Fundamentals of Betting on Baseball

The key to success in betting on baseball is understanding how to interpret odds, knowing the most effective strategies, and avoiding the most common pitfalls many punters encounter. Baseball offers punters a plethora of options as there are diverse markets from which they can make selections. From straight-up bets that choose which team will win to the number of runs that will be scored, you can experiment with the different options to choose the most suitable for you. Learn how to evaluate teams and calculate probabilities as this is the best way to improve your chances against the house.

Before you get started, it’s necessary to understand the basics of baseball. The game is played by two teams, each team consisting of nine players. These players take turns batting and baserunning (playing offence) and pitching and fielding (defence). To bet on baseball, you can choose from three basic types of bet, which include Run Line, Total, and Money Line bets. See how all the three options of betting on baseball can be applied to form part of your betting strategy. Understand how each works helps you to make the right investment, but only after properly analyzing each team’s strengths and weaknesses.

Money Line Betting

Although this concept may appear challenging to grasp for some punters, money line betting simply refers to which team will win full time. Usually, money lines are often used in low-scoring games such as hockey or baseball, but they are also available in tennis, boxing, racing, football, basketball, etc. While choosing which team will win the game may appear no brainer from the odds, you need to keep an eye on statistics like wOBA (weighted on-base average) and PA (plate appearances). These can be valuable in giving you the true picture of each team before you put your money on either.

Run Line Betting: If you are familiar with football and basketball betting, you will find run line betting similar. This strategy is profitable if you know how to use it. How it works is that the line in baseball run lines is 1.5, so you can place a bet on the favourite team to win by 2 or more runs. Also, you could bet for the underdog to win the game or lose by 1 run. You need advanced knowledge to effectively use this strategy, so if you are a beginner maybe you should first understand how to read stats, pitching performances, and interpret trends.

Totals betting: The third type of baseball betting is totals betting. Basically, in this category, you will be using over/under predictions (O/U). In totals betting, over/under predictions mean the number of runs you expect from each team in the game. A good example would be: Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees Over 9.5 (-115). In this case, the pick means the game will have 10 runs or more. In general, totals betting offers less return because it is considered easier to predict than, say, placing a straight bet on an underdog. But it can reward more than betting on the favourite team to win.


  • Money Line Betting
  • Run Line Betting
  • Totals betting

Factors to consider when betting on baseball

Besides understanding the different types of baseball bets, there are other factors you should consider before betting. These are things that will help you understand the positioning of both teams as far as the game is concerned. In essence, using statistical analyses will reveal the probability of different outcomes. While other punters may be rooting for big favourites, with statistical information you may deduce that the probability of the other team winning is higher. This is why you must not be swayed by the perception of the public and odds given to each team. To minimize risk, every action you take must be informed by data.

Know the weather

As you will learn, the majority of bets falls within the moneyline option. As a punter, you could still find great value in totals betting. One of the factors to look out for is the weather, especially wind. When the wind is blowing out, it will benefit overs as it flies the balls into homers. Conversely, when the wind blows in at over 5 MPH, it benefits unders because home runs become warning track outs. Simple statistical observations like this could improve your ROI over time if you are keen to observe each detail. Data is your friend in the game if you look to make a profit.

Volume betting

For the serious baseball punter, volume betting is the way to go if you look to profit long-term. This strategy requires that you limit your bets to only the most valuable games. In baseball, this strategy could lead to great profits. Although good games may offer a small ROI, if you are consistent with this approach you will realize greater benefits over a period of time. Volume betting is not the strategy to use if you look to land huge payouts on a short period of time. It requires patience and involvement as you have to study all teams to find the most valuable games.

Bankroll management

Most importantly, you want to have a good bankroll management strategy when you bet on baseball. Generally, it’s encouraged to only invest between 1% and 5% of your bankroll each day you play. Therefore, if you go with the medium, say 3%, and your starting bankroll is $100, you will place $3 per game and work your way up. Don’t be too ambitious as the tides may be against you sometimes and if you place a huge amount the loss may be substantial. All you need is discipline and consistency, and your investment will pay in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Being successful in baseball betting is achievable if you understand how to develop a solid plan. You need a strategy that will allow you to follow a consistent path. To get started, understand the different types of baseball bets as this will help you pick the most comfortable for you. Next thing you need is to learn how to analyze teams and calculate probability. For this, you might need to find tips and analyses that offer a complete preview of the different factors that could combine to give certain outcomes. In short, it takes your effort and commitment to achieve great results as demonstrated above.