Baseball is another popular sport to bet on and for good reason. Due to the lack of a salary cap unlike the other three major American sports, there is a severe lack of parity. You often see the same teams at the top of the standings due to the big market teams being able to afford the big fish free agents. All MLB owners also participate in profit sharing, so there is very little incentive to win simply because they are all going to get paid no matter what. This is why you consistently see teams like the Marlins have little to no fans in the stands game after game. The owner is still going to make a profit off of the other teams in the MLB, so why would a a frugal owner want to pay up for good coaching/analytics/players? This creates a massive disparity between the best and worst teams in baseball.
Due to the reasons mentioned above, baseball spreads and moneylines can become heavily juiced to the point where they are almost unbeatable. The “Run Line” as it’s referred to in baseball, is almost always -1.5 for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdog. This means the favorite would have to win by 2 runs or more for you to win your bet. If the favorite wins by only one run, the bet is lost.
You can bet the game outright by betting the moneyline, meaning the team you wager on simply has to win for you to win your bet. However, if it’s a heavy favorite against a poor team like Dodgers v. Pirates, the odds can get up to -350 or worse, so moneyline parlays are an option to get those odds down to a more acceptable number.
Combined runs scored by both teams in the game. Baseball totals can vary due to a number of different factors. Ballpark dimensions are different for all 30 teams. This variability results in unique pitching and hitting environments for teams, causing ballparks to be “hitter’s parks” or “pitcher’s parks” depending on those dimensions.
Some teams have domes or retractable roofs, but most ballparks are outdoors. This causes the weather to become a factor in the totals too, for example, if the wind is blowing in at Wrigley Field, every flyball is going to result in an out since the wind is causing every ball to stay in the park, and that total might be closer to 6.5 for an over/under. Now if that wind is blowing out from the home plate and causing every flyball to carry leading to more home runs, the total will likely be closer to 10 or 11 runs at that same exact ballpark simply due to the weather.
The baseball itself has been changed in structure without warning from the MLB multiple times over the past few years, causing outlandish hitting and pitching statistics depending on which ball they were using that particular year. Certain teams are better at hitting righty pitchers versus lefty pitchers, which can also influence the total.
First 5 Innings:
Often referred to as F5 (First 5), this is a popular way to bet on baseball, as it only takes into account the first 5 innings of the game. After the bottom of the 5th concludes with three outs being made, this bet is over. You can bet F5 moneyline, so if the team you wagered on is winning at the end of 5 innings, you would win your bet. If they are tied at the end of 5 innings, the bet is void. And obviously, if the team you wagered on is losing at the end of 5 innings you would lose that bet. You can also bet on the F5 spread, which is normally -0.5 runs for the favorite and +0.5 for the underdog. This is at better odds for the favorite than the F5 moneyline, due to the inherent risk of a draw at the end of 5 innings resulting in a loss for a -0.5 F5 bet. So, if you bet the Rockies -0.5 F5 and they were tied at the end of 5 innings, you would lose that bet. F5 totals are also available to bet on.
The advantage of betting the F5 is due to the more predictable nature of starting pitchers. Starting pitchers start every 5th day typically, so you can target certain matchups and avoid the headache of trying to figure out who will be coming out of the bullpen when the starter inevitably gets taken out. You also don’t have to risk the bullpen ruining a good start and blowing a lead late in the game, since the bet concludes after the first five innings.
“No Runs First Inning” is another baseball bet growing in popularity. If the score is 0-0 after the first inning, the bet wins. If a run is scored in the 1st inning, the bet loses. If two highly skilled pitchers are on the mound, the odds can be -130 or worse, but normally this line hovers around -110.
Player props can be divided into two different categories, hitters and pitchers. Then they can be broken down further, for hitters you can bet on hits, home runs, runs scored, stolen bases, runs batted in, total bases, singles, and doubles all at varying odds. Pitchers can also be wagered; strikeouts, outs recorded and to record a win are the statistics available to bet on.