Examining the Various Types of Bets You Can Make in Baseball
The 2023 Major League Baseball season has already produced another great set of games. As the World Series draws closer, many agree that the introduction of the pitch clock has helped to speed up matches, and that has introduced even more fans to this globally popular sport.
After producing the best record of all teams during the regular season, it was a surprise to see the Atlanta Braves crash out to the Philadelphia Phillies in the divisional series game. Over in the American League West, The Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers returned identical regular season stats, and they are producing one of the games of the season at the Championship Series stage.
As the campaign moves forward, there will be even more interest in MLB action, including a host of wagers placed by the betting community. If you’ve yet to get involved with the sportsbooks, here is a guide to common baseball bets.
Looking to the Future
There are betting options available for Major League Baseball throughout the calendar year. Before the season gets underway, World Series Odds are in place, listing all of the teams in contention for the ultimate prize.
This is referred to as a Futures Bet: It is literally a look into the future to assess who will win a long-term tournament. While the World Series bet is the most common option, there are additional futures markets for Conference and Divisional winners.
Team A v Team B
Most new bettors start here. The match result bet is referred to as the Moneyline, and it’s a straight choice between the two teams in opposition. So, if we are using that Houston Astros vs Texas Rangers game as an example, we’re staking on either the Astros or the Rangers to win.
There is no option for a tie in baseball, so this is a simple market to understand. That’s why it’s popular with both new and experienced bettors. Moneyline bets will be listed all through the MLB campaign, from the start of the regular season, through to the end of the World Series.
This is a popular bet for all sports, and baseball is no exception. A Totals option speculates on the total number of runs that will be scored during a game. Sportsbooks will list a series of lines such as 7.5, 8.5, 9.5 etc, and the bettor decides whether to stake Over or Under one of those levels.
The most common totals bet is for the two teams combined across the entirety of the game. As an alternative, bettors can stake on one team only, or they can split those bets between the separate periods of the match.
This type of bet is referred to as a handicap in some parts of the world, and that’s a clue as to how it works. For all MLB games, bettors can apply a handicap to a team, by giving their opponents a theoretical head start.
Let’s say that the Philadelphia Phillies are playing the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Phillies are short-odds favorites to win the game. If the sportsbook gives Arizona a +3.5 advantage on the spread, Philadelphia would have to win by four runs or more for the bet to pay out.
Spread betting is a way of adjusting the odds in a case such as this, where one team is much stronger. However, it can be used for any MLB game.
A prop is short for proposition and it can relate to many different factors in a baseball game. It is literally proposing that something might happen that doesn’t necessarily affect the outcome.
The majority of props in MLB matches will relate to the players, and there will be more options for the bigger games including the World Series.
For example, the sportsbooks will list bets on how many bases a hitter will achieve. There may also be an option on whether or not they will score a run. The pitchers are a big focus too, with bets on how many strikeouts they will achieve during the game.
Prop betting will be more prevalent during those bigger matches, but there should be availability through the regular season and the playoffs.
Those are the main categories of bets that can be made before and during a baseball season. Those who are just starting out may wish to keep things simple with the Moneyline market but, over time, each will find their own preferences.
All types of bets require research before committing to a stake, but there will always be plenty of choice for anyone looking to get involved. Study form and head-to-head results, pick the type of bet that suits you best, and you will be better informed when you enter the markets.