Would you like to know how to bet on baseball and win? While we can’t guarantee you sure-fire winning baseball bets, what we can do is to help you with some advice. Read our article to understand what bets are available, what statistics mean and what you should know before betting on baseball.
How to bet on Baseball: The basics
The markets available to bet on baseball are actually very simple. On ProTipster we offer tips in four markets:
- Team to win: Which of the two teams will win the match.
- Home team total: How many runs will the home team score? This is an over/under market with a line set by the bookmaker. Each bet should have odds around 1.90
- Away team total: This is the exact same bet as the one above, but for the away team.
- Total: How many runs will be scored in the match? This is also an over/under market with a line set by the bookie.
Each bet applies to the whole match including extra innings. This means that there is no draw option in the “Team to win” market, making it a simple two-way bet.
How to bet on Baseball: Understanding the game
One of the best things to do before placing any bet on baseball is to look at the form of teams before the game. There are several variables that are worth looking at before choosing your bet. We’ve outlined the most important below.
The Starting Pitchers
Each team will have a “rotation” of starting pitchers. This is because pitching is very hard on human body and as such a pitcher will only start once in every five games. Before placing your bet it’s important to check which pitcher is due to pitch in the game – teams usually confirm four to five days in advance this sort of information.
Each pitcher will have a wealth of statistics about them. The most important two for beginners are ERA and WHIP.
ERA stands for Earned Run Average and is the average of earned runs given up by a pitcher for every nine innings pitched. An ERA of 3.00 or lower is considered to be good for a starting pitcher.
WHIP stands for Walks plus Hits per Innings Pitched. This measures the number of batters a pitcher will allow to reach base per inning that they have pitched. An average WHIP is 1.32, while a WHIP of below 1.00 is considered elite.
While nine players will bat for each team in Major League Baseball, there are minor differences between the American League and the National League. AL teams use the “Designated Hitter” rule, where one batter will play in place of the pitcher. In inter-league games, the DH is used if the AL team are at home.
It’s important to look at the statistics of batters in a team’s lineup before placing your bet. There are various stats available but the most important are BA and OBP.
BA stands for Batting Average and is calculated by dividing the number of hits a batter has by the number of At Bats. Batters with a BA under 0.200 in the major leagues are considered poor while batters with a BA over 0.300 are generally seen as good.
OBP stands for On Base Percentage and is calculated by dividing the total hits, walks and hit-by-pitch a batter has by the total of at-bats, walks, hit-by-pitch and sacrifice flies. OBP is a good way to look at how often a batter will get on base and is a more reliable metric than BA in many ways. A good batter will have an OBP of 0.360 or better.
For those who are really interested in statistics it is also possible to check stats for batters against left- and right-handed pitching as these numbers can change massively for some.
How to bet on baseball: Other variables
There are two other main variables that come into play when looking to bet on baseball. These are home ground advantage and the weather.
The home-ground advantage is more than just about the volume of a crowd in a stadium. Every stadium has slightly different dimensions which affect how far a batter has to hit the ball for a home run.
There are also external factors that can affect how a ball travels. For example, Coors Field, which is the home of the Colorado Rockies is situated at altitude in the city of Denver. The air is thinner there so the ball travels further, making it a very hitter-friendly park. In the same division, San Francisco Giants play at AT&T Park which is situated right next to San Francisco Bay. The sea air is much more humid and as such harder, for the ball to travel through, making AT&T Park a pitcher-friendly park.
Baseball can be played indoor or outdoor. While some teams play in indoor stadiums many are still open to the elements, meaning wind and rain can affect games heavily. A strong wind may make the ball hold up more in the air making it harder for batters to hit, or make the ball travel further making homers easier to achieve.
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