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Baseball Betting Options for US Players 2024
Betting on the MLB is a well-established and popular way for baseball fans to engage with the sport they love. With so many games every season and so many ways to bet, sports bettors have no shortage of options when looking at MLB markets at online sportsbooks.
Below, we’ll break down the different ways to bet on baseball – moneylines, run lines, totals, props, and more. Additionally, you’ll find a selection of some of the best sportsbooks available for betting on the MLB.
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Different Types of Baseball Bets
Moneyline bets are very traditional – they’re available on virtually every sport. Betting on a moneyline means betting on a team to win the game. In baseball, this is one of the most common bets made in addition to being one of the simplest to understand.
The runline is baseball vernacular for the spread. Teams that are favored to win are given a handicap and need to win by over that handicap in order to cover the runline. If the runline is 1.5 in favor of a team, for example, they need to win by 2 or more runs to cover the line. The underdog, on the other hand, covers the line if they win outright or lose by a single run.
Like moneylines, totals are everywhere in sports betting and function the same way in each sport. Oddsmakers set a total number of runs they expect to be scored in the game, and bettors are given the opportunity to bet over or under the line. If more runs are scored, the over wins; if fewer are scored, the under wins.
Prop bets are made by wagering on teams or players hitting certain marks in a game, rather than the outcome of the game itself. In baseball, props can range from the total number of runs scored by a particular team, to the number of strikeouts recorded by a starting pitcher, to any number of more specific props.
Futures bets are wagers placed on events that won’t be decided until later in the MLB season. This can include bets on the winner of the World Series, the winner of the Cy Young award, or any number of similar questions that won’t be answered until the end of the season.
In-play bets – more commonly referred to as live bets – are wagers placed on the events of a game while it’s in progress. Live bets can be made on the outcome of a game but are commonly made on markets that open and close in shorter periods. This can include betting on the result of the next plate appearance, how many runs will be scored before the end of the current inning, and other such bets.
Parlays are an increasingly common way to bet on several sporting events, including MLB games. Parlays are made by compiling multiple bets into a single slip, then placing a wager that every bet on the slip wins. Many parlays are composed of bets made on a single game; these are known as same-game parlays.
While the odds of parlays can get long and payouts can be extravagant, parlays only hit in baseball if every bet made as part of the parlay wins. They can be fun to make, but parlays are far from easy to win.
Our Top Tips for Betting on the MLB
When betting on baseball, there’s plenty of information available that can help you make more informed bets. Here’s some things to track when betting on the MLB:
- Pitchers – In any baseball game between two teams, the starting pitchers are among the biggest variables that change game-to-game. Knowing who’ll be on the mound for each team is paramount when making any sort of bet on a game.
- Weather – Baseball isn’t played in inclement weather like other sports, but variables like wind speed and direction are worth knowing when placing bets. If there’s significant wind in a stadium, take note of how it might affect the trajectory of hits. A strong wind towards the outfield can carry long hits over the fence, while a strong wind towards home plate might keep hits inside the park that would’ve otherwise been home runs.
- Umpires – Home plate umpires have distinct tendencies when it comes to calling balls and strikes. Knowing the umpire of a game is important when betting on the total – umpires can skew games to be higher or lower scoring by their strike zones.
- Injuries – Injuries are present in every sport and typically accounted for in betting lines by the time games start, but they’re worth tracking in baseball regardless. MLB rosters aren’t especially deep; if a player is ruled out with injury, it’s worth looking into how the starting lineup has shifted to compensate.
- Trends – Sportsbooks try to adjust for trends as they happen, but trends in recent games are obviously important when betting on MLB teams. If a team has eclipsed a certain number of points and hit the over in each of their last several games, you’ll want to know before betting on their next game.
If you want to get started betting on baseball, consider an array of options and know that there are plenty of advantages to be found in betting on markets beyond just who will win the game.