Betting on MLB: A Comprehensive Guide

by Staff

It’s the sport that captivates millions in the US and around the world every year – and there’s one way that fans can make it even more interesting.


By betting on Major League Baseball, it can really bring a game to life – and if it’s your own team that you’re backing, then a good result for them is made all the sweeter if it happens to win you a little cash too.


The first thing anyone wanting to start betting on baseball needs to do is to choose a good sportsbook. This is going to make placing your wagers simple, and it could also mean that you’re getting the very best odds.


The odds explained


The first element to understand is how so-called American odds work as this is how they will be shown on the great majority of sportsbooks.


The basic principle is that the figure given will be based on how much you would need to wager in order to win $100. It’s preceded by either a minus (-) or a plus (+) sign depending on whether you will need to bet more or less than $100 to win the same amount if successful.


So, if we were to look at a game between the LA Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in which the Dodgers are the favorites at -110 this would mean that you would need to place a bet of $110 to win $100 back.  The odds for the Diamondbacks are +120 which means that a successful $100 bet would win you $120.


This might suggest that you have to wager $100 – but don’t worry. You can bet almost any amount you like in line with the sportsbook’s minimum and maximum limits.


Types of bet


There are a number of different kinds of bet that you can make on baseball, each with its own distinct advantages.




This is the simplest form of bet – and the example above is a classic moneyline bet. It’s probably best to start off making this kind of wager in which you’re just betting on who will win or lose a game before moving on to more complex ones we’re about to explain.




Another form of moneyline you can bet comes under the heading of a Futures bet. As the name suggests this involves betting on something that will happen at some point in the future. So, looking at the World Series odds for teams and placing a bet on one before they have even reached the playoffs would be a prime example. Because the action is so far in the future and with so many teams in contention this means that you’ll be looking at far bigger odds than you’ll get with a single game.




This is a form of spread betting that means that you could possibly win even if the team you’re betting on loses. It generally is a question of giving or receiving 1.5 runs which is the margin by which the team wins or loses.


So, favorites, the Dodgers, are at -1.5 runs and the Diamondbacks are at +1.5. So, if you bet on the Diamondbacks and they either win or just lose by one run, your bet will be successful. But if you bet on the Dodgers, they must win by at least two runs for you to also win. The actual amount you will win will depend on the odds given for each possible outcome.




In this, the sportsbook picks a figure to represent the total number of runs predicted to be scored by both sides in a game. You simply bet on whether the total will be higher or lower than predicted. If you’re right, you win at the rate of the advertised odds.


Parlay betting


In Parlay betting it’s simply a question of linking two or more bets together in order to potentially win a multiple of the odds involved. This can be two different bets on the same game, for example a combination of a moneyline bet and runline one or bets on completely separate games. While the odds of the multiple bets all coming off are longer than in single bets, the potential winnings reflect this fact.


Prop bets


Last, but not least, there are Prop bets. These don’t rely on who will win or lose a game but are bets on what will occur within one. So, it could be the number of home runs there are or how many strike-outs a pitcher makes. These are just two examples and, whatever Prop bets you make, it always makes a game more interesting to watch.


When deciding what bets to make in general, it always pays to do your research. There are countless blogs out there and no shortage of expert opinion about who or what to wager on.


So now you’ve learned the basics, it’s time to put some of it into practice!

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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