Beginner’s Guide To Betting On Baseball

Bettors who aren’t familiar with the different types of baseball bets often report experiencing betting on the MLB as daunting or even outright difficult. And even though this isn’t actually the case, it’s easy to understand why the experience is one of “too difficult to wade in”.

The good news is that even though betting on MLB games may be a very different experience than placing wagers on basketball or football games and matches, once bettors figure out baseball bets, they find that it becomes quite simple.

Below is a basic introduction to MLB bets – made simple.

Money Line Bets

In order to illustrate the money line bet, and how it works, we will use a $100 bet for the purpose of our example.

In every pre-game scenario, there will be a team that is favoured, which money line will carry a minus sign (e.g. Red Sox -125), and an underdog, which bet will be accompanied by a plus sign on the money line (e.g. Astros +115). According to our example, in order for a bettor to win $100, they would have to actually wager $125 on the Red Sox.

This is because they are the favoured team. Vice versa, since the Astros are (in our example!) the so-called underdogs, the odds are considerably more in the bettor’s favour. Or in other words, what the plus sign implies is that betting $100 Houston will result in a $115 win in the event that the Astros win the game.

Dime Lines Explained

A dime line simply refers to the fact that the difference between the money line on the favourite and the money line on the underdog is limited to only 10. For e.g., Red Sox -140/Astros +130 would constitute a dime line.

The beginner bettor may not realise this at first, but anyone serious about gaining value from betting on baseball will always look for a bookie providing dime lines.

Baseball Run Lines

The run line is basically the MLB’s version of point spread betting, allowing the punter to bet on the likelihood of the favourite beating the underdog by more than a run. The bettor can also bet on whether the underdog (the team unlikely to win) will keep the game within the scope of a run. The convention is usually to value a run line at -1.5 and +1.5.

Totals Betting

This is perhaps the one bet punters find easy to understand – whether betting on football or baseball or basketball. The totals bet simply means the bettor is placing a wager on the combined number of runs scored by each team in the game.

The initial value is always set by the bookmaker, whereafter the bettor will bet on the likelihood of an overperformance or an under-performance, i.e., more or less than the set value.

MLB Parlays

Again, not unlike parlay bets wagered in basketball or football, baseball parlay bets work on exactly the same concept as every other sport. This means that the punter must win all of the relevant parlays making up the total wager in order to score a payout.