Best Sportsbooks for MLB
MLB Predictions, Picks and Parlays
When betting on MLB it wise to get and follow Free MLB Picks from MLB experts. Their MLB predictions are based on statistics and years of experience from sports betting and DFS play. It takes time and a lot of patience to become a long-term winning player who outperforms the sportsbooks.
And to do so you need a clear strategy and even, more importantly, stick to that strategy. Our experts MLB picks and parlays are consistent and strong but even experts can struggle from time to time. Sports betting is, after all, a game of chance and you need to bet with your brain and not over it.
Who has won the most world series titles?
The New York Yankees have won 27 World Series titles, making them the winningest franchise in the history of the sport.
Whats the average usage life of a Major League Baseball?
The average usage life of a Major League Baseball is 6 pitches. Foul balls and home runs are aplenty in MLB. Lots of souvenirs!
Who was the first African American to play in the MLB?
Opening Day, April 15th, 1947 – Jackie Robinson played first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African American to play for an MLB club. He won the Rookie of the Year award that season.
Who goes under the nickname “The Mayor of Ding Dong City”?
Travis Shaw of the Milwaukee Brewers has the nickname “The Mayor of Ding Dong City”. A tribute to the fact that he is mostly an all-or-nothing type of hitter.
Which is the longest game of MLB ever played?
The longest game in MLB history lasted 25 innings – a 1984 game between the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers. This game lasted 8 hours and 6 minutes.
What's the most runs scored in an MLB game?
The most runs scored in an MLB game occurred in 2007 when the Texas Rangers walloped the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore, 30-3. It’s too bad DFS was not yet in the picture.
About MLB Betting
Major League Baseball is currently third in the United States behind NFL and NBA in sports betting popularity. Recent expansion of local and national TV deals has made the sport easier to access than ever before for fans around the country and world, which is a major positive development for bettors of the sport. The recent change in the sports betting landscape in the United States should only further the interest in MLB betting, as it is the main
sport available to bet on during the summer months, before the NFL kicks off. The sport’s shift from managing gameplay by gut feel to analytics-driven optimal decision making has altered the nature in which the sport is played, and bettors can use this style change to potentially find edges in the betting market.
How to Bet on MLB
One of the unique features of MLB is the longevity of each season – both for the individuals involved in the games as well as for sports bettors.
Every season, the 30 MLB teams play a total of 2,430 regular season games, plus the postseason and World Series.
MLB not only contains plenty of games to bet on, but numerous, almost endless types of bets offered within each game. The number of events to bet on in an MLB season is unmatched in any other sport offering, so understanding what each bet means and how they correlate can lead to successful betting. The different types of bets offered allow the bettor to leverage projections and predictions to maximize their return.
Game Result Bets
Money Line (ML) Bets – Money line bets are the most common wager for MLB bettors. ML is the simplest form of wagering on MLB as far as picking a distinct outcome – but gets trickier once you look under the hood and factor in odds.
When wagering on the money line, the bettor is simply picking who will win the game outright.
With ML bets, it does not matter how many runs one team wins by, just that they win the game. There are of course no ties in baseball, so as long as the game is played, there will be a winner and loser on a money line bet. The way in which sportsbooks show the difference in talent or projection between the two teams with money line bets is by weighing the ML with heavier odds on the favorited team. For example, a division-leading team such as the Yankees playing a basement-dwelling team such as the Orioles will often have substantial odds in their favor, such as the below.
Baltimore Orioles (+180) at New York Yankees (-210)
The plus sign always indicates the underdog team, and the amount you will win (or the equivalent) on a $100 bet. The minus sign always indicates the favorited team, and the amount you must bet to win the equivalent of $100. The above odds can be interpreted in the following manner – if wagering $100 on the Orioles ML, you would win $180 (plus the $100 you wagered) – if wagering on the Yankees ML, you would need to bet $180 in order to win $100 (plus the money wagered). This is how the sportsbooks create balance in an unbalanced game. The ML betting odds are also often affected by the caliber of starting pitcher slated to be on the mound for each team in the game. Elite pitchers can impact odds significantly, especially when facing a mediocre or worse starting pitcher on the other team. As sportsbooks collect wagers on both sides of a game, they will adjust the money line odds for both teams to account for the money being attributed to each team within a game. Other factors that will often impact ML betting odds and details to always be aware of when wagering on MLB include injuries to key players, weather/wind, ballpark factors, lineups, and recent player/team trends.
Run Line (RL) Bets – MLB wagering is unique to most other sports in that there is not a traditional point spread established for each game. In lieu of a point spread, each game has a fixed -1.5 and +1.5 “run line” assigned to the two teams, with the favorite being assigned -1.5 and the underdog assigned +1.5. For example, the same Orioles at Yankees game used above might show the following RL odds:
Baltimore Orioles +1.5 (+100) at New York Yankees -1.5 (-120)
The interpretation of these RL odds are as follows – a $100 RL wager on the Orioles means that you are betting that the Orioles will either win the game outright or lose by no more than one run. The Orioles losing by two or more runs would result in a loss. With the odds posted, you would stand to win $100 (plus the $100 wagered) if the Orioles win the game or lose by one. If betting on the Yankees -1.5, the odds tell you that you must wager $120 to win $100, and the Yankees must win the game by at least two runs for your wager to be paid. MLB RL betting is not as popular as ML betting but provides the equivalent of a spread bet for MLB, as spread bets are the most popular in the NFL. There are some underlying pitfalls with RL betting which will be addressed in the “Betting Strategies” section.
Game Total Bets – MLB total bets mirror total bets from other sports. The sportsbook will set a line for the total number of runs expected to be scored in a game, and the bettor will wager whether the total score for both teams will be over or under that total. For example, our Orioles at Yankees game total is set at 9.5 runs. A bettor could either wager on the over or under for that total. Some game totals are set at whole numbers which bring pushes into play as well, an added wrinkle not seen in the two bet types discussed above. As bets are accepted on this bet type, the game total and odds will move concurrent with the level of money being wagered on each side (over/under) of the contest, making game total betting (like others) a very fluid market depending on when you place a wager. For example, the game total betting profile might look similar to the below for this Orioles/Yankees game, and then change based on wagers received.
Orioles at Yankees Over 9.5 (-115)
Orioles at Yankees Under 9.5 (-105)
Many factors including home ballpark, weather, wind, starting pitchers and lineups have significant impact on game total lines and odds.
Team Total Bets – MLB team total betting is a faction of the game total betting, except the game total is broken down more granularly into the expected number of runs for each team. The dynamics are the same as game total betting – bettors can wager over or under the set team total for either team involved, allowing four wagering options for each game. Below is an example of how our BAL/NYY game might look for team total wagering.
Orioles Team Total: Over 4.0 -105 ; Under 4.0 -115
Yankees Team Total: Over 5.5 -115 ; Under 5.5 -105
Team total betting can be an excellent way to leverage Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) action and research. More on team total wagering below in the strategy section.
First-5 Innings Result Bets
First-5 Innings bets (F5) are less popular than full game bets, but nonetheless offer additional options in which to wager on each MLB game. Most sportsbooks will offer three options for F5 wagering:
F5 RL (+/- 0.5)
F5 Total Runs
The dynamics of each of these bets are consistent with their full game counterparts.
Parlay Bets – As with other sports, MLB wagers can be parlayed at many books. A parlay is defined as multiple bets within the same wager, where all bets have to hit in order for a successful wager to be graded. Parlay bets provide bettors with higher payouts in exchange for longer odds of a successful wager. For example, if a parlay bet is made on the Yankees ML in their game against the Orioles plus the Dodgers ML in their game against the Rockies, both the Yankees and the Dodgers must win their respective games in order to be paid out on that wager. If one of the two teams lose, the wager is a loss.
An important note on parlay bets in MLB (as with other sports): most sportsbooks will not allow parlays that include correlated bets, such as parlaying a team’s ML with their team total.
Player Props – Rapidly growing in popularity across all sports, player proposition bets are an excellent way to substantiate other wagers. For many players in each game, sportsbooks will over/under propositions for major statistical categories for bettors to wager on the performance within that game. For MLB, these statistical categories include hits, home runsn>, RBI, total bases, strikeouts, among others. There are many other options within player props that likely deserve their own article to further examine the extensive possibilities of wagering on them. A note for DFS players – player prop wagers allow an excellent way to leverage player projections and capitalize on what are sometimes soft propositions on certain players.
Game Props – Along the same lines of player props, game props are bets which are event-based within the game itself. Examples of some MLB game propositions include the following:
Team to Score First
Score in First Inning – Y/N
Extra Innings – Y/N
Game props are quite volatile and hard to predict by nature and are therefore widely seen more as “fun” bets to make. As the sports betting industry grows in the United States, game props will become more prominent as teams and arenas plan on allowing game proposition wagers within their arenas to enhance the viewer experience.
Series Bets – The MLB season is comprised of a multitude of “series”, since each team has to play 162 games it does not make sense for each team to travel every day. The result are series between two teams, which range from two to four games at the same location. Naturally, you can bet on which team will win the most games in a series as a ML bet. Each series wager can win, lose, or push depending on the outcomes and number of games within the series. The ML odds for series bets are contingent upon the length of the series as well as the relative strength of the two teams, as well as which team is home or away.
Futures Bets – Among the more popular wager types amongst casual bettors, futures bets are popular in baseball as they are with other major sports. Futures wagering involves predicting long-term results of a season, whether it be choosing the team to win the World Series, a team to win its Division, or a player to win a major season-long award. The draw of futures bets are the long odds payoffs that come with plucking that World Series or MVP award winner well before the results are known. Futures bets are most common before the season begins but can be made daily up through the entirely of the season – with odds changing daily based on the on-field results of the players and teams involved.
Adjusted/Alternate Run Line Bets – A lesser-used bet type and not offered everywhere, adjusted or alternate run line bets are where the bettor can take a team at a different spread from the standard run line -1.5/+1.5 spread. The Alternate Run Line (ALRL) is the inverse of the Run Line. The team which was +1.5 on the run line is bet at -1.5 for the ALRL, at much better odds, because they now have to win by more than one run. The team which was -1.5 on the run line is now bet at +1.5, with much worse odds. They no longer have to win by more than one, but now have to either win the game or lose by less than two runs. An example of the ALRL lines from our Orioles at Yankees game:
ALRL Orioles -1.5 (+300)
ALRL Yankees +1.5 (-400)
The Adjusted Run Line (ADRL) is normally an offering of -2.5 or +2.5 (but can increase to 3.5 or higher) with the same teams as favorite/underdog as the RL. This gives the underdog an extra run of cushion, and the favorite must cover an additional run for a wager to win. This affects the odds you are receiving for betting on each team as opposed to betting on the RL or the ALRL. An example of the ADRL lines from our Orioles at Yankees game:
ADRL Orioles -2.5 (-150)
ADRL Yankees +2.5 (+130)
In-Game/Live Betting – Arguably the future of sports wagering is staring us down. As more and more US states pass sports gambling legislation, teams will be quite incentivized to include some sort of in-game or live betting option for game attendees. Ted Leonsis, owner of the Wizards and the Capitals, has already expressed his interest in having consoles at seats where fans can live bet the action unfolding in front of them. In-Game or Live wagering ranges from very simple to quite complex. Bettors can wager on what the next at bat will result in – Hit, Walk, Out – or which team will score next – or which player will hit the next home run.
Live betting is widely considered as the most fun way to bet on sports.
Live wagering also includes dynamic live odds which bettors can make bets during game action on many of the standard betting types above, including ML, RL, and Game Totals. This way, viewers can see the action unfolding in front of them and bet “live” with the game as they watch the game play out. Look for this type of betting to make a huge popularity jump in the very near future, both at sportsbooks and in stadiums and arenas.
5 Betting Strategies
- The ability to follow trends, player news, lineups, manager tendencies, bullpen statistics, and other factors is essential to sustained wagering success across all betting types in MLB.
- RL bettor mistakes – when making RL wagers, note that roughly 30% of all MLB games are decided by one run. Most often, the favorite laying -1.5 looks like a great bet, especially at home, but with the abundance of one run games, there is especially a disadvantage betting home team -1.5 RL favorites, as they do not receive an at-bat in the bottom of the ninth if leading. Many games are decided by one run in the top of the ninth without the home team given a chance to score in the bottom of the ninth because they are already victorious. Many successful MLB bettors will wager on the underdog (+1.5) side of RLs the majority of the time.
- Monitoring weather and wind is an excellent way to be successful in wagering on Game Totals. Many MLB stadiums are greatly impacted by weather and wind with historical trends showing that these greatly influence hitting and pitching environments on a daily basis.
- Team totals and player prop wagers are perhaps the best way to leverage sports wagering with DFS play. Most MLB DFS players are in search of teams which will outperform their baseline expectation on a given day and will stack that team’s hitters in hopes of hitting a large score. By augmenting your DFS team stacks with Team Total and Player Prop bets, you can capitalize on correct predictions about team production on a daily basis. A meaningful factor of being successful is capitalizing as much as possible when your projections/predictions are accurate.
- F5 betting can be a great way to attack a game that you think might play out one way early on. This is especially the case in MLB, where many teams might have excellent starting pitching but a poor bullpen (pitchers that play later in the game). Leveraging solid research to figure out which bullpens are over or under performing as well as deciphering starting pitching effectiveness is the key to successful F5 MLB wagering.
There are two Leagues within MLB, the American League and the National League. And they still play with a different rule – the American League uses a Designated Hitter who bats each time through the order for the pitcher, whereas in National League-hosted games, the pitchers go to bat for themselves.
The 2019 MLB season is experiencing record number of long balls. Per SI: “At this rate, MLB hitters will break the record of 6,105 home runs set in 2017 not by a little, but by a lot: by 456 homers, or 7.5%. Compared to last year, homers are up 17.5%, with almost one thousand more dingers expected.” Bet the over!
June 13-16, 2019 – the San Diego Padres and the Colorado Rockies set an MLB record by scoring 92 combined runs over a four-game series at hitter-friendly Coors Field in Denver, CO.
In 2016, there were 185 extra-inning games out of a total of 2,428 games played (7.6%). A tidbit for Game Total and Game Prop bettors.
More on Baseball
How to Find Baseball at Betting Sites
Most betting sites will contain a “Baseball” section prominently within their Sports offering. Within Baseball you can select “MLB”, and from there can choose any of the wagering options listed above. Many sites will have Player Props, Game Props, Futures Bets, and Live/In-Game Betting in a separate area of their site.
Legal and licensed betting sites are currently only available in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Most Popular MLB Events
There are three major MLB events each season where casual fans and bettors join the regular crowd on the action.
- Opening Day. The unofficial beginning of Spring for many in the United States. Eternal hope abounds as every team is 0-0 and a new season is afoot. There is always a ton of pomp and circumstance surrounding Opening Day festivities. This is the time for bettors to get futures wagers in and offseason research and projections can create an early-season edge against betting lines before sportsbooks have a chance to adjust.
- All-Star Game Festivities. The celebrated halfway point of the long, arduous MLB season. The weekend contains two events which are heavily wagered on, including the Home Run Derby as well as the All-Star Game itself. It is widely accepted that MLB has the greatest All-Star weekend out of the four major sports.
- World Series. The pinnacle of the sport normally in late October-early November, where the two best teams compete in a seven-game series to decide the World Champion. Player and Game props are expanded for the World Series, much like for the Super Bowl in the NFL albeit at a much smaller scale. Hopefully the World Series gives bettors a chance to cash futures tickets held since early in the year.
Major League Baseball (MLB) is the highest level of baseball in the world. MLB was founded in 1903 and is the oldest of the four major North American professional sports leagues. Known as “America’s Pastime”, MLB teams are the heart of their respective cities and carry avid fanbases. The current model of MLB contains 30 teams, who each play 162 game seasons followed by postseason play, ultimately resulting in the World Series, where a champion is crowned. MLB has steadily increased its cache around the world over the years, and is currently comprised of roughly 40% African American, Latino or Asian players, with a major progression over the last 20+ years. The Latin and Asian markets contain a deep baseball culture, and the influx of talent from those areas of the world into the MLB landscape has energized the game and increased the overall level of play significantly, as many of the current stars in the league are non-native to North America. MLB is now known as very analytics-friendly in its current state, as the sport has undergone a massive shift just in the last decade in how the game is played and how the game is analyzed. The game of baseball has never been influenced more by young talent, as the sport is currently enjoying a fantastic youth movement where incredible young stars are littered throughout the league, giving many teams hope for bright futures.
Legends in MLB
The greatest players in the history of the sport can be found memorialized in Cooperstown, NY at the Baseball Hall of Fame. The most iconic players in MLB history include names such as Cy Young, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinsonn, Hank Aaron and Ted Williams; all of which transcended the game in their own ways, throughout different eras of the sport.
There are many future Hall of Fame-worthy players currently residing in Major League Baseball – they belong in two categories, the first comprised of the experienced and accomplished grizzled veterans of the sport. The second category containing the young group of exciting players with unbelievable potential.
The Old Guard Category: Albert Pujols, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Miguel Cabrera, Buster Posey
The Young Studs Category: Mike Trout, Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Mookie Betts, Christian Yelich, Jose Altuve, Nolan Arenado, Francisco Lindor