Baseball may not have the popularity of football or rugby, but it is still followed by millions of people in North America and internationally. For punters, the long baseball seasons (2,430 games per season in the MLB) present numerous opportunities to grow their accounts. Indeed, bookmakers in the USA and Canada rank baseball third on their lists of most lucrative sports, behind football (the American version) and basketball.
That said, betting on baseball matches is more or less similar to betting on other ball games, with only minor differences in options and odds. However, there are still some unique features that interested punters should know before making a real money move. The three most important points to keep in mind when betting on baseball games are:
- There Are No Sure Bets
- The Various Wagers
- Starting Line-ups
1. There Are No Sure Bets
Unlike in sports such as basketball and football where you can almost correctly predict the winner based on the players in the squad, anything can happen in a baseball match. This is particularly true in the MLB and the World Series. Occasionally, teams with young, inexperienced squads sometimes outperform themselves and go beyond their performances in preseason or recent form. A case in point is the Royals’ impressive run to World Series glory with a lightweight roster.
So, while you may be inclined to bet on a big spending team win, in the spirit of Moneyball, you should also keep a keen eye on their rivals. Always look at injury updates, new signings, and team news before placing bets.
2. Types of Baseball Wagers
Betting is constantly evolving, with bookmakers getting creative with new wagers coming up every day. Nonetheless, the three most common types of wagers you will find are:
Runlines – These focus on the number of lines you expect a team to make. An example of a Run line card:
Boston Red Sox – 1.5(120)
Yankees + 1.5(120)
Moneylines – Here, you wager on who you think will win a match. The number of runs teams score does not matter as much as the final results. Moneylines are usually written as:
Boston Red Sox – 140
New York Yankees +160
In the above case, the Red Sox are the favorites to win.
Totals – Where you place bets on the total number of runs you expect both teams to make in a game based on their attack/defense records. Is it over or under a given figure? An example of a Totals card:
Red Sox/Yankees Over 6.5(-1400)
Red Sox/Yankees Under 6.5(+140)
3. Starting Lineups
Pro Baseball matches are determined by small margins such as what hands the pitchers in a given team use. It’s important to do your research on, among others, any roster changes, reported illnesses on match day, starters in pitcher positions, and any disagreements within the teams. Note that you need to do a little bit more research on baseball betting than you do in say, football or rugby.
Betting on your favorite baseball teams should essentially be fun and rewarding. Being aware of the factors highlighted above before placing your bets goes a long way in improving your bankroll and giving you better experiences. Feel free also to add your contributions in the comments!