Baseball (MLB) Betting Online
While many bettors and betting sites seem to hibernate during baseball season, we here at Sports Betting Online are ready for the boys of summer! Baseball betting offers sports gamblers tons of unique wagering opportunities, which makes betting on baseball a totally unique experience for bettors. Quickly, have a look at the best ranked baseball bookmakers online listed in the table below.
Top Ranked MLB Betting Websites
Types of Baseball Bets
This is the standard wagering method for MLB Baseball betting. Baseball does not have a point spread and instead uses moneyline odds betting for its wagers. Let’s look at an example:
New York Yankees -170
Boston Red Sox +160
In this example, the New York Yankees are the favorite and Boston Red Sox are the underdog. Since there is no point spread, the team a bettor selects must win or lose the game. Also, since there are no ties in baseball, it is impossible to “push” or get a refund of your wager.
A bettor must risk $170 to win $100 if he is betting on the favored New York Yankees. If he is betting on the underdog Boston Red Sox, his $100 wager will win him $160.
The Baseball Runline still uses moneyline odds but adds a pointspread element. Let’s look at another example:
St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 +100
Pittsburgh Pirates +1.5 -120
The St. Louis Cardinals are the favorite in this matchup but are also giving 1.5 runs. They must win the game by 2 runs or more for the bettor to win. They are even money, so a $100 wager will win $100.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are underdogs but they are getting 1.5 runs. The Pirates must either win the game or lose by less than 2 runs for the bettor to win his wager. For the bettor to win $100, a $120 wager must be placed.
5 Inning Lines
New York Mets -150
Atlanta Braves +140
5 inning lines are the equivalent to 1st half lines in NFL Football betting or NBA Basketball betting. Moneyline odds are attached to a favorite and an underdog, with the wager becoming binding after 5 innings of play.
OverUnders or Totals
Over/Unders are the total runs scored by both teams combined. Baseball totals generally don’t vary too wildly. They are almost always between 6-8 runs. Often times, as a line moves the total may not change but the vigorish or juice on each side will. If the odds on a game are:
When bets come in the bookmaker most of the time won’t move off the 7. Instead adjustments will be made to the vig of one of the sides. The odds may be adjusted to something like this:
The total has not changed but the vig on the over has. This is the bookmaker’s way of adjusting the line but not changing the total.
Baseball props are similar to those in other sports, instead of betting on the amount of yards rushing for or the amount of rebounds or points scored, a bettor is wagering on the amount of hits, rbis, or strikeouts a hitter or pitcher might have. Props can focus on one individual player, pit two players against each other, or be team oriented.
Baseball futures usually involve wagering on who will in the World Series, National League, American League Pennant, and Divisional Winners. The odds will update throughout the season as teams move through their schedules and standings change.
Baseball Sportsbooks: What to look for?
Dime lines are simply when the difference between the favorite and the underdog is 10, these are also called 10 cent lines. Finding a book with dime lines is extremely important because it saves you money regardless of what side you wager on. Here is an example:
Texas Rangers -120
Detroit Tigers -140
These odds are what bettors call a 20 cent line. The difference between the two wagers is 20, which cost the bettor more to wager, no matter which side he chooses.
Miami Marlins -150
Atlanta Braves -140
This selection is a dime line. The difference between the two sides is 10. Using dime lines will save bettors money in the long haul, no matter which side they bet because the difference between the underdog and the favorite is smaller. Bettors using dime lines save money on every wager placed. Baseball is a 7 month grind of a season, using dime lines is imperative, if you want to keep more of your money over a long season.
Many sportsbooks offer dime lines to their players but some have restrictions or situational rules. Some online bookmakers may only offer dime lines up to certain price levels, such as offering them up to -200 but beyond that the book offers 20 cent lines or higher. The availability of dime lines is extremely important to your long term profitability. Check your prospective online sportsbook for information about their baseball lines, even if you see some dime lines offered, make sure to read the fine print.
These are especially important to some bettors who want to get a jump on the action in the evenings before the next day’s games, if they hear some news, before the market correction. You can increase your value by being able to bet before others can and you can take advantage of situations before others. If you are a larger bettor, be certain to make sure the sportsbook’s night time limits aren’t too small. If you want to bet big before the daylight, you may have to search around to find the best options.
“Variety is the spice of life.” And sports gambling! Bettors should look for a variety of bets when depositing at a book. Not every book offers long lists of player/team props and some may have a limited list of MLB futures. MLB Live Betting has also become increasingly popular amongst online books but is not offered everywhere. Before you deposit, check your prospective sportsbook for the betting options you want. If you aren’t sure, call the bookmaker or email support for help, if they care about your business, they’ll quickly assist you.
Also, be on the look out for bonus offers or free bets for the start of baseball season. If you are a smaller player, it might be worth clearing a bonus at a book and moving onto another book to clear another bonus. This can be a great way to build a bankroll as a beginning baseball bettor.
Baseball Betting Strategy
Avoid Large Favorites
Of course, this is generalizing but taking large favorites, such as -200 or more can be dangerous when betting baseball. Teams play 162 games to even out the short term luck factor. Anything can happen in one baseball game, even if Cy Young is out on the mound, it is one game, and luck is a big factor.
A -200 favorite has a breakeven percentage of about 67%, so a -200 favorite must nearly 2/3rds of the time for you to just to get your money back! Favorites higher than -200, obviously, have an even higher break even percentage. Be weary of betting large favorites, baseball is full of luck in the short term and anything can happen in a single game, no matter how much of a sure thing the bet may look like.
Ballparks and Weather
These are both huge factors when determining how a pitcher may throw and have a huge influence on the game’s total. For instance, Wrigley Field can be a totally different park when the wind is blowing in versus when it is blowing out. When the wind is blowing in, the fly balls die in the outfield and the ball stays in the ballpark. When it is blowing out, fly balls seem to carry and the swirling wind turns Wrigley into a hitter’s park. It is important to keep an eye on weather reports and how it may affect a team’s performance.
Baseball is unique in that a team’s ballpark can drastically influence how many runs are scored in a game. Each team creates their own versions of the baseball experience. Knowing the ballparks well, which ones are bandboxes made for offense and which ones are tailored for pitching is crucial to success.
Motivation and Rivalries
Examining a team’s motivation is an important factor. When a favorite suffers an embarrassing loss to a poor team, often times they are more motivated to go out the next night and pound their lowly competition. Look for teams that are motivated and feeling great versus ones that are mailing it in. Also, managerial differences or clubhouse drama may have an affect on the way a team plays.
Rivalry games, especially between divisional opponents will motivate teams to play harder against their most hated opponents. Underdogs may have more value here due to the close nature of these games.
Injuries and Lineups
Checking the lineups and injury reports daily is an absolute must for betting on baseball, many fantasy sports sites post the lineup cards before other sites and often local beat writers will tweet their hometown team’s card for that day. Late scratches happen often in baseball, as a bettor you can take advantage of these situations and get a bet in before the market adjusts.
Sunday games or day games after night games are usually when managers give their veterans or star players a day off. A good knowledge of MLB benches may allow you to exploit an edge that others may not be aware of. It is especially important to look for edges on Sundays, as nearly the entire league plays day games and the lineups have a lot of unfamiliar names. Take the time to learn the benches and lesser known players, it can payoff with profits.
Many times in baseball, an opposing pitcher may seem to always throw great in certain stadiums or a certain hitter may have great statistics against a certain team. For example, Chipper Jones named his daughter Shea after the old Mets ballpark, Shea Stadium. Chipper has owned the Mets throughout his career posting a .329 average with 39 home runs and a career .990 OPS. There is no rhyme or reason to why Chipper has demolished Mets’ pitching for over a decade plus, but he seems to do it, year in and year out.
Many players have statistical edges like this. Some batters have punished certain pitchers throughout their careers, posting great numbers backed up by 30-50 at bats or more. These numbers are extremely hard to ignore. The same goes for pitchers who seem to mow down opponents of one team or are dominant in one ballpark or against a certain team. Of course, matchups and hitters vs. pitcher parks are obviously a contributing factor but some players/teams seem to get it done, regardless of the situation.
Props can be lucrative because online bookmakers may not adjust them often, if at all. As mentioned in the trends section above, there are tons of historical statistical edges you can take advantage of.
Batter vs. pitcher stats and pitcher vs. batter stats are extremely useful when betting props. Some batters may have unbelievable success against certain pitchers, some spanning 30+ at bats. Of course, you’ll need a decent sample to push these edges, as 3-4 ABs is not enough to push an edge. 12+ at bats is a decent sample size, of course, the more ABs the better. It is also important to look at the OPS of the batter or on-base percentage, there is a huge difference in value if the hitter is smacking homers or just knocking in singles. Though, as they say, “the stats don’t lie” sometimes, they actually do! Bear in mind how old the player is and when he accumulated most of those numbers, how a player hit a pitcher 5 years ago might not correlate to how he hits him today. Players don’t get better as they get older, just because Jim Thome had great numbers against a pitcher 8 years ago, does not mean he is equipped to do it today. Batter vs. pitcher is an extremely valuable tool for props but before betting make sure you get the whole picture and not just blindly fire based on past statistics, without doing any research.
The same goes for pitcher vs. batter, if a pitcher owns an opposing team’s lineup, it is, of course, worth taking a look at. Again though, research the stats more thoroughly and be aware of other factors. If a matchup looks terrible, even if the stats say otherwise, it probably isn’t worth a play.
When it comes to actually placing prop bets, you’ll need to look around for the best market value on a certain prop. Online sportsbooks can vary somewhat wildly on the prop bets they have available and with some research, you can certainly find some significant edges in the lines. The online books recently have gotten slightly wise to those trying to exploit props and many books have lowered the betting limit on props. Prop bets are still very exploitable for those who search hard enough and do their research.
Major Baseball Events
Professional Baseball is run and regulated by Major League Baseball who oversees rules and regulations surrounding the game as well as organizing matches and tournaments. Each year, there are two major events that take place in professional Baseball including the All-Star Game as well as the World Series.
- World Series: The most prestigious and biggest event in Baseball is the World Series which is the culmination of the season where the overall champion team is crowned. Leading up to the series are a number of qualifying tournaments meeting in a quarter, semi-final and final round of games. The actual Series itself consists of a best of 7 winner take all match, the winner of which is the world champion.
- All Star Game: The second largest tournament event in Major League Baseball is the All Star Game (also known as the Midsummer Classic) which takes place each season bringing together the games best players. The players in the All-Star game are decided by fans, players, coaches and managers and are a combination of picks from the American and National leagues. The match takes place on the second Tuesday in July and has been an integral part of Baseball since 1935 when the first All Star game was held.
The most important thing for baseball bettors to do is to watch the games. Watch as much baseball as you can, read box scores, learn the top prospects, and immerse yourself in the MLB season. Of course, getting the best price on each bet is equally, if not more important. It is an absolute must to find a book with dime lines and take advantage of deposit bonuses. These can help you build a bankroll and will save you tons of money over the long season. Good luck.