How to bet on Major League Baseball
Major league baseball is one of the most profitable sports to bet on if you know how to use all of information that is available. It is the only sport that has infinite stats for almost every situation that might occur. For example, you can easily find out every pitch a pitcher throws and the percentage they throw each pitch. You then can take this information and look at the opposing batters to see who hits those pitches well. That being said, when betting on baseball the major thing you want to research are the statistics of the starting pitchers followed by the bats they are facing. The starting pitcher has the biggest effect on the game’s outcome because they pitch until they are around 100 total pitches for the game (on average is the 7th inning) or until the manager decides to pull the pitcher if they are not pitching well. When you can identify when a pitcher has a great or terrible match-up against an opposing team you are bound to be successful in baseball betting. You just need to use the information to your advantage especially if you can receive positive odds on something that you researched and liked.
How to choose your bets
The three main types of bets you can place on MLB games are Money Line bets, Run line Bets and Over/Under bets.
The money line bet is just simply betting a team to win against the team they are facing. Positive odds (ex. +100) mean you will receive more money than you bet plus your bet back while negative odds (ex. -100) will result in you winning a portion of what you risked plus your bet back. Teams with positive odds are underdogs and teams with negative odds are favored.
To win a run line bet your team must win by at least two or lose by 1 (or win) based on what you bet on. You can also change this number based on the sportsbook you use but the standard is +/- 1.5. This April (2019) we saw one of the highest home run rates in one month at one home run every 25.6 at bats second only to June 2017. This year they are on pace to break the record for home runs in one season. Today batters just are looking to crush the ball and they are succeeding just ask Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger. With more runs being scored teams are winning by two a lot more often especially against bad pitchers. Once again this is why doing your research is so important. To back up the fact that your team has to win by two make sure the batters hit the pitches the opposing pitcher throws well. Run Lines are a double edge sword as you will loose sometimes because of them but it is worth it considering the odds will fluctuate from lets’ say -180 to +130. If you are willing to risk safety for increased odds this is the bet for you.
Over/Under bets are very unique as you really are not routing for either team. You are routing for both teams to hit the Over/Under number or against both teams to not reach the Over/Under. The Over/Under number is determined by the sportsbooks, it can range anywhere from 6 to 11 on average. When betting the over both teams must combine to score more runs than the Over/Under number the opposite must occur for the under. Things to look for are two bad pitchers with at least on team that hits the ball well when trying to bet the over or to great pitchers against at least one team that does not hit the ball well when betting the under. Also, with Over/Unders you always want to consider the weather and the stadium. Bad hitting conditions would promote the under, while winds blowing outward would make it much easier to hit home run. The same principles can be applied for the stadium. A small stadium help teams get to the over and vice versa.
Statistics to look for when Betting on Baseball
As far what exact statistics to look for there are a few. For pitchers the two main statistics you want to look for are ERA (earned runs allowed) and batting average splits.
Earned run average is the average amount of runs allowed by a pitcher per 9 innings. The higher the ERA the worse the pitcher.
Splits can show you how a pitcher is against left handed and right-handed batters and how good a batter is against left and right pitching. Some pitchers/batters may be extreme good against lefties but terrible about righties. This is why after looking at a pitcher’s splits you should also look at the opposing teams bats. If they have mostly right-handed batters and the pitcher facing them has a low ERA and is good against righties that would put the pitcher in a great spot.
Batting Average Splits
Batting average splits shows you the pitchers allowed batting average vs left and right handers or it shows you the batters batting average against left/right handed pitching. For a general rule of thumb .100 is terrible .200 is average .300 is very good. If you are looking for a team to bet on you want batter with a high batting average and an opposing pitcher with a high batting average.
Home/Away splits can be a lot more important than you think. A pitcher can be a Cy young candidate at home but pitch mediocre in other ball parks. You have to take the trends statistics are showing you into account. The same principle applies to the batters. Even if you don’t have time to look at individual players just looking a team’s Home/Away record will show you a lot.
Looking into pitch types is also a great thing to do. You can determine what pitch a pitcher throws the most and see how the opposing bats are hitting that pitch. This will give you a great edge if you can spot a trend that the public isn’t on. When looking at batters you just want to go through the same process but look for pitchers with high ERA’s and high allowed batting averages.
In addition to this looking in to line movement trends helps a lot. If a team starts out at -110 then jumps to -140 a large amount of money is being bet on them for a reason hoping on that can lead to profit in the long run. Something you can do is write down the lines of every game at the start of the day then at about 6:00pm and compare them to the current lines to see if there were any huge movements.
In conclusion baseball can definitely be a grind and is an all-day thing. But if you can get use to all of the research, determine what works for you, and develop a process it is the most profitable sport in my opinion. For daily baseball betting tips visit the baseball section on our website.
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