How to Bet on Baseball Games – Wagering Tips

With the arrival of summer, Major League Baseball takes center stage, with daily betting options covering every ball game, and futures and props options that allow bettors to wager on the success of their favorite teams both during the regular season and through October, if they’re lucky enough. With 30 MLB teams each playing 162 regular season games there is no shortage of opportunities to place daily wagers on every game. There are many handicapping systems out there to teach you how to best on baseball, but just come here, and we’ll give you our expert picks absolutely free.

First off, you need an understanding of baseball odds. Moneyline betting allows you to wager on which team will win a game. Since MLB operates on a moneyline, you have to watch what you do. We’re not laying -110 on each side here folks like a football or basketball game. A -200 favorite may sound like a “can’t lose” but the fact is when they do, and it does happen, you have to win two freaking games just to break even. By playing dogs you can actually have a sub .500 winning percentage and still beat up a book! Try to stick to the dogs! This may be the best advice we can give! With a moneyline bet, each team is assigned odds on their chances of winning that day, such as New York Yankees +125, Boston Red Sox -145.

In that example, Boston is a -145 moneyline favorite to defeat New York, which means a $145 wager is required to win $100, while the Yankees are +125 underdogs, and would pay out $125 on a winning $100 bet.

In runline betting, one team is listed as a 1.5-run underdog, evening the playing field for bettors in a game between two mismatched teams and occasionally improving the weaker team to a favorite, such as New York Yankees +1.5 -120, Boston Red Sox -1.5 +140. While the Red Sox were favored over New York in the moneyline example, it is the Yankees who hold the edge here in runline betting.

Totals betting then allows for wagering on the total number of runs scored by both teams in a game, such as OVER 9.5 -110, UNDER 9.5 -110. The total for the game in the above example is set at 9.5, with both the OVER and the UNDER sporting -110 odds. If the game were to end with a score of 6-5, this would produce a win for bettors taking the OVER, who would win $100 on a $110 bet.

Over/Unders – There’s a reason books put lower limits on totals! Their easier to beat! Study, get privy to the info and take your shot at winning easier! Totals usually have less vig as well!

MLB Betting Lines
Here’s an example of some game lines from Bovada Sportsbook

Parlays, Futures, Props, and Live Betting

Parlays enable sports bettors to benefit from enhanced odds by combining several wagers into a single bet. For example, parlaying a moneyline bet on one game with a totals bet on another game.

Prop betting enables wagering on a wide variety of individual and team performances. This includes game-specific stats, such as total number of hits, margin of victory, and the batting performance of individual players. Season prop bets can focus on team stats such as total number of regular season wins, or individual player stats such as number of home runs hit in a season. My favorite prop bet is betting the total number of a runs one team will get in a particular game. Most of those totals are set at 4 or 4.5 and are a fun bet.

Futures let the sports bettor wager on which teams will win divisional and league pennants, as well as this year’s World Series. And finally, with live betting you can wager on games in progress, including lines that change dynamically as a game progresses and instant prop bets on how a team will perform during the inning in progress.

MLB Live Betting
Bovada Sportsbook’s Live Betting Screen

Things to look for when handicapping baseball:

Don’t bet too early! – How would you like to bet on the Yankees and find out an hour before game-time that Aaron Judge is sitting? Betting baseball early can be lethal if the coach decides to sit a star player and believe me, it happens!

Look at hitter vs. pitcher stats! – This info is priceless! You’ll find some unbelievable stats such as a whole team hitting .400 against the day’s starting pitcher. Don’t look at just this year, look at player stats for their career vs. a pitcher. has a great pitcher vs. hitter stat option. Very important stuff!

Look at a pitchers performance over his last couple of games! – Even the worst of pitchers catch a hot streak. Conversely, don’t bet on a guy if he’s gone 3 innings and given up a ton of hits and earned runs over his last couple of starts as this could bean indication of a nagging injury or a “dead arm.” We’d also like to note that you should check if there’s some consistency/inconsistency in home/away games. Some guys flat out can’t get it done on the road.

Check out how a pitcher has done vs. the opponent during his career – Certain pitchers own certain teams…Conversely, certain pitchers fail miserably vs. certain teams. Go with it! A good example of this is Johnny Cueto who as of July 5th, 2017 is 20-4 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates! Dude owns them!

Check weather reports! – Nothing is more disheartening than playing an under at Wrigley Field, turning the game on, and seeing the flags ripping off the pole with the wind blowing out to left field!

Don’t just check ERA, check WHIP too! – Ratio is figured out by dividing walks + hits and dividing it by innings pitched. Anything 1.00 or under your talking Randy Johnson, Maddux, Koufax type numbers… 1.25 and below is damn good, 1.40’ish numbers are fairly normal, and anything more than that your looking at a good potential go against. Pitchers that are near 2.00 are complete gas-cans. You won’t find 2.00 very often because they have been demoted to the minors.

Don’t just look at a pitcher/hitters stats and assume that’s how they perform! – Baseball is a VERY streaky game. If your serious about handicapping and want to win, your going to need to look at individual performances. Here’s an example…Let’s say Matt Harvey has a 7.50 ERA…But after checking his game logs you see that he has pitched in 10 games and one of them he gave up 9 runs in 2 innings. This will severely skew (and screw) a players numbers giving you an inaccurate reading of his true talent. This is a very common misconception made by people capping games. Don’t get burned!

Home/Away Stats – Some players feel comfortable/uncomfortable in certain surroundings. Take Jeff Cirillo for example. At one point way back when, he was hitting .100 at home (Safeco Field) and .320 on the road. These are things that are good to know. Don’t get caught laying your hard earned loot on a guy like who is currently 1-8 at home with a 7.50 ERA. Conversely, don’t slap a gas can tag on him either because he’s been lethal on the road. Get the picture?

Umpire Stats – Some handicappers swear by umpire stats but we find this to be a secondary stat. It is true that some umps have larger/smaller strikes zones though. If you have access to the stats, its worth a look, but don’t base your whole wager on these stats. has great umpire trends and stats.

Lastly, check your sportsbook and make sure your not being dealt a 20 cent line. They simply don’t give you the value you deserve when betting underdogs.