Gambling on Baseball Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

Gambling on baseball in  the regular season and postseason has grown to be a huge favorite among sports bettors. It goes without saying that there are some aspects of MLB betting that set it apart from that of the NFL and NBA. There are some baseball betting strategies that can be used to outsmart oddsmakers and cash in big. In this post, we look at a few of those helpful betting strategies.

Key Points

– Gambling on baseball requires some knowledge of betting strategies.

– Use tried and true strategies to win more baseball bets.

Use Caution When Betting on Big Moneyline Favorites

Baseball newbies frequently waste far too much time betting on huge moneyline favorites. It’s a simple and frequent error to make. You automatically want to bet on the New York Yankees because you believe they are a dominant MLB team. 

They have great hitters and pitchers. Maybe you like them because they are your hometown team and you live 10 minutes from their ballpark. Fight the urge to bet on them randomly.

From a conventional standpoint, betting on the teams that are most likely to win makes sense, but this is not always the case. Keep in mind that about four of every nine MLB underdogs win. That’s 44 percent. 

When you bet on a huge favorite and they lose, you lose a lot. Betting on significant moneyline favorites is simply not mathematically sound. Take the following example. You wager the same amount of money on three heavily favored teams on the moneyline. Each team is listed at -300. You would need to win all three bets in order to break even.


Why Gambling on Baseball Favorites Isn’t Always Advised

To further drill home the idea that betting on MLB favorites all the time is not a good practice, we offer another example. 

As a member of a team that was predicted to win the World Series, Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros was a Cy Young candidate entering the 2019 season. Every time he pitched, bettors flocked to their sportsbooks to put down big money. 

Verlander had a strong final record of 21-6 and won the Cy Young Award that season. Unfortunately, betting on the Astros in each of his games wouldn’t have been wise.

If you had wagered $100 on the Astros moneyline in each of the games that Verlander pitched in 2019, you would have lost $234. That’s because Houston was such a big favorite in most of those games.

Strategy for Gambling on Baseball Underdogs

As you can see, if you want to win when betting on strong moneyline favorites, you need to win a lot. Most often, strong moneyline favorites are a poor value. Who wants to bet $380 to win $100? 

When betting on favorites, MLB bettors might be able to increase their bankrolls somewhat. One big loss, however, can bring the whole thing tumbling down. That’s why it pays to wager on calculated underdogs. 

A bettor decides to back three MLB underdogs. The first is given +105 odds and the second is listed at +155. The final underdog is a longshot, but after some research, the bettor places the wager at odds of +305. 

When it’s all said and done, the bettor loses two of the three games but walks away with a profit. The bettor wagered $100 on all three games. He lost the first two but won on the longshot at +305. 

The math shows you why it’s vital for you to find value on betting MLB underdogs. The bettor loses $200 on the first two bets, but makes $305 on the last one. 

Research Pitching Trends

Another baseball betting strategy that every reputable MLB handicapper should use is researching pitching trends.

Every play in baseball begins with a pitch. That is why the caliber of those pitches is extremely important. Whether betting on sides, totals, or first five inning lines, it is crucial to carefully assess each team’s starting pitchers as well as the bullpen.

Look at the “splits” section when you visit a website like ESPN to look at a pitcher’s profile. Splits give a clear indication of a pitcher’s performance in a wide range of situations.

For instance, a pitcher might perform better during daytime contests than at night. Perhaps they perform remarkably well in some stadiums but terribly in others. Track the home-away splits above all else. Finding pitchers who perform better at home can turn up some great betting opportunities.

Go back to the 2019 season for an example. Hyun-Jin Ryu was a starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. If you were a smart bettor, every time Ryu came up in the pitching rotation you took note. The key was whether or not he was pitching at home.

That season, Ryu went 10-1 with a 1.93 ERA at home. Opposing hitters managed only a .214 batting average. In road games that season, Ryu was just 4-4 and had a 2.72 ERA. Opposing batters hit .253 against Ryu in road games.

Such patterns emerge throughout the course of the year and can be extremely helpful in putting a pitcher’s overall statistics into perspective.

Look for Overnight Lines

You can benefit from the early value when betting lines are posted by some sportsbooks before those of other sportsbooks. Be sure to know which books will post lines the night before a game.

If you are watching a team play on Tuesday and you notice the Wednesday line has already been posted, you may be able to take advantage. You might decide to bet on the odds before the majority of bettors can put money down based on their performance.

Those overnight lines often change in the morning when sharp bettors typically place their bets. 

Follow the Reverse Line Movement

This is especially wise if you learn something about the next day’s starting pitcher or have some news on a significant injury. In order to draw in customers, books open these MLB lines early. If you like something early, it’s usually best to take advantage of it. It’s likely going to change as the day wears on. 

Bettors can also use another important indicator for their baseball betting strategy – early line movement. Most often, professionals bet early on these overnight lines. A large line movement on an overnight line may indicate that the sharps believe that side has a sizable edge. Bettors can then decide whether or not to piggyback on that sharp action.

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