With an exciting football season behind us, we’re fast approaching the start of the Major League Baseball season. Pitchers and catchers report in just a couple of weeks. Most teams have their players report starting February 11, 2020. Of course, only the pitchers and catchers report at the beginning of spring training. The rest of the players don’t really start heading south until about a week later. But for the betting enthusiasts, it’s time to start heading into excitement and fun!!
The real kickoff to the Major League Baseball season is Spring Training. And, believe it or not, that’s only a month away. The first spring training game is on February 21 at 3:05 pm, between the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals. This game will kick off the official start to Spring Training, with the other teams following up with games starting on February 22, 2020.
This year, the real season will start earlier than it ever has before.
All 30 MLB teams will play their first game on March 28, 2020. Usually, teams start in the first few days of April. The season will end for all teams on September 27, 2020. During the season, each team will play a total of 162 games. Then, the real fun starts with the playoffs.
If you’re not all that familiar with how Major League Baseball works, here is a quick breakdown for you.
There are two leagues – the American League and the National League. For the most part, teams play most of their games within their own league. So, National League teams tend to play other National League teams. The same is true for the American League. Every now and then, teams will engage in interleague play but that isn’t all that often.
There are 30 teams total in MLB. The National League has 15 teams and the American League has 15 teams.
Each League has their own separate divisions as well. The National League and the American League each have 3 divisions: East, Central and West. And, each division has 5 teams. So, if you’re good at math, you’ll notice that there are 15 teams in all for the National League and 15 teams in all for the American League.
Types of Bets Available
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, there are always plenty of bets to be made in American sports. In the spring and summer, you can bet on Major League Baseball. While spring training is just the time things warm up, as soon as the regular season is underway, you’ll have plenty of bets to choose from. Here, we’ll talk 7 of the more popular bets you can make on Major League Baseball.
MLB Runline Bets
The MLB Runline bet is similar to a bet in an NFL game. There is a favorite and there’s an underdog.
The difference from an NFL game, is that in an MLB game, the line (or spread) fluctuates.
One week, a team could be favored and need to cover by 14 points. Whilst the next week they could be the underdog. With the MLB Runline, it’s a bit different. For the most part, the line, or spread, is always 1.5. If you pick the favored team, it has to win by 2 or more runs. If you pick the underdog, they have to either win the game or lose by just 1 run. Keep in mind – 30% of all MLB games are decided by 1 run. So this bet isn’t always the safest.
First Five Innings Bets With this bet, you only have to wager on the first five innings.
This means, if you bet that a certain team will win, as long as they’re winning after 5 innings, you win your bet. It doesn’t matter what happens through the rest of the game. The same is true for an over/under bet. The only score that matters is the score at the end of the 5th inning.
MLB Totals This is just like the over/under bet in football.
The oddsmakers set a line, such as 10.5 total runs, and you bet the over or under. If you think the two teams will combine for more than 10.5 runs, you bet the over. If you think it will be a low-scoring game, go for the under. For the most part, you’re not going to see the spread in an MLB total game be a whole number – that way, both you and the betting site can avoid a push.
Just like you see with football and hockey, you can bet on who you think will win future games. For example, you can bet on who you think will win the 2020 World Series. The odds change throughout the season, so you want to be careful of when you place your bet. For example, the odds of the Philadelphia Phillies winning the 2020 World Series is 18:1 right now, but that will go up or down depending on how they perform in the regular season.
Baseball Prop Bets
A prop bet doesn’t have to do with the final outcome. You can bet on the number of stolen bases in a game or the number of home runs the teams will hit. These bets can be fun, but hard to win. These odds are not for the novice MLB gambler. You really need a bit of experience in order to master these kinds of wagers. You also need to know a good bit about baseball stats and a team’s performance.
A parlay bet basically lets you combine a few wagers into one bet. For example, you might parlay a bet for the San Diego Padres to win by 2 on a Runline with another bet on the over/under in the New York Yankees games. The payout is better, but the odds of winning are lower. This is because you have to win both sides of the bet for it to pay off.
Baseball Live Odds
The odds on any game or prop bet are going to change all the time. If you bet early, you can sometimes get better odds, depending on who you’re betting on. You can check out some of the popular MLB betting sites to check out the live odds at any time. One that is good to review is Draftkings. Once you create a free account, you can get the lines on any MLB bet you’re interested in.
Baseball Betting Tips
When it comes to MLB betting, there are a few guidelines you want to follow. If you’re a savvy better, than none of this will be news to you. But even the most experienced gambler can pick up some new tips every now and then. Here are some tips for MLB betting this season.
Avoid Big Favorites
In football, it’s said that any given team can win on any given Sunday. In baseball, the same thing is true. No matter how good a pitcher’s ERA is, he’s gonna have bad outing from time to time. This is why you want to avoid always betting on the big favorites. If a team is giving more than 2 or 2.5 runs, you may want to stay away from that bet. Since a third of all games are won by just 1 run, that means there’s a good chance a MLB team isn’t going to cover a big spread.
Take Advantage of Boosts and Bonuses on Underdogs
A lot of sites are going to offer bigger payoffs when you take the underdog. Sometimes, the return can be 3-4 times as big as it is when you take a favorite. It’s a good idea to take at least 2-3 underdog bets a week. This can help boost your bankroll throughout the season. Always check out what the day’s underdogs are on one of the popular sites, such as FoxBet.
Bet With Your Gut – Not the Public
Sometimes, you have a gut feeling about how a game’s going to turn out. Trust this gut feeling. When the oddsmakers set the lines on MLB betting, they do so using historical betting. For example, if you look on FanDuel, you can get an idea of how the rest of the world is betting. Just because everyone else is taking the Boston Red Sox in a game doesn’t mean you have to. Just because the odds say a certain team is going to cover doesn’t mean they’re going to cover.
Follow Reverse Line Movement
If you see that the line in a game is moving downward, pay attention. Sometimes, a line’s reverse movement is telling you something important. Maybe someone out there knows something you don’t know. Perhaps a starting pitcher, with a really low ERA, has the flu. When word gets out, people are going to start betting for the opposing team. Take advantage of this. You can check out the line movement at sites like Points Bet Review.
Know the Divisional Dogs – There Can Be an Opportunity Here
In MLB, teams play their division rivals 19 times a year. This means they get to know each other really well. The scouting reports are better for a divisional team. This means that you can have good chances if you bet on a divisional dog. Take into account the fact that home teams play better than away teams, you may have an opportunity betting the underdog when they’re playing a divisional rival. Historically, underdogs in division games cover a lot more than the favorites.
Know the Weather
Unless the game you’re betting on is played in a dome, you really need to pay attention to the weather. If it’s cold, the ball isn’t going to carry well so your normal home run hitters may not be able to knock the ball out of the park. If it’s raining, a pitcher’s control may not be so hot. Always check the weather forecast for the game you’re going to bet.
Know the Umpires
Like it or not, certain umpires have certain tendencies. Some umpires tend to favor the home team. Other umpires have a much smaller strike zone than others. So, if you’re betting the over in a certain game, check to see who’s calling the balls and strikes. If it’s an umpire with a small strike zone, there are going to be more walks and runners in scoring position. This can drive up the total score.
Shop for the Best Lines and the Best Juice from Sportsbooks
It’s always a good idea to shop around to get the best line. This is true whether you’re making a Runline bet or a futures bet. Some sportsbooks get different action than others. The line could be drive up or down based on their customers’ bets. For example, you may go to Golden Nugget’s Sportsbook and find one line. Then, you find out you can get a better line at Borgata. Always look for the lines and juice that will increase your bankroll.
Manage Your Bankroll, Reinvest Winnings, and Limit Your Spending and Losses
You need to know what your bankroll is before you can manage it.
You want to keep your bets down to about 1-5% of your total bankroll per play. So, for example, if your bankroll is $100, you wouldn’t want to place more than $1-$5 on any particular bet. You need to be strict when it comes to how much and how often you’re willing to bet. When you’re above your original bankroll, don’t be afraid to reinvest your winnings. It’s only when you start to dip below your bankroll that you want to be more conservative.
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