Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the USA, and it is slowly taking over the entire online betting world. As it grows in popularity in terms of viewership, bookmakers all around the world seek to use it as an advantage by offering a wide range of baseball betting markets and opportunities.
If you are a baseball fan, it seems like there is no better way to make your favourite pastime activity more fun than by betting on it.
Thankfully, there are countless betting options available for every baseball tournament. So, to save you some time on research, we at betting.io have decided to arm you with all the essential details on how you can bet on baseball.
Brief History of Baseball
At the start, we can say that the history of baseball is a bit complicated, with the true origins remaining a mystery to this day. There is enough evidence that people used baseball bats even in ancient Egypt, and throughout history, ball games were pretty common.
However, one accepted theory is that American baseball derives from the British game called “rounders.” There are some references to a British game called baseball back in the 18th century, but there are not many similarities to today’s baseball version.
Baseball in the USA started gaining popularity during the 19th century. The first team to play baseball with the modern rules is thought to be the New York Knickerbockers, with their founder Alexander Cartwright creating the Knickerbocker Rules in 1845. So, the first game under these rules was played in New Jersey on June 19, 1846, and the sport hasn’t looked back since.
Baseball Rules and Gameplay
Even though it might seem complicated, baseball has some really straightforward rules that you shouldn’t have any problem getting around. For a better overview, we can group the baseball rules into the categories below.
Innings and Outs
First off, we need to mention the term “Out” which refers to a player having to leave the pitch due to any of the following reasons:
- They got tagged by a ball
- They didn’t make it to the base or home plate before the opposition player with the ball in their glove does
- Missing three swings at a pitch
Once the team gets three outs, it is their time to play defence. The inning will end when both teams have played offence and defence.
Batters on teams have three opportunities to hit a ball that is pitched to them. A strike is an occurrence when they miss the pitch or don’t even swing. After three strikes, the team gets an “out,” as mentioned above.
Lines are used on the baseball field to connect the bases. If a ball is between the baselines, then it is in play, but if it goes outside, then it is called a foul. If the batter strikes out on any of the first two pitches, they get a strike. If they do that on the third pitch, it is a foul, but the batter gets another pitch.
If the pitcher sends an unfair pitch, then that scenario is called a “ball.” If this happens four times, then the batter can walk to first base.
Teams & Gameplay
Finally, we need to mention the general team and gameplay rules of baseball. Two teams of nine players comprise a baseball match. Games in baseball have nine innings, and both teams get to bat once. If there is a tie after nine innings, an extra one is added.
Baseball in the USA & Around the World
When we think of baseball, the first country that comes to mind is the USA. It is only normal, as, for a long time, baseball was thought to be America’s national pastime. Most Americans are in love with the MLB (Major League Baseball).
There are several reasons why baseball is thought to be the most popular pastime in the USA, and around the world in general:
- Accessibility – there is a minor league system that allows players to climb the ranks and with time, make a name for themselves. That is not the case with other sports in the USA.
- Fan base – stadiums are full in each major baseball game, and that itself speaks volumes about its popularity.
- Rich history – even though America is a relatively young country, baseball has been there since the early days, so being part of baseball often means being part of history.
- Accommodating sport – unlike other sports that see just 1% of people succeed, baseball is more accommodating, and it is widely accepted that anyone can succeed.
- Long schedule – the MLB has 162 games, so there is plenty to see during the baseball season.
Baseball is popular in other countries such as Canada and the Dominican Republic, but it is clear which country leads the way in terms of baseball acceptance and popularity.
One of the very first things you need to understand before placing any baseball wager is how the odds work. There are decimal, fractional, and moneyline odds that bookies use to show the odds for baseball matches. All of them work very simply, but as baseball is mainly popular in the USA, we will show the moneyline, or American odds.
With moneyline odds, you will see the away team listed first and the home team second. The team that has a positive sign is considered the underdog, while the team with a negative sign is the favourite. The number after the positive or negative sign will show you your winnings if you were to place a $100 bet.
Popular Baseball Betting Types
Now that you know all the basic rules of baseball as well as how the odds for the sport work, it is time to get to the more exciting part. Reputable baseball sports betting sites will offer tonnes of betting markets for any punter to use. Here, we will cover just the most popular ones.
First off, we have the moneyline bet type in baseball, which is arguably the most common and simple one you can use. Here, you just need to predict which team will win the game.
Before you place a moneyline bet, check out the odds and see which team is the favourite, but also do your research. It doesn’t always mean that the favourites will win, so betting on an underdog can secure you some nice winnings.
Up next, we have run lines which is another very popular baseball bet type. A baseball run line is a point spread or a handicap bet. Usually, bets like this in baseball are based on a 1.5-point spread, so you can look forward to much better odds than moneyline bets, as one of the teams will start the game with a point disadvantage.
Totals in baseball refer to the number of runs that are scored in the game. You will need to bet on whether the total number of runs will end up being over or under a specific number set by the baseball bookie that you play.
Usually, baseball totals are set at 8.5. So, if you place an under bet here, there need to be eight or fewer runs, and you need nine or more for the opposite scenario. With this bet, you can avoid a scenario where the runs equal the total, which is a “push.” If this is the case, then you get your bet amount returned to you.
Moving on, we have parlay bets in baseball that let you bet on several outcomes. However, keep in mind that you need to predict all outcomes correctly to win your bet. As you can imagine, the fact that you need to guess all outcomes correctly means that the odds will be much bigger with a parlay bet, but much riskier as well.
As is the case with other sports you can bet on, bookies allow you to place a futures wager, which is a long-term one. This is a bet that baseball sports betting sites will offer well in advance of any season. You can pick the winner of the World Series or other major tournaments before or during the competition. However, remember that as the season goes on, the odds will change.
Prop bets are very popular among experienced baseball bettors. They are additional bets that refer to some specific baseball outcomes in the game. Prop bets can also refer to a specific player’s performance. You can basically put money on every scenario in the game, so you can imagine where prop bets’ popularity comes from.
Finally, baseball sports betting sites will offer you the chance to bet on a game as it is happening. Of course, the odds in a live match will change, and they are dynamic based on how the game unfolds.
Usually, experienced bettors use the live betting option, as it requires you to follow the game closely and have the expertise to predict what will happen next in it.
Top Baseball Leagues
Baseball attracts plenty of viewers and bettors all around the world, so it is not a sport that you can only see in the USA. Thankfully, no matter where you live, you will have a baseball league to follow and eventually to bet on.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the major baseball leagues from all around the world.
USA and Canada
We begin with the most popular league of them all – Major League Baseball. It is the first-ever baseball league in the world.
There are 30 teams competing in Major League Baseball. Apart from the MLB, there are minor leagues in the USA as well, which are divided into classes, such as Short-Season A, Advanced Rookie, Rookie, and so on.
Asia is also home to several interesting baseball leagues in different countries:
- Nippon Professional Baseball – the top-tier baseball league in Japan
- Japanese Softball League
- Korea Baseball Organization – the most popular baseball league in the Republic of Korea
- Chinese Professional Baseball League
- The Chinese Baseball League – relatively new, as it was founded in 2002.
There are more than 20 national baseball leagues in Europe, but there are a couple that simply stand out due to their quality:
- The Italian Baseball League
- The Dutch Baseball League
Here, the Australian Baseball League takes centre stage, and it is also a relatively new one. Established just in 2010, it features eight teams.
Venezuela has one of the better baseball leagues in the world. The Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional has eight teams. Apart from it, the Colombian Professional Baseball League also deserves a mention.
When it comes to Central America, there are several leagues that deserve a mention and are very competitive:
- The Mexican Baseball League consisting of 6 teams
- The Nicaraguan National Professional Baseball League featuring 5 teams
- Panamanian Professional Baseball League featuring 3 teams
- The Mexican Pacific League having 10 teams
Finally, we have the Caribbean region, which also has some interesting baseball leagues:
- Serie Nacional del Beisbol Cubana in Cuba
- The Dominican Professional Baseball League
- The Roberto Clemente Professional League in Puerto Rico
Baseball Tips When Betting on the MLB
Before we see some tips and strategies that you can use for all your MLB bets, it is important to state one thing – there is no guaranteed strategy that will help you secure certain wins. However, we at betting.io can recommend some general guidelines that you can use to at least shift the odds a bit in your favour.
Do Your Research on Teams and Players
First off, we will strongly suggest you do good and extensive research whenever you place an MLB bet. It is important that you check the teams’ and players’ forms before you bet for or against them.
See how teams compete against each other in recent outings; check whether there are any injured players; see what the form of the players is; etc. It might seem like a lot of work, but this is the basis of any MLB bet.
Always Check the Weather
Don’t be a lazy bettor and overlook some key aspects. The weather is always a very important factor you need to consider when placing an MLB bet. It might sound like a minor thing, but the weather conditions can have a big impact on the outcome of the baseball game.
Check the Location of the Game
An often overlooked factor is city elevation. As an example, Denver is a city that is a mile above sea level. As is the case with other highly-elevated cities, the air has a lower density, and some teams traditionally struggle with these conditions.
Look at the Schedule
As mentioned above, there are 162 games in the MLB over 180 days. This means that the schedule is pretty tight, with teams having games all the time. So, an MLB team playing after a day or two of rest will usually perform much better than their opponents who didn’t have a rest.
Bet Against Pitchers Going Though Lineup for the Third Time
Finally, this is a live bet that you need to place on an MLB game. The logic here is very simple – by the time a hitter goes head to head against a pitcher for the third time, he will know the types of pitches the pitcher throws.
Additionally, the pitcher has probably hit so many pitches by that time that this one might not be quite as sharp as the first ones.
How To Bet On Baseball
We at betting.io make sure to leave no stone unturned when MLB betting is in question. Therefore, now we can take a look at how you can start your baseball betting adventure.
Find a Licensed Bookie and Sign Up
A licenced and secure bookmaker is the bare minimum here. You need to check whether the operator has a valid licence and an SSL certificate, which are proof that your personal information is safe. Only after that can you complete the registration process, which shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
Deposit and Claim the Welcome Bonus
All bookmakers will ask you to make your first deposit before you are able to wager and use the welcome bonus. Once you deposit, check whether there is any bonus for baseball and claim it if it matches your preferences in terms of wagering requirements, duration, structure, etc.
Start Betting on Baseball
You can now start with the fun part—betting on baseball. See which games and betting markets you have at your disposal and place your first bet. Of course, before you make your bet, you need to do your homework in terms of research.
Withdraw Your Winnings
Hopefully, not long after making that first baseball bet, you will win. Then, it will be time to withdraw your winnings, and do with them what you see fit.
Most Common Baseball Betting Mistakes
In the article, we mentioned some of the guidelines you need to follow and implement with your baseball bets. However, there are also some aspects that we would recommend you avoid. Let’s see them in more detail.
Not Knowing the Baseball Players in the Game
So, once again, research is the key to all baseball bets, meaning that you need to be familiar with all players. You can just place a bet blindly, without knowing which players play the game or what their current form is.
There are always clear favourites in each baseball game, but that doesn’t mean that they always win. Upsets happen all the time in baseball, so backing the favourites is not a good strategy in the long term.
Not Setting a Budget
Having control over your betting budget is arguably the most important factor you need to consider when registering on a sports betting site. Gambling addiction can be a serious problem if you don’t prevent it early, so make sure to always set a budget. Most experienced punters have a monthly baseball betting budget, and they never step out of it. This is how you will make sure that baseball betting always remains a nice pastime activity and nothing more than that.
Picking the Wrong Bookmaker
We cannot stress the importance of a good bookmaker enough, and that is why we mentioned it a few times in this article. A good bookmaker will offer you plenty of betting opportunities and markets for each baseball game.
Moreover, world-class baseball bookmakers will have competitive odds, so your potential winnings will be higher than those of an average bookie.
Is it Safe to Bet on Baseball?
Baseball betting is generally considered to be a very safe activity as long as you stick to our general guidelines above.
We would strongly advise you to implement all of the above-mentioned tips, but a couple of them stand out for all beginners. First off, you need to register at a safe bookie so you are never subject to fraud. Second, it is vital that you have control over your baseball betting budget. These two aspects are a good starting point for all newbies in the baseball betting world.
What do moneyline odds mean in baseball?
Moneyline odds are very common in baseball, and they work very simply. Baseball games have two teams playing against each other. The favourite in the game will have a minus sign, while the underdog will have a plus sign in the bookmaker.
Where is baseball most popular?
Even though people all around the world follow baseball, we cannot help but notice that the sport is most popular in the USA.
Which baseball betting types do baseball bookies offer?
There are tonnes of betting types you can find at reliable baseball bookies around the world. Some of the most common ones include moneylines, run lines, totals, parlays, futures, prop bets, and live bets.