Baseball Betting Strategies

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
7 minute read
MLB Baseball Betting Strategies

Knowing the right baseball betting strategies is paramount when MLB season hits the calendar.

Sports bettors who use the dog days of summer as a hiatus from gambling are missing out on one of the more profitable sports betting experiences of the year.

Baseball is a unique animal in the realm of sports betting. And sportsbooks have every reason to fear sharp baseball bettors.

This article will show you winning MLB betting strategies and lead you to the best sportsbooks to use each one.

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Easy Baseball Betting Strategies To up Your Game

The following MLB betting strategies are about the most popular wagers you can make during baseball season.

Baseball Over Under Betting Strategy

MLB Totals

Smart handicappers can get consistent value from over-and-under bets, also known as MLB totals if they get done correctly.

Like most baseball bets, the starting pitcher is the most useful piece of information available.

Baseball gives fans a lot of stats, and we should use them to our advantage. For example, pitchers with higher strikeout and ground ball rates control the scoreboard better than the less skilled ones.

Use baseball advanced statistics such as runs per inning, WHIP, strikeout percentage, and ground ball percentage as your primary tools.

All these will help you know if a pitcher gives up too many runs on each outing. When comparing numbers, you will soon realize whether to bet the over or under.

To a lesser extent, also know the teams’ relieving pitchers and closers. While they don’t control most of the game, they can destroy a good lead created by the starter.

Baseball Live Betting Strategy

MLB Live Betting

Because the game states are changing rapidly and setting live odds is more difficult as the game plays out, MLB live betting markets are less sharp than pre-game. That’s an advantage for the bettor.

But beyond playing the moneyline or the spread, the best way to beat the sportsbooks while live betting in baseball is wagering on MLB props.

Trustworthy sports betting sites will make in-game prop bets available. Some examples are the outcome of the player at bat, pitches in the next half inning, total hits, and the first team to a specific number of runs.

All these scenarios and more are available for live betting. It gives players an excellent opportunity to catch the sportsbooks off guard.

Baseball Underdog Betting Strategy

MLB Underdog Betting

Betting the underdog in baseball varies from any other sport. Because the season is so long, it allows a lot more opportunities for underdogs to win outright.

Even the worst teams in the MLB win at least 60 games per season. That’s 50 to 60 times a year where you can find value betting the underdog.

And because baseball has random outcomes from time to time, betting the dogs could give you a profit, unlike other sports.

With that said, you should know that betting the underdog follows some of the same arguments as the other bets. Take a look at starting pitchers, home-field advantage, and the lineup.

Yet, don’t hesitate to bet an underdog if you think you have found good value.

More Winning Baseball Betting Strategies

Strategy Based On Number Of MLB Games

MLB Betting Strategy Based On Number Of Games

The MLB Season is a whopping 162 games for each team. That’s just about double the NBA season and about ten times the 16-game schedule that each NFL team plays.

The 162-game schedule amounts to over 2,430 games over a baseball season, not counting the postseason. There will also be rainouts that may not get made up, so this number is usually slightly lower, but you get the idea.

In terms of sheer wagering opportunities, the MLB dwarfs other sports by a massive margin, and the amount of games available helps you in two different ways.

How To Take Advantage Of The Number Of Games

For one, you can be selective when betting, picking the best spots because you have many chances to wager. If a line moves before you can act and you’re not happy with the odds available, there’s always tomorrow.

Another factor is the sheer number of games on the schedule. The oddsmakers simply don’t have the time to break down every MLB market they offer down to the smallest details.

When lineups come out, many bettors will pounce before the oddsmakers are able to adjust. Baseball player and team propositions are other areas where they may be vulnerable to sharps.

Forgetting About 52.4 Percent

Forget about 52.4% to break even

If you don’t know the significance of 52.4% by now, you should.

It’s the magic number or percentage that is needed to break even at sports betting if you’re wagering at the standard 10% vig or -110 expressed in American odds.

Since baseball doesn’t use a traditional point spread and the standard wagers are moneyline odds, the breakeven percentage isn’t relevant for MLB betting.

Bettors can have an extremely strong season betting the bases even if their winning percentage at the end of the year is well under 50%.

MLB Dime Lines & Overnight Lines

MLB Dime Lines And Overnight Lines

Many sportsbooks in the US market offer dime line MLB markets.

BetUS and BetOnline are two of the most popular sportsbooks that offer dime lines, and they are also excellent all-around sportsbooks.

Both also offer overnight lines, giving bettors the first crack at the odds before the majority of the money comes in the next day.

We discuss this topic in-depth in our guide about MLB dime lines.

Avoid Betting on Heavy Favorites

Avoid Betting On MLB Heavy Favorites

Of course, this is general advice, as there are many situations, especially after a steam move or due to an inefficient market that betting a large favorite may be the correct move

However, if you’re betting many large favorites in baseball, it’s extremely unlikely that you will end up as a long-term winner.

One primary reason for this is that the betting public (who loses money long-term) consistently bets more favorites than underdogs. Their betting acumen is not the best, and they don’t care about the value or getting the best price.

Another reason why there’s so much danger in betting high-priced favorites is due to the breakeven percentage on those wagers.

For instance, a -190 favorite, a price that is common when an ace starting pitcher faces a low-caliber team has an implied probability of 65.52%.

Understanding Implied Probability In Baseball

The implied probability is the win probability that would imply zero-vig on the offered line. In other words, bettors would need to win a -190 bet 65.52% to just break even!

With baseball, wagers like this are particularly dangerous, because it’s a game of short-term luck.

The ace starting pitcher may simply have an off night. The bullpen might blow a small lead late, or the opposing team might get a few bloop singles all at the right time.

There’s a reason why they play a 162-game schedule, the game of baseball is full of variance in the short run.

MLB Bullpen Betting Strategies

MLB Bullpen Betting Strategies

It’s no secret the lines originate around the starting pitchers for each club, and bettors are right to center in on each starter and how he matches up against the opposition.

However, in today’s game, it’s becoming exceedingly rare for a starter to throw a complete game

Even baseball’s best pitchers usually don’t make it more than seven or eight innings in the vast majority of games and it’s no fault of their own a lot of the time.

Most managers pull pitchers after 100 or fewer pitches. And those are the best pitchers with the highest stamina. Many are pulled around five or six innings and sooner if they’re getting beat up by the opposition.

Analyzing A Team’s Bullpen To Place Your Bets

Bullpens are responsible for at least the last six outs in many games and others the last 9 or 12. It’s critical to consider what happens when a starter gets pulled if there’s an opportunity for a comeback or the opposing bullpen is a shutdown group.

Keeping track of how good a team’s bullpen is will give you an idea of how a game might progress once the listed starter leaves the game.

In close games, bullpens are the difference between winning or losing a bet and can provide that extra edge that most aren’t considering.

MLB Baseball Betting Strategies FAQ

What is the most profitable baseball betting strategy?

Live betting is the most profitable baseball betting strategy. It’s mostly because the oddsmakers don’t have enough time to calculate the correct number. That alone gives the players a massive advantage. Propositions can also be highly profitable.

What is an easy baseball betting strategy for beginners?

Betting the moneyline is the best thing to do as a baseball betting beginner. You only need to pick the team that wins the game for starters. You’ll be able to use advanced strategies later as you get more experience.

What is the safest MLB betting strategy?

There is no safest MLB betting strategy per se. It’s betting, after all. But wagering on props and live betting gives players the best opportunity to win during the MLB season consistently.

Learn More With Our Complete Baseball Betting Guide

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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