Baseball is America’s pastime. The boys of summer. Peanuts. Cracker Jack. And with endless chances to place a wager, it pays to pick up a few baseball betting tips.
If you’re new to wagering on sporting events, Major League Baseball is the land of opportunity. There are over a dozen games in play virtually every day from April to October.
Just as baseball teams pre-scout their upcoming opponent to learn traits and tendencies, the wise bettor learns all they can about the sport they intend to put their money on prior to laying that first wager.
We’re here to help with our handy how-to guide. Here are four easy baseball betting tips to get you started.
1. Pitching Is Vital to Baseball Success
Real estate agents will advise that the key to selling home is location, location, location. When it comes baseball betting, the key to success is pitching, pitching and more pitching. Our first baseball betting tip is to pay close attention to who’s pitching.
The search for the best MLB games to place a wager on always begins with the day’s list of probable pitchers. In football, the quarterback is the key player. But unless there’s an injury, this player remains the same every game. In baseball, the starting pitcher changes every game.
Baseball Is An Arms Race
Teams go with five-man starting rotations. On opening day, expect that staff aces will clash. But moving forward, pitching rotations get juggled as injuries, weather, and the quirks of the schedule impact a season.
Look for games where one team’s ace catches a matchup with the opposition’s #5 starter. Keep an eye out for doubleheaders, when a team might be forced to call up a minor leaguer for a spot start.
One of the newest trends in baseball is the bullpen start. In this instance, a team utilizes several pitchers, each for one or two innings of work. Pitting such a mish-mash against a top starter can lead to an easy payday for those backing the star.
That said, don’t limit your pitching research to starters. Understanding the capabilities of a team’s bullpen is equally essential to predicting their potential success. A brilliant effort from a starter can implode in a matter of moments if the ball is handed off to an erratic relief corps.
Check out a team’s bullpen ERA. Know their recent history. Are they on a roll, or struggling and overtaxed? If you like the day’s starter but are sour on the bullpen, consider a first five innings baseball bet, where your ticket cashes out after the conclusion of the fifth inning.
2. Home Underdogs Are Easy Money
Major league baseball plays a 162-game season. That’s 81 home games for every team. The average home record during the 2019 MLB season was 42-38. Most teams win at home more often than not. Of the 30 MLB ballclubs, 18 posted winning home records during the 2019 season.
Our next baseball betting tip?
Finding an underdog playing in their own ballpark is always a good thing. This especially holds true in quirky places like Boston’s Fenway Park, or in the mile-high altitude at Colorado’s Coors Field. During the 2019 season, 13 teams played .500 baseball or better as a home underdog.
Even really bad teams like the Baltimore Orioles (20 wins) and Miami Marlins (28 wins) enjoyed significant success when getting odds at home.
The beauty of betting underdogs is that you don’t need to win as often to turn a profit, since you are getting positive odds from the moneyline with each wager.
3. No Rest Is Wicked Hard
When waging the battle of a 162-game campaign, rest is a treasured entity. Not surprisingly, teams with a rest advantage are generally succesful when they return to action against an opponent who’s taking the diamond after playing the day before.
In fact, 19 of 30 teams posted .500 or better records during the 2019 MLB season in games when they held a rest advantage over their opponent. It probably won’t come as a surprise that top teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers (6-2), Houston Astros (5-2) and Tampa Bay Rays (5-2) were all very successful in this scenario.
But the value of the rest advantage is emphasized when you know that the 108-loss Baltimore Orioles were 6-4 when owning a rest edge, and the 95-loss Toronto Blue Jays were 5-2. Even the woeful Detroit Tigers, who lost an MLB-high 114 games, went 2-1 with a rest advantage.
4. Divisional Dogs Are A Tasty Treat
Every MLB team plays each of their divisional opponents 19 times during the course of the season. That’s an awful lot of chances for the underdog to come up big and post a victory. Our final baseball betting tip is to pay close attention to divisional matchups when looking for underdogs.
During the 2019 campaign, every MLB team won at last 22 games against divisional opponents. The Tigers won 22 of their 47 games against American League Central Division opponents. That’s 46.8 percent of their victories. The Blue Jays captured 33 of 67 victories (49.2 percent) at the expense of AL East clubs.
You know in the majority of those games, each of those teams were the underdogs in the opening betting lines. Seeing so much of each other over the course of a season breeds familiarity, and makes upsets in divisional matchups more likely.
Remember that you may not cash as many winners betting the underdog, but by taking the positive odds, your return on investment will likely be higher over the long run.
Baseball Betting Tips Made Easy
So there you have it. As with any sports wagering, do your homework and stay on top of which direction both individual players and teams are trending. Focus on these four easy tips and profitable baseball bets should be soon coming your way.
For advice on how to bet on other sports, don’t forget to check out our informative sports betting guides.