How to Bet on MLB

Alisa Barladyan
30 Mar 2021

MLB is watched by many sports fans and it is wagered on by even more bettors. Today we are going to learn why exactly is MLB so popular and how does it really work?

How does the MLB work?

The Major League Baseball or MLB consists of two leagues: the National League (NL) and the American League (AL). They are composed of 15 teams each, which makes a total of 30 teams. All of them play 162 games per season. Afterwards 10 teams (5 from each league) continue the elimination journey in a four-round tournament that leads to the World Series, (best-of-seven series between two teams). And that’s pretty much it. With most sports on holidays, MLB is a good option for summer betting since it lasts from March to October.

MLB Betting Strategy

How to approach betting on the MLB? That’s easy. Just like when you bet on any other sport. The truth is when it comes to betting you better know your sport like no one else does. Never rush in and blindly bet on whatever looks pretty. There are tons and tons of facts and details you might want to consider learning before even thinking to place a bet. Once you’ve read about MLB and types of bets and chose your sportsbook it is time to go deeper. The next thing you want to be paying attention to is the starting pitcher. This person will not only be the first pitcher in the game, but will most likely pitch for a significant part of the game that’s why you want to be sure that this person will perform well. Most bettors check the pitcher’s statistics before the game, you should probably give it a look too. However, that’s not the only thing you should include in your strategy. The next thing in your list should be the baseball park. Why is the ballpark so important? Well, you’ll be surprised, but unlike other sports, in baseball not all parks are the same. Yes, you heard it right. For example it may have different proportions or wall height. Although players are used to all kinds of parks, some parks are considered to be more friendly to hitters rather than pitchers and vice versa. Next stop on the list is recent performances. Check how well did your team for the last couple of weeks. You might see the pattern that will help you make your bet. Home or away matches are also important. If a team is travelling take into account that it might be jet lagged. Umpires are very important when betting. Some umpires call strikes much more generously and some are known for calling fewer strikes meaning more batters reach base. This is very important when making over and under bets. Your strategy may include more tips and over the time you will see it change and evolve and it’s a good thing when betting because you can’t just rely on one factor.

Types of MLB bets

MLB bets are similar to the bets on other sports. Here you will find a wide variety of betting options that fit newbies and experienced bettors. So let’s take a look at them.


Moneyline is a rather easy bet. It implies choosing the winner of the game. So the bookie sets the line representing the favorite (-) and the underdog(+). In this case, team A has a favored line of -200 and team B has the underdog line of +170. This means that if you decide to back team A you need to wager $200 to win $100. Unfortunately, backing a moneyline favorite always pays less. On the other side, if you back team B with a $100 bet you might win $170. And that’s the moneyline, newbies!


Runline for MLB is what point spread is for other sports, only MLB teams get a 1.5-run spread on a game. For example: Team A is a favorite so it receives (-1.5 run) and team B is an underdog so it receives (+1.5 run). Team A wins if its run total is still greater than team B’s after the handicap is deducted from its final run total On the other hand, team B wins if its final score is still greater after the handicap is added to the final run total. So basically, a favorite team needs to win at least by 2 runs to win the game, while the underdog must lose by 1 run or win outright for your bet to payout.


MLB totals are the same as any other totals bets. In this case, the bookie sets the odds at 10.5 You simply pick whether the final score will be over or under 10.5. So let’s say team A and team B scored together 12 points. This means that an over bet won (10.5<12) And if you were to bet on under you assumed that the combined score of both teams will be equal or less to 10. Which in this case didn’t happen and you’d probably lose an under bet.


Parlays are great because they allow you to combine moneyline, runline and totals from one or more games. For example: You want to make a runline bet on team A (-1.5 run) and at the same time make an over bet of 3 points. With parlay bet this combination and many others are possible at one single bet. Just remember that all legs of a parlay must win for your bet to payout.

Other bets (futures, prop bets)

Now that we’ve learned the main betting markets you’ll be offered at any possible bookie, let’s head to the other options that sometimes are harder to find.


Futures are very popular when betting and futures betting on the MLB is no exclusion. This bet means literally what it sounds and more specifically a bet on an event that will take place in the future. The MLB’s most popular futures bet is, of course, which team will be crowned the World Series champion. You can also wager on who will win MVP and many others.

Proposition Bets

Prop bets are fun to bet because they allow you to wager on a specific player or you can come up with your own individual prop bet. For example: how many run/bases/ strikeouts will a player have? Props are usually set at a precise total by the bookie and players have to pick whether it will be an over or under bet.

Where to bet on MLB games?

When picking a bookie you might want to be sure that it covers all baseball games and events. Also check beforehand that it offers all major betting markets like moneyline, runline, totals, futures, props, and so on. Pay attention to the odds presented at this bookie. You always want to choose a bookie with competitive odds or even above the market odds. Live-streaming and in-play betting are usually offered by most major bookies so if you are interested in these options then it won’t hurt considering them.


The MLB games are very popular among bettors. World Series and All-Star game are one of the most expected events in sports universe. You want to be prepared for when time comes to swing the bat. If you’ve read the above mentioned strategy you might have a chance to enjoy betting on MLB. Remember to always question the lines and trust your knowledge and instincts. Choose a bookie with experience and wide range of betting markets and, of course, don’t bet over your head.  

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