Learntobet USA Sports Information: Baseball [BUY OUR COURSE]
WHY BET ON BASEBALL?
It's an active and compulsive sport with many unpredictable score turnarounds
There are many different betting markets, including in-play and spread betting
Extensive television coverage provides plenty of scope for in-play betting
There is lots of research to help you fine-tune your bets
It's a strong betting market
BACKGROUND TO BASEBALL
Baseball is a bat and ball game between two teams of 9 players who take turns batting and fielding.
Baseball is arguably the national sport of America and is also a major sport in Canada, Japan and Cuba.
Baseball is big business and, like American Football, operates through a franchise system with strong links to the collegiate game. There are no official figures on USA baseball betting but sources estimate turnover at over $100 billion dollars per annum.
TOP TIPS TO BETTING ON BASEBALL
In the USA and Canada professional major league baseball teams are divided into the National League and American League, each with three divisions ie East, Central and West. The major league champion is determined by play-offs between the leagues that progress to the World Series.
The most common way of betting on Baseball is through betting on MLB (Major League Baseball), and the 30 teams that play within it. Each of the 30 teams plays 162 games, that means there are 2430 games of baseball spread out over a period between April and October, on almost a daily basis. That is only the regular season, and doesn't even include the knockout stages.
This is where punters bet on teams pre-season to make the play-offs or win the World Series.
Odds will be available through most of the sportsbooks in Vegas, New York & South America, and via the major bookmakers and betting exchanges in the UK and Europe. This market is available throughout the season as league fixtures progress.
TOP TIPS FOR ANTE POST PUNTERS
Compare prices from all outlets and take the best odds
Look to hedge or lay off if your bets are progressing well
Keep an eye on injuries and overall player form
The most familiar market is match odds (also known as Moneyline). In this market, you are identifying which team is going to win. For example, the New York Yankees are playing against the Boston Redsox. The New York Yankees are priced at 1.5 (or 1 to 2), and the Redsox are priced at 3 (2 to 1). Remember there are no draws in baseball. If you back the New York Yankees for £10, you'll receive £15 if they win (that's your initial £10 stake plus £5 profit). If they lose, you'll lose your £10 stake. Punters frequently place multiple bets (Parlays) where they select several teams to win in one set of fixtures.
Another extremely popular market is the handicap market, where a team is given a slight edge in order to even the game. We'll use the Yankees v Redsox again as an example, The Yankees have a -2.5 Run Handicap and you could back that at 1.91 (10 to 11) or you could back the Redsox +2.5 Runs at 1.91 (10 to 11).
In the first option, which is the Yankees -2.5 Run Handicap, you win £10 for every £11 you stake, that's providing the Yankees win by 3 runs or more
The second option is backing Redsox +2.5 : this means that if Boston win, or lose by 2 or less, you win £10 for every £11 you stake
In this market, you are predicting the number of runs in this game, similar to the over/under markets in football. The main difference is that this varies for every game, and is not centred on 2.5 goals, as in football. This will usually be another market priced at 1.91 (10 to 11) either way. So for example, the game could have a run total of over 8.5 or under 8.5. If you think there will be more than 8 runs in the game, and the game finishes 6-5, then you will win, if it finishes 6-0 you will lose.
5 INNINGS MATCH ODDS
This is most comparable to the half-time match odds market in soccer. It is essentially the score of the game after 5 innings, and if it is a tie, all bets are voided. This market is based on the strength on the two teams' starting pitchers, as they are expected to last at least half the game. The bets are usually voided if one of the two starting pitchers fails to start the game.
As each team plays 162 games each, it's not very practical to play a team in one city for one day, and then travel to the next city for another game. Baseball games between two teams are often played in a series of three games, and you can win on the overall series' winner. So If Boston are visiting New York for three games, and believe that Boston can win at least two games, but you don't know which of the three, you can back Boston to win the series, and providing they win 2 of the 3 games, you win your bet.
As with any team sport played in a league, you can bet on the overall winner of the league as well as on the two finalists. There are also special bets such as:
when will Player X hit his 600th home run? or
when will Player Y get his 3,000th hit?