Don't just call it "America's pastime." No, baseball is a worldwide sport, with deep pockets of popularity in Asia and Latin America. Players from those regions have descended into Major League Baseball (MLB), making it a worldwide phenomenon. With that type of interest, of course, baseball betting has exploded, especially online.
That's the chief concern of our baseball betting guide. Over the course of this article, you'll pick up on the best way to bet on baseball — including the best baseball betting sites, baseball betting lines explained, and of course, tips to win!
Baseball Betting Online
For a new gambler entering the world of baseball betting online, you might be paralyzed by the sheer number of bookies available on the Internet. We get it, it's no small list, and what even differentiates them?
Welp, allow us to help you out. We've made our way around the block and know a thing or two about online betting sites. These next four bookies are in the upper echelon of baseball sports betting, believe us:
Who said you can only bet on baseball in Las Vegas? These days the full gamut of baseball betting games can be found online — anywhere, anytime. That's certainly the case with Bovada.
The baseball catalog at this bookmaker is extensive. Of course, you'll find MLB baseball best bets, but it's not the only league offered at Bovada. Foreign leagues in Japan and South Korea, for instance, are also bettable on the site. It's a well-rounded assortment that should satisfy most hardcore baseball bettors.
Also helping Bovada's cause here is a slick design that's super user-friendly. While there are hundreds of wagers to be had at Bovada every single day, the interface is easy enough that bettors should have no issue finding the exact wager they're looking for.
Some of the very best baseball bets today can readily be found on BetOnline. Akin to Bovada, this betting site features one of the deepest sportsbook menus in the industry. Baseball, of course, is a prominent fixture in that selection.
But here's where BetOnline really stands apart from its competitors — its lucrative sign-up bonus. New players of the site can earn as much as $1000 in free play upon registering. The bookmaker will match their first deposit by 50 percent (so you'll need a $2000 deposit to earn the max bonus).
That's no small sum when maxed out. Given how long the baseball betting season runs, a cool $1000 is a great starting bankroll to endure the season. A deal like this makes BetOnline one of the top spots for MLB baseball betting online.
Another elite sportsbook for baseball betting is BetDSI. This bookie features a rewards program that's one of the best in the marketplace.
The loyalty program is dubbed BetPoints. Every single time you wager on BetDSI — whether it be on baseball, another sport, or even its casino — you rack up points. These points can earn you unique perks, including hefty cashback.
BetDSI really benefits baseball bettors that are in it for the long haul. With as many games as there is in an MLB campaign, you'll be gambling plenty and often on MLB if you're serious. That type of loyalty will be rewarded at BetDSI.
To borrow a baseball term, GTBets is an inside-the-park home run. It has everything you need out of a sportsbook.
For one, its baseball betting catalog rivals that of competitors. Bonuses are also abundant on-site, including sign-up, reload, and plenty more. But the cherry on top is its "GameTimeRewards" program. All in all, it's tough to go wrong with GTBets.
Welp, that does it for our baseball betting site recommendations. Between the four options above, you should have no problem starting your wagering journey.
One more thing: we've included the latest scores and upcoming MLB baseball betting odds below. This table is updated in real-time so you're always one pitch ahead of the count!
How To Bet On Baseball
Next, we're going to cover the all-too-important topic of just how to bet on baseball. There's a lot of nuances that could throw off first-time bettors. By the end of this, there's no doubt you'll have a clear idea of how does baseball betting work.
Types Of Baseball Bets
It's crucial you first familiarize yourself with baseball betting terminology. Once you can speak the language, you'll understand how to gamble on it. Let's start with the types of baseball bets, which are plenty:
Money Line Baseball Betting
A common question we hear from newcomers is, "what is moneyline in baseball betting?" Welp, it's actually not complicated. It simply means betting on which team will outright win.
A bookie will set moneyline odds for both teams. The favorite will be given a negative (-) line, such as -190. In turn, the underdog will be earn marked with positive (odds), +160 for example.
Those odds also indicate possible payouts. Bet $190 on the favorite and you'll be returned an even $100 if they win. Take a $100 chance on the underdog, though, and you'll reap a reward of $160.
Baseball Betting Run Line
Betting the run line in baseball is essentially equivalent to the spread in other sports. But here's the unique part: in baseball, the run line is always 1.5 runs both ways.
Therefore, the favorite must win by two or more runs to cover. The underdog team has more leeway, however. They can cover by a one-run loss or winning straight up.
Many bookies also offer alternate or reverse run lines. These are spin-offs that allow you to up the spread. So instead of -1.5, the favorite may now need to cover -2.5 or -3.5. Similarly, the favorites and underdogs can be reversed entirely. In this scenario, the underdog earns a line of -1.5 instead of +1.5 and vice-versa. A byproduct of alternate run lines is very lopsided odds.
Over/Under Baseball Betting
Instead of concerning yourself with who wins and how by much runs, baseball betting over/under rules are far more simple: this is a bet on total runs both teams will tally by a certain point in the game.
Bookies will preset a number such as nine runs. Your job is to either bet "over" that total or "under." If the game were to end 5-4, then your wager is a "push" and money is returned, effectively making it a tie.
Run totals are usually set for entire games or at the conclusion of five innings. Similarly, five-inning spreads also exist for run lines.
Live Baseball Betting
The three bet types we just covered can either be bet on pregame — before the first pitch is ever thrown — or in the midst of a game. The latter is referred to as live or in-play betting.
Bookies will update betting odds in real-time as the game unfolds. This gives you an opportunity to get a feel for the matchup before committing any money. Is the starting pitcher's curveball slightly off today? Is the home crowd getting to the visiting team? Those are all questions you can answer live and wager accordingly.
Welp, that's baseball betting explained in a nutshell. Understand these simple concepts and you'll be on your way to having the fundaments of gambling down.
Baseball Betting Strategy
The last stop in this guide is the all-important baseball betting strategy section. The keyword being strategy. You can't just pick baseball odds at random and throw money at it, well, not if you're expecting to win long-term. While there isn't one end-all, be-all strategy, any good plan should at least encompass these next two tips for betting baseball:
Start With The Pitcher
Without question, the pitcher is the most important player on the field at any given moment. Think about it, the ball is in their hand every single play. That's why doing a deep dive on the starting pitchers should be the cornerstone of any betting research.
Thankfully, there's a litany of sabermetrics available to evaluate the position. These metrics can effectively serve as baseball betting analytics, too. For a pitcher, the trifecta stats to consider are true runs allowed (tERA), fielding independent pitching (FIP), and its spinoff, expected fielding independent pitching (xFIP). Sabermetrics, as a whole, should be a crucial piece of your betting strategy.
Gain Specialized Knowledge
Our last piece of baseball betting advice is a biggie: be purposefully selective. Look, baseball might have too many betting options. Take MLB as an example, can you really keep up with 30 different MLB teams in an informed way? Probably not.
You'd be much better off becoming an expert on a group of teams — say the National League, or at an even deeper level, the NL West. This way, you know those teams in and out. It's with this specialized knowledge that you can outsmart bookies and identify baseball betting trends.
And folks, that's how to bet baseball and win. Well, some of the ways, at least. If you're ready to follow our advice, check out the sportsbook suggestions below. These overlap with our previous betting site recommendations and all are great starting points for baseball gambling: