MLB Baseball betting guide

MLB Baseball betting is, according to many of the sports gambling gurus, one of the easiest ways to make good, regular returns. One handbook of sports gambling published by a well established professional bettor in the US actually singles out Major League as the most profitable of all sports from a punting perspective.

The general consensus is that there is definitely plenty of money to be made but that you really need to apply yourself and do quite a lot of homework if you want to make consistent profits throughout the season. But don’t let that put you off. The same principle applies to the majority of sports betting and there is nothing to stop you betting selectively and keeping the research required to a manageable level.

Just in case you are totally new to this game, the basics are as follows. It is a team game resembling rounders, the sport from which it is derived. Two teams of nine players try to score runs on an enclosed field. Runs are scored by hitting the ball and running round all four bases before the ball is fielded.

It is played extensively in North America. It is also reputedly the most popular sport in both Cuba and Japan. In America, the professional league is known as Major League Baseball (MLB). The MLB is divided into the National and American Leagues. The six month long season typically starts at the end of March and ends in September.

Considering the substantial profits on offer from baseball betting, astute gamblers have wondered why relatively few people currently bet on it. The answer may be that many potential punters simply do not know how.

So how do you bet on this sport?

It is actually pretty straightforward and it is available at all the top UK online bookies reviewed or listed on this site. You can bet outright on the winners of the MLB National and American leagues as well as on who will be the outright World Series winner. The World Series is the biggest prize in America, with the game fought out between a representative of the American League and one from the National League.

As far as the actual individual games go, there is what the Americans call ‘Money line betting’, but that is simply outright betting between the two teams involved in a match. As games are often low scoring, or only decided one way or other by just one or two runs, this simple way of betting is quite popular.

Probably the easiest way to explain how baseball betting on an individual game works is to give an example:

If the San Francisco Giants were playing against the Philadelphia Phillies, the San Francisco Giants would, for the purposes of this scenario, be the favourite team. As a consequence the outright betting (or ‘money line’) would be given as follows:

4/6 San Francisco Giants (USA odds format: -150; Decimal odds format: 1.67)
5/4 Philadelphia Phillies (USA odds format: +125; Decimal odds format: 2.25)

If you were to place your money on the San Francisco Giants at 4/6 and staked £60 and they won, you would receive £100 (£40 profit + your £60 stake) yielding a profit of £40.

Alternatively, if you chose to put your faith in the underdogs, the Philadelphia Phillies, you would need to place a bet of just £80 to receive £180 (£100 profit) if they won the game.

There is a good reason why many of the seasoned gamblers adopt a strategy of supporting the underdogs in the baseball betting whenever it is feasible to do so.

While the basics are pretty simple to grasp, there is one factor that is worth checking before getting involved in a wager. The quality of the pitcher is seen as absolutely critical to any team’s chances of success.

The outright (money line) for the game will consequently often be decided based on the starting pitchers named for the games. If, for any reason, a different pitcher starts, the odds may be altered. If you would rather avoid this uncertainty, you can place a bet which is entirely dependent on the named pitcher starting. This type of bet will be voided (so you get your money back) if there is any change to the starting pitcher.

Run Line

If there is a strongly fancied favourite you may come across a ‘run line’. The run line operates in baseball betting much the same way as Asian handicap betting in football. A handicap, most commonly of one and a half runs, is imposed on the favourite team. This means that the team will have to win by two runs or more for your bet to pay out.

As slim margins of victory are very common in this sport, the price given in the run line may be very different to the money line, turning the favourites into the underdogs.

In the previous example the San Francisco Giants were 4/6 favourites. They may possibly become 11/10 in the betting subject to a handicap of one and a half runs. This means that you would only have to bet £100 to win £110 provided they win by the necessary margin.

If you want to have a go at betting on this US sport then fortunately the top UK online bookies offer all odds and all available events on America’s Major League Baseball betting.