MLB betting types

The Basics
4 Min
betting types

Baseball is the ultimate sport for the statistician. Analytics have revolutionized the game, shaped organizations, and fundamentally changed how all of us enjoy Major League Baseball. You can’t get to the seventh-inning stretch without seeing an assortment of unfamiliar acronyms.

In the right hands, these are helpful, a North Star to ships making a 162-game voyage. For those of us that forgot our dusty calculators in our desk before school, it can be overwhelming. With how commonplace these numbers have become, the modern game has infiltrated every aspect of our baseball experience.

Subsequently, it’s natural to be apprehensive about betting on baseball. It got Pete Rose in a lot of trouble and it can get you in some, too, if you’re not careful. That’s why we at Bet Basics want to help you dip your toes in, responsibly.

Knowing the various types of baseball bets and how to take advantage of them is key in staying back on the curveballs the sportsbooks will throw at you.


Major League Baseball Bet Types

Moneyline bets are simply bets on which team will win the game. They are the simplest and most frequently-placed baseball bet. So, how do we place moneyline bets?

The favorite, denoted with a (-) next to their line, is the team that is projected to win. For example, the New York Mets may be favored to win on Opening Day, with a moneyline of -150. This means you would need to place $150 down to net $100 in profit if the Mets were to win.

Using the Bet Basics betting calculator, we can find that decimals odds for a -150 bet is 1.67. The decimal odds format is just the Payout (the bet amount + the profit you would make) divided by the bet amount. We can also learn that the implied probability of a -150 wager is 60%. Implied probability is the percent chance of an event occurring based on the line. A common line sportsbook use is -110, which has an implied probability of 52.38%.

It is not wise to merely bet on the biggest favorites though. If a heavy favorite loses, you will likely have to take even riskier bets to make up those losses. Of course, it goes both ways. A +500 underdog could net $500 profit, but there’s approximately a 16.67% chance of winning.

Remember, with any bet, it is important to shop around various sportsbooks to find the best possible line. FanDuel may have the San Diego Padres winning their next game with -120 odds, while BetMGM is offering -130. Going with the latter would net you less money if the Padres were to win.

Over time, those slight edges between books add up. Thankfully, by using Bet Basics team cards, the best odds are already sorted for you. Instead of wasting time scrambling through multiple sportsbooks while the starter takes his warm up pitches, a matter of clicks can put you in position to win. Bet Basics is the ultimate odds comparison site, making you the most profitable bettor you can be.

Run Line bets are baseball’s equivalent to against the spread (ATS) bets. Like ATS bets, the favorite must win by more than a given run differential. In most, if not all cases, that spread/run line will be 1.5 runs. Thus, a favored Tampa Bay Rays team must win by at least two runs. If their opponent, say, the Boston Red Sox, wins or loses by a single run, the Rays will have failed to cover.

Unlike football and basketball where scores and their differentials vary greatly, baseball is typically a more tightly-contested affair. As a result, instead of the typical -110 odds for ATS bets, run lines will have a wide range of odds tied to them. A team that is favored but isn’t expected to win by much may have +140 odds to cover the 1.5 runs, where an underdog could be at -140 to cover.

Essentially, run lines measure Vegas’ confidence in the game being close, not the actual spread of the game. However, you may be able to find alternate run lines to find exaggerated odds on -2.5 or -3.5 and so on.

You may find yourself betting on an underdog to cover when they have a starting pitching advantage against a better team, such as Sandy Alcántara against the Philadelphia Phillies. Of course, make sure you’re using Bet Basics to find the best possible odds.

Totals bets are your basic over/under bets. The sportsbook combines the projected run totals from either team to formulate a projected score. Adding each team’s run total up nets you a total, like 8.5. Think the Yankees bats are going to be hot tonight? Take the over. Expect a pitching duel between two mid-rotation starters like Dane Dunning and Steven Matz? You’ll find yourself betting on the under. Just hope it doesn’t go to extra innings.

Many books also provide options to bet on the over/under on a specific team’s total, rather than the game. If you are only confident in one side of a particular contest, this bet may be for you.

Prop bets are wagers placed on a specific event or condition from a given game. They can be split into two categories: game props and plater props. Game props attempt to answer less team-centered questions about the game.

Will there be extra innings? Will the home team score the first run?

The most famous MLB game prop is a No Run First Inning bet. Simply answering the question of whether or not a run will score before six outs are recorded gives bettors an adrenaline rush right off the bat.

Some books even allow you to live bet the result of the very next pitch!

MLB player props, on the other hand, focus on individual performances.

How many total bases will Cedric Mullins record? Will Shohei Ohtani record more than 9.5 strikeouts in his next start? Will Aaron Judge hit a home run? Bets on position players to come through at the plate often have longer odds, while strikeout lines for starters hover around -110. Whether you’re betting strikeouts on PointsBet or total bases on DraftKings, player props are unique, daily wagers to spice up your night.

If you use the Bet Basics player cards, you’ll be the first to find quality player props all season long. We even include the helping hand of relevant statistics!

Futures bets won’t help you tonight, but offer lucrative odds for tomorrow. They are bets placed on more distant events. Betting on the Cleveland Guardians to win the American League Central, the Toronto Blue Jays to win the pennant, or the Seattle Mariners to win it all are each examples of futures bets.

Furthermore, you can also make futures bets for players. If you believe in Juan Soto leading the league in home runs or Corbin Burnes to win the Cy Young, there’s a futures selection waiting for you. Thanks to Bet Basics putting the best odds first, you’ll spend less time shopping around futures lines. Save time and increase your profits, sometimes up to 300%. If Unibet is offering +500 on Buck Showalter to win Manager of the Year while SuperBook lists him at +350, there’s an edge to take advantage of. With Bet Basics by your side, you’ll be the first to know.

What makes these bets interesting is the ebbs and flows of the six-month marathon. Figuring out if an MVP candidate is slumping or utterly lost can be the difference between a long odds victory or a waste of a unit. If you were the early bird on the San Francisco Giants’ most recent 100-win season, you may be able to buy the Oakland Athletics.

Betting on futures is an art, balancing timing, information, and the intentions of the oddsmakers.

Whether you’re confident in your skills or looking to make your own Rookie of the Year campaign, Bet Basics is here to help with guides, insights, tools, and picks to make your betting experience the best it can be.
What else does Bet Basics offer?
Whether you’re confident in your skills or looking to make your own Rookie of the Year campaign, Bet Basics is here to help with guides, insights, tools, and picks to make your betting experience the best it can be.

Compare odds from various sportsbooks to find the best odds. Read our reviews to compare sportsbooks and find the best match for your betting needs. Check out our picks and predictions, and when you’re ready to make a bet yourself, use our player and team cards.

There, you’ll find the best lines across the biggest sportsbooks, important statistics, and even tips to reveal recent trends in player performance and betting behavior.

From finding where the money is flowing to comparing sportsbooks to maximize profits, Bet Basics is your home base for all things betting. Be sure to sign up for a FREE Bet Basics account to gain even more insights, exclusive bonuses, projections, and even competitions.

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