Intro to Baseball Betting

New to sports betting? Look no further.

There are a plethora of bets available on every sportsbook, and it can be daunting for those who are new to the subject. Let’s dive into the various types of bets and valuable information one should consider when wagering on baseball.


Know your Worth


Bankroll management is the first component one must consider before placing any bets. Everyone’s bankroll, the amount of money set aside for betting, is different based on one’s financial situation, and it should be disposable income.

If this money were to go up in flames, you would be OK. Sure, it would stink to lose this money, but finances for real life would not be drastically impacted.

Once a bankroll is established, the suggested amount to bet on one outcome is anywhere from 2-5% of that bankroll. So if a bankroll is $1,000, a good start would be 3%, or $30 of the bankroll per bet. That 3% would be considered a unit. When it comes to rolling out this dough, it is highly advisable to avoid parlays and stick to flat-betting.


Parlays vs. Flat-Betting


When two or more bets are combined, it is called a parlay. The more bets added to a parlay, the greater the odds become. Turning $10 into $120 sounds great, but betting parlays regularly is not profitable in the long run.

Professional sports bettors are considered successful when they hit at a 55% or higher clip. There’s no denying that parlays are enticing, but hitting at a 55% rate is hard enough, so don’t make it even more difficult than it already is by betting strictly on parlays.

Flat-betting, on the other hand, is betting on a single wager with the same amount of money every time. That amount of money is called a unit, as covered before. Flat-betting is the best way to stay disciplined throughout the inevitable hot and cold streaks and prevents chasing losses. DO NOT CHASE.


Odds and Types of Bets



Pictured above are the three most common bets: Run Line, Moneyline, and Total. Next to all of those wagers in green are the odds given to that particular bet. When a (-) is in front of a number, that is the amount one would have to put down in order to win $100. (Of course, that much money is not needed to bet.) When a (+) is in front, that is how much one would win on a $100 bet.

In baseball, the spread is called the Run Line. Sportsbooks create the spread in order to find a level playing ground because not all teams are equal in skill. The standard Run Line is always set at -1.5 runs for the favored team, and +1.5 for the underdog with varying odds depending on the matchup. For example, if betting the Nationals on the RL at +130, they must win by two or more runs in order for that bet to cash. Alternatively, if betting on Atlanta at +1.5, they could still lose by a run and cash that bet.

The Total refers to the number of combined runs set for both teams. In the event of a game landing on the exact total, that would be considered a push, which is essentially a wash. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The Moneyline is a bet on who will win that game. Underdogs will have a (+) in front of it, while favorites will have a (-). Avoid big-time favorites on the Moneyline when betting on baseball.

Another common MLB wager is the First 5 inning bet, which mostly eliminates the unpredictability of bullpens.

The Basics of Betting on Baseball (Odds and Bet Types)

Pictured above are some of the typical prop bets given on an MLB game. Prop bets are not related to the final outcome of a game. Instead, they involve wagering on player/team statistics, along with other various bets. Strikeout player props are the most popular among MLB bettors.

Betting on future events is yet another option. Future bets on the World Series, division winners, team win totals, player awards, and league leaders are all wagering options. One must bet on team win totals and statistical league leaders before the season ensues, but World Series, division, and player award odds will shift during the season and are available to bet on throughout.

Lastly, be sure to shop around when placing bets. There are multiple sportsbooks available with varying odds and lines. Make sure to grab the best price and number possible.


Track Performance


Logging wins and losses will ensure longevity in betting. Having the data to recognize successes and failures is key to finding a profit. That is what we’re all looking for in the end.

However, don’t let losses here and there ruin your everyday life. THIS IS ABOUT HAVING FUN. WE’RE HAVING FUN, RIGHT?! As long as bankroll management is maintained, this should never be an issue.

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

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