No other American sport has the rich history of the country’s national pastime: baseball dates all the way back to the mid-19th century, and has lived through a Civil War, two World Wars, and a new millennium. There’s a reason it has been able to withstand the test of time—relatively easy to understand, baseball is fun to play, fun to watch, has a unique pace, and involves a great deal of strategy. With over a century of rich history and rivalries, there’s no better sport to bet on than Major League Baseball. So grab some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, and let’s talk more about MLB betting.
There are no games bigger in baseball than the World Series. The annual, best-of-seven series crowns the greatest team in the Major League, and games are tense, action-packed, and filled with emotion. Make the biggest event in the sport even more exciting with a wager.
To get to the World Series, MLB teams need to get through multiple rounds of playoffs. With rivalries and elimination on the line, these multi-game series are some of the best games baseball has to offer.
The rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox is one of the most famous in all of sports. As two of the largest markets and most popular teams nationwide, both of these teams attract huge stars and are often American League and World Series contenders. The legend of this rivalry was strengthened after the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees, known as the “Curse of the Bambino,” after which Boston didn’t win another World Series for 86 years.
Known as the “Battle of the Bay,” the rivalry between the Giants and the Dodgers dates back to the late 19th century, when both teams were located in New York City and were known as the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. Since moving to the west coast in the 1950s, the rivalry has been fueled by success and proximity. The series has been marked by a number of notable events, perhaps the most famous being the “Shot Heard Round the World,” when Bobby Thomson hit a walk-off home run for the Giants in 1951 to win the National League pennant.
With several ways to bet on baseball and add excitement to the game, it’s no wonder MLB betting is so popular among sports fans. You can bet on everything from the outcome of the game and overall season results to the performance of a single player. Learn more about the types of baseball bets that suit you, and have fun.
If you think your favorite team is going to win big on a given day, bet on them to beat the spread! A point spread, also known as a runline in baseball, is the amount by which a team is favored to win. Runlines are commonly set at 1.5. However, some sites, such as DraftKings, allow alternative lines that are based on the matchup.
If a team is listed as +1.5, it means they are the underdog. For example, if the Toronto Blue Jays are playing the New York Mets, and the Blue Jays are listed at -1.5, they need to win by two or more runs to cover the spread. If the Mets are listed at +1.5, they need to either lose by just one run or win the game to cover the spread.
For most American sports, spreads are the most popular bets. The moneyline is a straight up bet on which team will win the game outright. The score doesn’t matter, only who comes out ahead. A bet's payout depends on the odds. Heavier favorites are more likely to win but don't pay as much; underdogs are a more risky bet but pay more.
A three-way moneyline gives three possible outcomes: Team A wins, Team B wins, or the two teams tie. Three-way moneylines are bets on nine innings, since a baseball game can’t end in a tie. If the two teams are tied after nine innings, it’s considered a tie for the three-way moneyline bet, and the winner in extra innings doesn’t matter.
Also known as Totals, over/unders are one of the more common bets in baseball.. For example, if the over/under of the Mets vs. Blue Jays game is set at 8.5, that means the teams would have to score a combined nine runs or more to be considered over. Eight or less and the under bettors are winners.
If you enjoy following individual players, player props are for you. Prop bets are wagers on a specific aspect of a game. A player prop focuses on a single player’s performance, like if he hits a home run in any given game.
In a parlay, two or more bets are combined into a single wager. Parlays pay higher than if each bet was placed separately, but they also come with more risk since all bets have to win for the parlay to be a winner. The more bets in a parlay, the greater the difficulty, but bigger the payout.
Parlays can include all kinds of bets, such as runlines, moneylines, or over/unders. Check out our How to Bet 101 guide for an example of a parlay bet.
Futures are wagers on the entire season, or remainder of the season if it's in progress. The most popular baseball futures bet is who will win the World Series. Futures typically pay well because it’s tough to select a winner months in advance. A lot can change in a season, from trades to injuries. The beauty of futures is they add excitement to the overall season instead of a single game, so you can remain invested all season long.