Betting MLB Early in the Season

What you need to know about betting MLB early in the season.

Key Points

– There are a number of considerations when betting MLB early in the season.

– Betting MLB early in a season can still be done, but bettors must be careful.

Betting MLB Early in the Season

MLB bettors are once again anticipating the beginning of a new season. By the end of March, spring training has been completed and teams are preparing for Opening Day. 

Betting MLB early in a season does present some problems for bettors. Baseball in April and even into early May is a little different from baseball played during the summer months. If you are aware of those differences, you might be one of the few that look forward to betting on MLB early in a new season. 

If you disregard the things that make early season baseball great, you’re in for a world of hurt. Here’s what to concern yourself with if you plan on betting MLB early in the season.


Lack of Pitching Track Records

Starting pitchers usually pitch once every four to six days. With a rotation of five starters, most guys will pitch four to five games in the opening month of the season. What bettors lack that they have the benefit of later in the season is a track record.

After just a handful of starts, it’s hard to judge a pitcher. Bettors put a lot into a pitcher’s recent performance and form. An ace pitcher could get shelled in his first appearance of the season and have a ridiculously high ERA for several weeks. 

When you reach June, you will have enough starts to begin going back and examining a pitcher’s previous five starts. In April, you don’t have that luxury. That’s why you have to look elsewhere. Bettors can look at how a guy pitched in the spring, his current health, and even his past performance against the opponent.

Pitcher handicapping involves more skill, speculation, and even luck in April than it does later in the season. None of the other things we can look at come close to being as effective as reviewing past results. You may have to opt for creative betting strategies to jumpstart your results.

New Players Still Adjusting

Rosters change every offseason. The bulk of a roster might return, but there will always be new faces in the lineup. Teams looking for that extra edge might sign a big name pitcher or position player to help put them over the edge.

Teams spend a lot of money to try and bring in the right mix of players. It doesn’t always work out though, and early in a season is when teams find out if their moves worked. New players must adjust to their position and adjust to new teammates. 

MLB seasons are long and new players might not be as concerned with their play in April. Come September, you can bet they will want to be adjusted to playing with their new team. 

As a result, it will often take a manager some time to determine how to employ the new player. The betting public expects the player to immediately be a star again. That doesn’t always happen and that makes MLB betting early in a season tough.

Smart bettors will also note that weather impacts betting on sports. Early season baseball weather can be difficult in colder-weather climates. Just one more thing to note for betting MLB early in the season.

MLB Betting Early Season – Rookies

It is extremely rare for an MLB team to bring a rookie up for the start of a new season. Typically, players projected as stars will begin a season in the minors, maybe move up a classification or two, and then get brought up late in the season. That way, they can actually be official rookies the following season.

MLB teams do this because it saves money. The more they avoid playing in the majors, the longer teams can avoid these players becoming eligible for arbitration. MLB teams may have a ton of talented players in April, but they may send several of them to their farm teams in the minor leagues. 

Instead of having a very talented young future star in an MLB lineup, a team may be left with a less-than-ideal player who is a cheaper alternative. This makes MLB handicapping very difficult early in a new season. Bettors must beware.

New Managers 

Just like teams have new players, some teams will have new managers. These new managers first start working with their new teams in spring training. Spring training is a lot less intense than the MLB regular season.

As a result, new managers rarely get a solid picture of their team until they have played several games. Managers and their teams need to feel at ease with each other. If not, the results could be disastrous. 

Teams can experience some growing pains as they navigate April. Some new managers will do a better job in the situation than others. This also makes it difficult to predict how a team will perform early in a sports season.