5 (-110)
You don’t think there will be many runs in this match and you know that games are usually low scoring at the T-Mobile Park, so you see value in the juice for under 9.5 runs. So, you place a $10 wager.
There are two possible outcomes to your bet:
- There are over 10 runs or over. The sportsbook wins.
- There are 9 runs or less. You win.
MLB futures explained
Finally some bets that do exactly what they say! They are long-term bets where you can back a team to win a division, or certain players to obtain certain accolades.
Futures are popular during the offseason, the pennant races and post-season.
Futures can be good bets to place if you feel that a team has played badly in the pre-season but will perform well during the rest of the season. If this is the case, the odds will be best the further away from the event you place the bet. As soon as the team or player you are backing begins to perform well again, the odds will shorten.
All reputable sportsbooks will offer MLB futures, but as the season gets underway you will find that the odds become far less valuable.
Online Betting on the MLB World Series
The acme of baseball betting is without a doubt the MLB World Series, a best-of-seven championship series.
A popular form of bet for the World Series is to make a futures bet early in the year. If you fancy a team to win the series that have had a bad previous season or have a hit a bad run of form, that you consider as temporary, then this could be a good option for you.
Another popular form of gambling on the World Series are moneylines, where you bet on the winner, or loser, of each match. Home field advantage plays a massive role in how sportsbooks set their juice. In the World Series, the team with the most wins during the season gets home field.
Betting on the World Series is the most popular form of baseball betting
With such analysis and focus going into the World Series we have noticed that many punters opt for proposition bets.
These are bets that don’t fall into any of the categories we mentioned earlier. They are usually specific to a game and don’t ask you to predict the outcome of the game.
An example of a world series prop bet could be; ‘Albert Pujols to hit a home run’.
These type of sports bets have been popular in Europe for some years - it’s not uncommon for you to bet on a number of corners in a soccer match for example.
This is also the time - around October/November - that a lot of baseball bettors like to dabble in a wager.
Part-time bettors are great for sportsbooks, who will be up against inexperienced punters who will often bet based on emotion rather than logic.
There will also be a load of new customer promotions popping up to entice people during the season’s biggest fixtures. For those experienced bettors, this is a great time to ride the wave and snap up some of the benefits offered.
MLB betting apps
2019 will be a huge year for mobile betting on the MLB online.
Betting technology, that has thrived in Asia and Europe, but has until now been kept off American shores will come flooding in. After the Senate ruled the restrictions on sports betting were unconstitutional, states have been relaxing their legislation one by one and sportsbooks are popping up all over the country.
This will mean that sportsbooks, focused specifically on the US market will be all hands on deck at the moment, trying to bring the same products available in Europe and Asia over here.
This might mean that not all of them have an app out yet though.
We are sure that over the next few years it will be commonplace and customers will expect this from their sportsbook, but as it stands not every American based sportsbook that offers bets for the MLB has an app available.
Another issue is that Google Play and Apple’s App Store currently refuse to recognize a lot of sportsbooks as ‘trusted sites’. This is due to their stance on the gambling industry and not necessarily that the apps contain malicious malware. However, the fact that you need to change security settings to download these apps, have put some customers off.