Betting on MLB

Bet on MLB

Major League Baseball in America: MLB History

Major League Baseball is often called America’s favorite pastime, and the sport has a storied history across North America and around the world. Names like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Mike Trout, and Jackie Robinson are woven into everyday life.

American baseball, and baseball betting, has changed over the decades. Check out our brief MLB history here at BetRivers Sportsbook before you place your next baseball bets!

Major League Baseball is the professional baseball league in the United States and Canada, and it’s the oldest pro sports league in either of these two countries. The MLB is made up of the National and the American Leagues, which until 2000 were legally separate entities.

Beginner's Guide to MLB Betting

Major League Baseball is made up of two leagues (American and National), which are each subdivided into three divisions and 15 teams. The league is run by a commissioner, who is elected by the owners of the 30 teams.

Each of the 30 teams use a farm system that consists of a series of minor leagues with players at varying developmental stages. In addition, college programs, high schools, and regions like Asia and Latin America are baseball hotbeds. That’s why every team employs eagle-eyed scouts who evaluate amateur talent from around the world.

A regular MLB season lasts about 162 games, most of which are played within each team’s specific league. There are, however, periods of interleague play, which are characteristic of two stretches of games that run during the middle third of the season.

On the active roster, every team carries up to 25 players led by the coaching staff and the on-field manager. The general manager (GM) caters to the business side of the organization. Among his other duties are drafting and trading players and negotiating devilishly complex contracts.

In the first five years of the league, teams in each division played against each other in the other league -- for example, the NL Central vs. AL Central and the like. In 2002, a new format was introduced by MLB, where teams were to rotate while playing the interleague games against teams in the various divisions within a particular year. There were, however, exceptions made for hometown rivalries – for example, the New York Yankees played the New York Mets each year, apart from their scheduled divisional opponents.

Winners that emerged from each division advanced to their league division playoff round, along with a wildcard team. The winners from the two divisional series met in the league championship series, and finally, the winners of the league championships series met in the World Series to play for the title of world champion.

Baseball Statistics that Affect Betting Odds

  • Batting average: used to measure the percentage of a player's at-bats that result in base hits.
  • Runs Batted In (RBIs): measures the total number of runs from a hitter’s at-bats. A batter is awarded an RBI after a hit, including home runs, a sacrifice fly, sacrifice bunt, infield out, or fielder's choice which normally leads to runners scoring. Also, if by any chance the batter is walked "base on balls," interfered with, or hit by a pitch, but still manages to get on the base where the bases are full thus lead to a run, he will receive an RBI.
  • Home Run: if the batter reaches home with a hit. Home runs are normally hit over the outfield fence. But on rare occasions the player may hit an inside-the-park home run, which occurs when the batter hits the ball into the field of play and is still able to round all the bases without being tagged out or an error being made. Usually this happens because the defensive team makes an error.
  • On-Base Percentage (OBP): used to measure the frequency with which a batter reaches base. To calculate OBP, you divide times on base by plate appearances.
  • Slugging Average: is total bases divided by the number of at-bats. Slugging average is used to measure the batter's true power.

FAQ for MLB Betting

Major League Baseball features a lengthy 162-game season. This large number of games also provides plenty of MLB betting action. Below, you’ll learn more about baseball betting, MLB betting strategies and how they work.

Reading the MLB Odds

In MLB moneyline bets, you try to pick which team will win the game outright. The moneyline strategy applies to almost all team sports, such as hockey, football, and basketball.

MLB Runline Betting: Covering the Spread (Sort of)

In Major League Baseball, a runline is the equivalent of point spreads that you’d find in other sports, like football or basketball. As the game is about to begin, one of the teams is given an advantage of 1.5 runs to create a more even betting field. The number of runs scored is set at 1.5 because baseball is typically a low-scoring sport.

MLB First Five Innings: Betting on the Top Half of the Game

Betting an MLB first five innings is the just like betting the first half of a basketball or football game – you’re only betting on the result after five innings. Any scoring after the first five innings has no effect on your wager.

To be successful in this wager, you will need to handicap the starting pitchers and gain insight into how they perform early in the game. You also have an advantage here, because you don’t have to consider the performance of relief pitchers on the roster.

MLB Totals: Betting the Combined Score

If you’re familiar with betting the over/under in football, the then you’ll see that the idea behind baseball totals betting is the same. You’re betting on the combined number of runs scored by both teams.

MLB Futures Betting: Wagering on Baseball Championships

Think you know which teams will be hot even before the first games are played? MLB futures are bets on the pennant races and the World Series, and are normally made before the beginning of the regular season.

MLB Prop Bets: Strikes, RBIs, and Homers

Prop bets allow you to wager on specific events that might happen during a game. They’re especially popular in the post-season, when every play can make or break a team’s destiny.

MLB Parlays: A Bouquet of Bets

Baseball parlays allow you to bundle baseball bets. Ultimately, parlays could help you win more money than you would on a single bet.

MLB In-Play Odds: Live Betting on Baseball Games

Thanks to lightning-fast computerized odds systems, you can bet on baseball games as they’re happening on the field. Will the next batter get a hit? Or will the pitcher get another strikeout? Those are just two examples of in-game bets you can make as you watch the action.