Baseball season will start today with the first game between Toronto Blue Jays and NY Yankees and many sports bettors will bet and try to win. MLB betting is one of the most interesting markets.
If you are new to betting, new to baseball betting, or if you are an experienced MLB bettor, I want to share some of the very useful tips that I used for myself.
MLB betting market & How to bet on baseball?
Different sports and leagues focus on different betting markets. For example, the most popular bet type in NFL betting is point spread betting or in soccer leagues 1-x-2 betting.
In baseball betting, this is moneyline betting. In other words, we need to pick a team that will win the game. And MLB moneyline betting is also my favorite bet type.
The list of popular baseball bet types and betting markets:
- Moneyline – picking a team to win. Example: Red Sox +134. If you bet $100 on Red Sox +134, you would make a profit of +$134 if they are a winner at the end of MLB match.
- Run Line – is the version of handicap or point spread betting, where the team is given some points (runs) befor the game starts. Example: Red Sox (-1.5) +110. To win this bet, Red Sox must win by at least 2 runs. And this case your $100 bet would make a profit of +$110.
- 1st half betting – First half betting focus is on first 5 innings, which is very interesting for bettors because they can pay attention to starting pitchers and not the whole baseball game. Their bet is won or lost depends o what happens in the first 5 innings. Most of the bet types are moneylines, totals or some bookmakers also offer 1-x-2, where x is another possible outcome – draw.
- Totals or Over / Under betting – In this case, we bet baseball games on the total runs. There are some variations of totals betting, like for the full game, half-game or even for the team and how many runs this team will score independently if they win or lose. But the most popular is MLB betting on Under/Over for the full game. Example: Under 10.5, that means that if the total score in the game is (Red Sox vs NYY) 3-6, you won a bet. 3 runs + 6 runs = a total of 9 runs, which is less than 10.5 runs.
- Player propositions – This bet type is more and more popular among baseball bettors and it is basically betting on players’ performance. It usually comes as a total bet type. Example: Trout home runs – Over 1.5. In this case, your bet will be won if Mike Trout hits more than 2 home runs.
How I bet baseball and my last season results?
Baseball betting season 2020 was very unusual because of Covid situation, but we still managed to make a profit.
- 63 -47-6, +15.20 (Yield: +10.14%, CLV: +1.65%)
I was using my baseball betting model to bet on MLB games.
Every single game was independently analyzed, where the goal of the model was to get the probabilities of different outcomes.
These probabilities were turned into the odds and then compared with bookmakers’ odds. If there was enough big discrepancy between my numbers and bookmakers numbers, this was considered as a qualified baseball bet.
To identify MLB value bets, I used adjusted kelly criterium.
Mistakes to avoid in baseball betting 2021
Here are the common mistakes that bettors make.
#1 FOCUSING ON WINNERS
Don’t focus on winners in MLB sports betting. The whole concept of winning in sports betting is based on value. Sports bettors usually try to pick a winner and they can be lucky in short run, but on the long run, and especially in baseball betting, where we have more than 2000 games in one season, only focusing on the value makes sense.
#2 FADING or GOING with the STREAKS
Every baseball game from a betting perspective is an independent and unique event. This is why we need to analyze every single game with current matchups and situations. If one team lost 5 in a row, that doesn’t mean that they will win (or lose) the next game. The next game is unique match and we need to identify value bet based on available market odds.
#3: SPORT vs MARKET
Baseball is a sport. Baseball betting is a market. Those are two different things and many baseball fans and baseball gamblers confuse these two things. In betting, we must beat the market and the numbers. The love for baseball or being a baseball fan is not very helpful, if you can not turn your knowledge into probabilities.
#4: MAINSTREAM STATISTICS
An average baseball bettor rely on mainstream statistics, like ERA, batting average and similar information that he can find on ESPN and similar sites. Usually, these MLB statistics are not useful and have very little (if any) predictive power.
#5: NUMBERS & STATISTICS ARE NOT IMPORTANT
This is something we hear all the time. I constantly hear that statistics are not important, that we need to pick winners, etc… Baseball is all about statistics. We have amazing information about past MLB games and the whole science about baseball stats and data is called sabermetrics.
Trends are very dangerous and don’t help us to predict future probabilities of the games. Trends are used as mainstream information for bettors who write analyses and don’t use other probabilistic methods. Trends are just the result of data mining and we can almost always find a contra-trend.
#7 BLINDLY BETTING on MLB UNDERDOGS (FAVOURITES)
There is no such pattern. It is always only a value or no value. The market will always adjust and such patterns can not be profitable.
- UNDEDOGS SINCE 2010: -$106,545 (ROI -4.3%)
- UNDERDOGS 2020: -$4,562 (ROI: -4.9%)
- FAVOURITES SINCE 2010: -$12,467 (ROI: -0.3%)
- FAVOURITES 2020: -$274 (ROI: -0.2%)
Useful tips for MLB sports bettors in a new season
#1 STRATEGY AND BANKROLL
Always have the goal, strategy and bet a small proportion of your bankroll. It is recommended to use 1% as a unit.
#2 DON’T WATCH GAMES
Watching games is for most bettors complete waste of time. There is a big confusion between betting and being a baseball fan. Most bettors are just sports fans and gamblers, who watch games, because it is exciting. But in reality once the game starts (if we talk about pre-game betting), we simply don’t have any influence on the outcome of this game. This time can be spent much better for betting education or building your own MLB sports betting model. Some bettors will say, that watching games can help them better predict the next game, which is complete nonsense. In this case, watching games would be collecting and analyzing the data with our brains and eyes, which is not possible. It is also not possible to watch all games to collect the data properly. Because of that, we have very good sites like fangraphs or baseball-reference, that collect the data for us. Unfortunately, many times watching + betting is just another addiction.
#3 BET EARLY & DON’T Follow baseball betting picks
Beating the closing line in baseball betting is important. In other words, that means, that you get better odds than other who bet just before the game starts. The MLB odds just before the game starts is most efficient and because of that is not possible to beat in the long run.
#4 STARTING PITCHER’S HAND
Always pay attention to starting pitchers’ hand. Some teams are better versus left-handed pitchers, some teams are better versus right-handed pitchers.
#5 BULLPEN IS IMPORTANT
Around 30% of the games are decided by the bullpen. Bullpen are reserve players who will replace the starting pitcher. Many baseball bettors pay attention only to starting pitchers, but in average starting pitchers pitch around 5 innings. The last 3-4 innings are very important and this is where the game will be decided. Teams with good bullpens have a huge advantage. Never ignore bullpens.
#6 TRACK YOUR BETS
Every serious sports bettor tracks his bets. This will give you a better picture of your MLB betting season and you can modify or adjust your betting model or baseball betting system that you use.
#7 BOOKMAKERS, GOOD ODDS and LISTED PITCHERS in 2021
Find a reliable bookmaker or sportsbook. Not all bookmakers will allow you to win hundreds of thousands of dollars, but there are still good bookmakers who will pay you if you win and who offer very good and competitive odds. Selecting a sportsbook always comes with your location, so there is no general rule, where to bet. Good options, if you can bet here, are sharp bookmakers and betting exchanges like Pinnacle, Matchbook, 5Dimes… some very good offshore betting sites for US bettors, like Bovada, Betonline,…. or if you bet baseball with bitcoins check nitrogensports or Cludbet.
Note also, that most bookmakers will not have listed pitchers this season. In the past when we bet on baseball games, the pitchers were listed and if in some cases pitchers were scratched from the games, just before the game started, the bet was canceled. This season this will not happen. Bet is accepted no matter if the pitcher will be changed later.
#8 READ MLB COVID NEWS DAILY
Another very useful tip is to check news and injuries regularly. Because of the covid situation, there can be more lineup changes and you must take this into account when you make MLB Betting analysis. These news can be found on any site and usually good reference is MLB.com.
My baseball betting strategy for MLB season 2021
- Using my betting model to project my odds
- I will use different sources to find info about starting pitchers and lineups
- Compare my odds versus bookmakers odds
- Bet on a value based on my adjk kelly criteria
- 1 unit = 1% (most bets will be from 1-3 units)
- Doubleheaders will be played with half of the recommended unit
- My target this season = 20 units
I wish you a successful baseball betting season!
If you want to learn more about me, my betting methods and how I built sports betting models – Sign Up Here For a Free Sports Betting Course.
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