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BEGINNER’S GUIDE: HOW TO BET ON BASEBALL
Baseball, or some form of it, is played all around the world in dozens of different variations from stickball, softball, hardball, tee ball, or even games like kickball, the basic premise of the game can be enjoyed by people of all ages and levels of athleticism. While many think of baseball as an American game, it is actually overwhelmingly popular in Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, as well as Latin American countries like the Dominican Republic and Cuba. In fact, many of the MLB’s biggest stars are international now, and countries like Japan have been very successful at the World Baseball Classic tournaments.
The origins of baseball are a little unclear and trace all the way back to 14th century France, where players hit a ball with a stick, but there is more concrete evidence of a game called rounders which was played in Great Britain in the 1700s that closely resembles modern-day baseball and may have even been the source for the game of cricket. The official rules as we know them today were crafted in the mid-1800s by Alexander Cartwright, a member of the Knickerbocker Club in New York. These rules evolved into the basic set of rules we see today so Cartwright is often referred to as the father of modern baseball. Professional leagues began to be established shortly after and with the huge boom in popularity, American media began to dub the game as America’s pastime.
While baseball had a short-lived experience with being an Olympic sport, it was quickly dropped from the competition in the 2012 Summer Olympics. In response, the MLB created the tournament known as the World Baseball Classic, which is held every few years at locations around the world. This is the closest that baseball gets to a global tournament and it is held in very high esteem throughout the baseball world. Currently, the MLB has 30 franchises in cities around the U.S. and one in Toronto, Canada.
Interesting Facts About Baseball:
1) Baseball has had more controversy than any other sport from the Black Sox scandal of 1919 to steroid usage and insider sports betting.
2) During the COVID-19 pandemic, sports bettors turned to the KBO and NPB to get their betting fix for baseball.
3) The New York Yankees have won 26 World Series titles, the most of any team.
4) The highest-scoring game in MLB history happened in 1922 when 49 total runs were scored in a 26-23 win by the Chicago Cubs over the Philadelphia Phillies.
5) The MLB leader in hits, Pete Rose, and the MLB leader in home runs, Barry Bonds are not in the Baseball Hall of Fame due to allegations of betting for Rose and steroids for Bonds.
Tips on How to Start Betting on Baseball
Ready to start betting on baseball games at your favorite online sportsbook? Since you are betting your hard-earned money on these games, it makes sense to learn the rules of the game and some strategies about betting baseball.
While we cannot provide bet-by-bet advice in this guide, we have accumulated some of our favorite tips to help you get your online baseball betting off to a fun and hopefully profitable start!
Tip#1: Set your betting limits and play within them – This is one of the biggest problems that new sports bettors are faced with and is the single biggest reason that new players burn through their bankrolls too fast. The excitement of how easy and fun it can be to bet on sports online, usually means players bet more than they can afford to when they first start out. Set a limit on how much you can afford to lose in a given week or month and stick to that rule. You should find that you are able to maintain your bankroll a lot easier just by instituting a bit of control.
Using systems like proportional betting to help sustain your bankroll definitely helps and tries to avoid bets with low odds but higher payouts like parlay bets. Stick to single-game bets and while using proportional betting, wager a percentage of your bankroll each time. Nothing turns players off of sports betting faster than burning through their account balance within a few days of starting out.
Tip#2: Learn the Odds System: Sometimes the posted odds, run-line, or run total does not match what your read is on the game. It is these edges that will give you an advantage in the long run. If you do not think the Los Angeles Dodgers should be underdogs, then you should bet on the Dodgers using your own system. Remember that the posted odds are merely a guideline set by the bookmakers to get the most amount of action on both sides of the game, not necessarily an indication of how good each team is compared to each other.
Tip#3:Educate yourself on the game of baseball: If you want to start betting on baseball, learning the complex rules of the game will give you a nice head start on being successful when betting baseball. There are so many different nuances and strategies that can play out in a baseball game but some of the things you should learn are how good a team is against a certain handedness of the pitcher, which ballpark the game is being played in, what the weather is like, and how good each team’s bullpen is. The rules are much deeper in baseball and in a game where a batter being successful 3 out of 10 at-bats is elite, there is a lot of variances that can take place in every single inning.
Tip#4: Find which bet types you understand and stick to them: This seems straightforward but learning which types of bets you succeed at more often can be a good indicator of which facets of the game you understand more. If you are good at betting on the first five innings, then bet on the first five innings. If you are bad with run totals, then don’t bet on run totals!
Watching baseball games rather than just reading the boxscores every morning can give you a huge advantage in understanding how odds and lines are made by sportsbooks as well. Try and learn how teams perform in situations like if they are on the road or on a back to back or playing in the morning or afternoon versus playing at night. Knowing these team tendencies can go a long way in helping you stay profitable as a bettor.
Payment Methods Used in Baseball Betting
Most of the top online sportsbooks will accept the usual forms of digital payment methods that are widely used in this day and age. Credit cards, direct bank transfers, and PayPal are universally accepted across the most popular sportsbooks.
There are other newer options that have been gaining popularity such as eWallets and Cryptocurrencies, but they are far from being the standard and are less common than the big three options below:
- Credit Cards: This is still the most common way that players can deposit right into their online sportsbook accounts. Most of the major companies are accepted including Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. Make note that some credit card companies do not allow the cardholder to make purchases on sports betting or gambling sites, so look into the rules of your credit card before trying to use it with your online sportsbook.
- Direct Bank Transfer: A direct bank transfer is a debit from your personal bank account and is just as fast as paying by credit card and generally has a higher success rate for transactions than credit cards as well. You may need to enter your bank account details so have that information handy as you sign up for your online sportsbook account.
- PayPal: Paypal.com is the premier site for transferring money online but you do need to sign up for an account and link it to your bank account before using it at any online sportsbook. It is safe, trustworthy, and easy to use and has become increasingly used at online websites as a method of payment. PayPal is great if you need to use different currencies as well.
Player Support when Betting on Baseball
Need some assistance or have some questions or concerns well don’t worry because you are not alone!
Every reputable online sportsbook provides its customers with 24-hour around the clock customer service. Because online sportsbooks and online casinos are open 24/7, there is always some form of customer service available via email, toll-free telephone number, or an instant chat function.
These customer service representatives can assist you with anything from deposit or withdrawal issues to questions about specific baseball-related bets you have placed.
BASEBALL – THE GAME
If only we could summarize the unique ruleset for baseball in a single page for everyone to understand. Using the MLB official rules, a game has nine innings, with each inning separated into two halves: one for batting and one for fielding. When a team is fielding, they have eight position players and a pitcher. The positions are first base, second base, third base, shortstop, catcher, and three outfielders. When one team is in the field, the other is at-bat.
Each half-inning is played until three outs are made by the fielding team. Outs can be made by striking a batter out with three strikes, catching the baseball that has been hit before it touches the ground, or throwing the ball to a base before the base runner or batter gets to the base so the fielding player can tag the runner out. Once three outs are made, the teams switch and the fielding team goes to bat and the batting team goes out to the field. The goal of hitting is to move base runners around the bases so they come back to the home plate where a run is counted. The team with the most runs at the end of the game is the winner.
Baseball Betting Explained
Now that you are all set up with your online sportsbook and ready to start placing some bets on baseball games, it is crucial that you learn the different types of bets that you can make. Like with any sport these days, online sportsbooks have made it possible to bet on nearly anything that can happen within a given baseball game. From total runs scored to first five innings to individual player props, literally anything can be wagered on. Let’s go over a few of the more basic types of bets and then a few more that are a little bit more fun and unique:
Unlike sports like basketball or American football, baseball is a moneyline based sport which means you generally pick who you think the winner of the game will be. Since most teams are in the middle of the pack and not elite, the moneyline odds will generally be better than for a basketball game. Here is an example:
|The Odds ||San Francisco Giants (2.30) Vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (1.40) |
|The Outcome ||You can see that given the moneyline odds, the Dodgers are perceived to be a much stronger team than the Giants and so the lower payout odds reflect this. You can usually find fairly good moneyline odds when it comes to MLB games. |
When you combine two or more moneyline odds on the same bet to win a larger amount it is called a moneyline parlay. Heavy moneyline favorites are often seen as sure winners and so many people parlay those to increase their odds
|The Odds || Dodgers ML (1.30) + Yankees ML (1.30) x $100 = $169.00 |
|The Outcome ||If the Dodgers are (1.30) and the New York Yankees are (1.30) to win their game, then if you combine them on the same bet you will be paid at higher odds than if you played them separately. |
This is somewhat similar to the point spread that is popular in basketball and American football betting, but for baseball the runline is always (-1.5) or (+1.5). This means the winning team will win by more than one run (-1.5) or the losing team will lose by one run or win the game outright.
Boston Red Sox Vs. New York Yankees (-1.5)
The (-1.5) indicates that you are betting on the Yankees to win by more than one run for the final score. Alternatively, if you want to bet on the Red Sox they would be read as (+1.5) which means they need to finish the game within two runs of the Yankees, or they can win the game outright and it would obviously still be considered covering the runline. Runlines vary on the odds they pay out, but usually pay at least even money for a strong favorite.
OVER/UNDER or TOTAL RUNS
Your online sportsbook will provide a run total number and you can place a bet on whether the total runs scored in the game will be higher or lower than that total. You can also bet on individual team totals, or run totals inning or by half the game as well. Here is an example:
St. Louis Cardinals Vs. Chicago Cubs (9.0)
The over/under number for this game has been set at nine runs, so the Cardinals and the Cubs need to combine for over nine total runs for you to win the bet. If you bet the under, you would want both teams to combine for less than nine runs. If the total lands exactly on nine runs then it is considered a push and the bettor would get their money back.
Prop bets are gaining popularity and are bets that focus on individual player performance, rather than the whole team. For example, you can bet on how many strikeouts Gerrit Cole will have in the game or will Aaron Judge hit a homerun? Depending on your online sportsbook, these player props can get very specific. If you get to know things like how a batter does against a certain handed pitcher or where the batter is hitting in the order you can build a real edge in the player props market and in the long run it may be quite profitable.
Futures bets are another part of the sports betting industry that is gaining a lot of popularity. In the futures market, players can place bets on future outcomes such as the outright World Series winner, division winner, to make the playoffs or not, or team wins totals. The best part about betting futures is that players are provided higher odds, the earlier they place their bets. The downside of course is that any funds player bets on futures bets will be tied up until the end of the season, or when a team’s win total is hit.
Which Odds Do You Prefer?: There are a few different types of betting odds that players can use and it is completely up to personal preference and has no effect on the bets or the outcome of the bets.
- Decimal odds: These are easy to understand and make complete mathematical sense as they are directly proportionate to the amount you wager. If you bet $100 at 1.50 odds you will win $150.
- American odds: These are slightly less clear to read but once you learn how the numbers work it makes sense.. You will notice American odds use (-) or (+) symbols before their numbers with the (-) indicating a favorite and the (+) the underdog in the matchup.
- Fractional odds: Again, similar to decimal odds mathematically but using fractions instead of decimals.
These can all be used depending on the bettor’s preference. Keep in mind that they are not interchangeable as 2.00 in Decimal odds does not equal +200 in American odds and vice versa.
The Baseball Leagues You Can Bet On
The MLB is the premier baseball league in the world and players from all around the globe come to compete in it. The league was founded back in 1869 and has been a backbone of American culture and American sports ever since. The MLB plays a 162-game schedule and four rounds of playoffs. The most popular teams in the MLB remain the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs, and the Boston Red Sox.
Asia has a few very competitive baseball leagues including the KBO in Korea and NPB in Japan. Both leagues have supplied the MLB with players, especially NPB who has sent over hall of famer Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, and recently Shohei Ohtani. While both of these leagues are generally seen as a small step below the MLB, Japan has proven that its players are strong enough to compete by winning two World Baseball Classic tournaments.
There are several lower-ranking baseball leagues as well that act as feeders for the MLB. The competitiveness of these leagues is either Single A, Double-A, or Triple-A, and these teams are generally called farm teams for the MLB. Here is where you can find all of the top prospects in each team’s farm system. There is also the growing popularity of NCAA baseball, which is the college ranks and is highly competitive. Just keep in mind if you want to be NCAA baseball that some states or countries do not allow betting on non-professional sports leagues.
LEARN TO BET GUIDES
Pick the Sport you want to bet on, learn the dynamics of the games, and tap into the best betting strategies developed over the years. Can you build that elusive hot streak? There’s only one way to find out. Always remember, Bet Responsibly, Bet Greatly:
American Football Guide
SPORTS COUNTRY AND STATE BETTING GUIDES
Wondering how the different U.S. States approach sports betting? the KGB team has provided in-depth guides on how various State or County laws stack up on sports betting. Check out the guides below, where we’ll investigate each state and help you in your quest to start Sports Betting:
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Guide
New Jersey Sports Betting Guide
Oregon Sports Betting Guide
Illinois Sports Betting Guide
West Virginia Sports Betting Guide
BASEBALL BETTING FAQs
The MLB is a difficult league to bet on and you may find that you are better at betting run totals than actually picking the winner of the game. Baseball is one sport where one swing of the bat can change the fortune of the entire game, so it remains one of the more difficult sports to bet on.
Again, this is going to be based on your own style of betting. Do money lines or runlines make sense to you? Or do you prefer looking at run totals instead? Maybe you are risk-averse and play moneyline favorites. Whatever your style is, stick to bets that make sense to you.
Yes, the MLB and most of the other professional baseball leagues like the KBO and NPB are also available at any reputable online sportsbook.
No. Some locations, states, or countries do not allow betting on non-professional sports leagues so always be aware of your local betting laws before attempting to partake.
Yes, if online sports betting in your country is legal, then the MLB should also be legal to bet online. Always check with your local online sports betting laws to make sure you know the regulations. Given past discretions, it is also illegal to bet on baseball if you are an active player or manager in the MLB.
Yes, as long as the online sportsbook you use has a mobile app or a mobile-friendly site, you can use your mobile phone to bet on the MLB or any other sport available at your online sportsbook.
Again, this depends on where you are physically betting from. Your online sportsbook will determine your location either by GPS signal on your mobile phone or your IP Address on your computer internet connection.