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MLB Betting – How to bet on MLB Baseball

MLB Handicapping Tips – How to bet on MLB Baseball

The Boys of Summer are special in the sports betting community because they give us so much action. In Major League Baseball, almost everyone plays almost every day. That gives bettors the opportunity to make money daily – but also brings with it some unique pitfalls.


Here are some tips to follow when betting on MLB baseball, in random order.

Keep in mind that this discussion is about money lines rather than spread betting, which isn’t common in baseball.

1. Spend wisely over a long season.

The Major League Baseball season spans 162 games. With action pretty much every day, you have to budget yourself. Theoretically, you can bet on as many days of MLB in two and a half weeks as you do in an entire NFL season.

Ration your cash so you don’t blow it all in April.

2. Understand that even the best teams lose plenty.

Because baseball teams play so many games and because baseball is so matchup-oriented, even powerhouse teams can put you in a financial hole. The legendary 1927 Yankees still lost 44 times. A first-place team might still get caught trotting its fifth starter out against Felix Hernandez one night. Don’t just pick the first-place team and assume you have a win locked up.

This isn’t Lakers-Raptors in basketball. Do your homework!

3. No players in major sports betting are more important than pitchers.

Arguably, at least in the major professional sports, no players impact the game more than Major League Baseball pitchers. While you can’t base your bets entirely on pitching matchups, the guys taking the hill are still the most influential factors in the game’s outcome.

The system isn’t foolproof, as pitch-count philosophy chases starters in the fifth and sixth innings more often than in the past, but betting based on a pitching matchup is usually a good idea (or at least a great place to start).

4. Split statistics are crucial.

Is there another sport that offers up more statistics for you to draw from? No one cares if an NHL goaltender is playing in a day game with an outdoor temperature above 80 degrees against a lineup composed of more lefthanded shooters than righthanded.

In baseball, split and situational statistics really matter. If a starter with a history of giving up homers to righthanded hitters faces a lineup laden with righthanded power hitters, odds are he’s in trouble. A player from a warm-climate country like Cuba with a .220 April batting average over five seasons is likely to struggle the following April.

We can mine endless stats to help us make educated bets.


5. Beware the law of averages – especially fast starts.

Because baseball’s season is so long, it really gives us a chance to see long-term statistical trends. One noteworthy trend is the “fast-starting” team, like the 2011 Cleveland Indians. Because baseball has no salary cap, it’s far rarer for supposedly weak teams to surprise us with breakout seasons (like the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs Rams or 2011 Tampa Bay Lightning).

The rich teams like the Yankees or Red Sox spend so much more money than the competition that it’s almost impossible for them to stay at the bottom of the standings.

Whereas a fast-starting team in the NFL often becomes trend instead of fluke, it’s far less common in baseball. We knew that the Cleveland Indians would crash back to Earth and that the Boston Red Sox would bounce back. The gap in talent between the clubs is simply too big.

So be careful not to chase too many surprise teams for too long early in seasons.

6. Defense matters more than you think.

Last season, Pittsburgh, the Chicago Cubs and Washington were baseball’s three worst defensive teams. They finished a combined 84 games under .500. Defense may not be as influential as pitching but you shouldn’t take it for granted, either.

A groundball pitcher with a superb “D” behind him often makes for a solid sportsbook bet.

There you have it, folks. Hope my simple and easy way to seriously up your odds of winning money on baseball every night has improved. Good luck!

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.