Baseball is a popular sport in many countries around the globe. Average attendance in the U.S. for baseball matches comes in at just over 26,300 and Japanese crowds average around 24,500.
Baseball has an estimated 500 million fans, which places it in seventh place in the most popular sports in the world, ahead of golf, basketball, and American football. As much as 50% of U.S. adults are thought to follow Major League Baseball.
So, as one of the most popular spectator sports in the world, it is inevitable that baseball betting markets will be popular, which is not only the case in the US, but other countries like Japan, for example, bookmakers offer various betting markets for NPB for the local punters. Betting on sports adds an extra element of excitement to watching games, and there are lots of ways viewers can bet on baseball.
Baseball Betting Markets
Understanding the betting markets will help you choose a bet that you will enjoy. The following baseball betting markets are the most popular options for bettors:
A money line bet is based on which team you think will win. The odds offered are always created in relation to $100. A minus sign in front of the odds shows the team that is most likely to win, so the odds are shorter. For example, a team with -175 would mean that you would win $100 for every $175 bet.
Teams that have betting odds with a plus sign will be the underdog. There is less chance of them winning, but the odds are better. In this case, odds of +175 would mean you could win $175 for every $100 staked.
Run lines in baseball are also known as handicap betting or a point spread. This offers greater odds than money line bets because a greater point threshold is required to win the bet.
Totals bets are placed on the runs scored in a game. This is typically an over/under market where the bettor will predict the total number of runs scored by both teams.
Totals are usually set at a given number plus .5. This removes the risk of tied bets. For example, you could bet on a team scoring more than 3.5 runs, which means they would need at least 4 runs for your bet to be successful. If you bet on under 3.5 runs, they would need 3 or less for your bet to pay out.
Parlays are also known as accumulator bets and require a number of selections to win for the bet to come up. This is a great way for bettors to enjoy greater odds as multiple outcomes must be predicted. For example, you could choose teams in two or more different games to win their respective fixtures – and all the teams you choose must win for your bet to pay out.
Proposition or prop bets look at additional overall outcomes or player contributions.
This could include whether a team or a specific player hits a home run or if a team breaks an agreed winning percentage – the actual outcome of the game isn’t usually important in these bets.
Many baseball fans will fancy themselves as having a good understanding of the game and a team’s form coming into a game. However, every game is unique, and having the ability to place bets based on performance as it is happening is appealing to many.
Live, in-game betting allows sports fans to bet on the action as it unfolds.
First 5 Innings Line
Betting in the first 5 innings limits the outcome and helps bettors avoid bullpens and target pitching matchups. This type of bet can end in a tie where the stake is refunded.
Considerations When Betting on Baseball
While most bettors will look at the markets as being the most important part of betting on baseball, there are some other important considerations that must be made to improve the betting experience and give you a better chance of winning.
Selecting the best bookmakers for baseball betting will help you find the best odds and the largest number of markets to choose from. You will be able to choose between in-person, online, and offshore bookmakers to find the best deals.
Many online and offshore bookmakers run promotions to encourage people to sign up for an account. This can include free bets and enhanced odds.
Understanding the odds is crucial to finding the best deals and understanding how likely your bet is to win. Betting on big favorites can require large stakes to get any kind of meaningful returns, and even then there’s no guarantee that the underdog won’t claim victory. Money line odds are expressed using plus and minus symbols to indicate the favorites and underdogs. This makes it easier to understand the potential winnings from a bet.
Baseball Betting Metrics
Understanding the statistics and metrics of baseball will also give you a better understanding of how well teams and players are performing. This makes it easier to identify good betting opportunities.
Pythagorean wins in baseball look at a team’s record and whether they are still performing well despite poor results. For example, a team might outscore other teams by a high margin but still lose games and end up below them in league tables.
This can be an excellent way to find good value in underperforming teams that are outperforming others.
Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) and xFIP look at a pitcher’s performance outside of overall results. This is because pitchers don’t typically have much control when a ball is in play.
These stats provide a clearer understanding of individual performances and can help with prop bets.
Baseball Betting Rules
Always take the time to understand the rules of the game and the betting rules before placing a bet. Not only will understanding the rules of baseball improve your viewing experience, but it can also help you understand bet types.
Betting shops and online betting operators will post a list of their rules for each sport they cover.