MLB Betting Basics – Tips & Strategies


Want to know more about MLB betting basics? Then you are in the right place. We take you through some of the most important tips and strategies when betting on Major League Baseball.

Football and basketball have been the predominant sports to bet on now for decades. However, there are ample opportunities for bettors to utilize baseball as a profitable sport to bet on. Check out our MLB betting basics to find out how to bet on the most popular baseball league in the world. 

MLB Betting Basics 

Betting on baseball can follow some principles of betting on football and basketball. Nevertheless, there are also some key differences that bettors need to know about. So what better way to learn more about MLB betting basics?

See the MLB board clearer with MLB betting basics
See the MLB board clearer with MLB betting basics

If you’re a beginner wanting to bet on baseball or want to refresh your knowledge about betting on the sport then read on. An earlier article we wrote focused on MLB odds, with a full explanation of the most commonly bet MLB betting markets. If you’re beyond the basics, you may want to start here.

Why is baseball one of the hardest sports to bet on? 

One of the key things to learn about MLB betting basics is that baseball can be an incredibly difficult sport to bet on. Each team in the MLB will play a total of 162 games during the regular season. That means there are a total of 2430 games played, not including the postseason. 

The large number of games played is higher than all sports and professional sports leagues. Even some of the best teams in the MLB will only be able to establish a win percentage of around 60%. That means the league is incredibly unpredictable. However, it does put value on underdogs.

Underdogs in MLB offer value

Key points to consider when betting on the MLB

  • Research the starting pitchers 
  • Analyze the head-to-head form 
  • Look at recent results from each team 
  • Home and road records 

The main market to bet on for football and basketball is the points spread. Of course, you can bet on the moneyline, but this is a lot less common for those sports. However, when it comes to baseball, the principal market is the moneyline. The moneyline is the crux of MLB betting basics. 

Betting on the moneyline is simple – you just need to pick the winner of the game! 

SportsHub consistently gives baseball picks for all the MLB action, with winners on a regular basis! Those who are just picking up on MLB betting basics can use SportsHub as a great tool to learn more about tips and strategies. Even if you’re not interested in learning more, we’re here to offer daily picks.

You don’t need to worry about who covers the spread with the money line; you just need to find the winner. How much a team wins by doesn’t matter and it is also irrelevant how many total runs are scored in the game. 

When betting on baseball, you can still bet on the points spread but the market is called the run line. However, it is not as popular as betting on the moneyline. The run line is set at -1.5 for the favorites and +1.5 for the underdogs, with odds attached to each. 

As you become more comfortable with moneyline betting, exploring the run line offers a nuanced perspective on baseball betting, balancing risk and reward with the introduction of a point spread. Our segment ‘Run Line Betting – It’s Time‘ provides an in-depth look at mastering this strategy.

MLB Betting Basics – Lineup Research 

Analyzing the lineups and team news is essential when betting on any sport. The status of players on the team can make a big impact on the result. Therefore, it is important to see if there are any key players absent from the lineup. 

It is also crucial to see whether players are being rested or if they are at 100% fitness. Some players may be in the lineup, but that doesn’t always mean they are playing at full strength. Keep an eye on the latest news when evaluating teams. 

Access to the lineups is usually available around four hours before the start of an MLB game. Ideally, you should wait until then before placing your bets. This is one of the key aspects to learn about MLB betting basics. However, having inside information can get you a better number before sports have time to change their MLB betting lines.

Starting pitchers 

The starting pitchers are pivotal to the outcome of a baseball game. This is because the profile of a starting pitcher can make a huge impact on who wins a game. Their job is to try and limit the number of runs as best they can, while also getting outs.

The pitcher is usually the most important player on the team. He can have the biggest impact on determining the winner or loser of the game. Since the starting pitcher will usually have the most action of any player on the field, his performance plays a huge role in determining the winner. 

In comparison to football, the starting quarterback for the game plays a big factor in determining the outcome. If the typical starting quarterback is out for the game and the backup has to play in his place, that will usually limit that team’s ability to perform in the game.

Analyzing the starting pitcher is critical when learning about MLB betting basics. When it comes to baseball betting tips, this is one that can really count.

How to analyze the quality of a starting pitcher

One of the best ways to analyze the quality of a starting pitcher is to look at the earned run average (ERA). The lower their ERA, the better a pitcher is performing. ERA is calculated by dividing the total number of runs earned allowed (ER) by the number of innings pitched (IR). That total is then multiplied by nine (the typical amount of innings played during a game). 

MLB Betting Basics – FAQ

What is the most popular way to bet on the MLB?

The most common way to bet on the MLB is by using the moneyline market. When betting on the moneyline, you are picking a team to win the game.

How many games are played during an MLB season?

During the regular season, the total number of games played is 2430. Each of the 30 teams in the MLB will play 162 games. Knowing MLB betting basics is a must.

How easy are MLB betting basics for beginners?

The MLB can be very difficult for beginners to bet on. This is due to the large unpredictability of a given game. Due to the long schedule and the changing parameters per each game, it is considered risky to profit on. However, once you learn more about MLB betting basics, it can be a great league for bettors to profit.

What is the Earned Run Average (ERA)?

Earned run average is one of the most important statistics used to analyze the quality of a pitcher. It should be considered one of the MLB betting basics. ERA calculates the number of runs that a pitcher allows per nine innings. As a result, the lower the ERA, the better the pitcher.

Should I bet on the favorites or underdogs in the MLB?

Favorites typically have the upper hand when betting on the MLB. That is because favorities will win around 55-60% of the time. However, the margin is close. Underdogs will win on average around 40-45% of matches. Betting on the underdogs is attractive since sportsbooks will offer bigger odds, but pick your spots wisely.