When betting on MLB games, the moneyline bet is a common way to get involved. Bettors seeking a payout on the moneyline market can test their prognostication skills throughout the season. With this market being available in Major League Baseball games from spring training through the MLB playoffs and World Series, bettors should know everything they can about betting on MLB moneylines.
The goal of MLB bettors in the moneyline market is simple. They are looking to successfully predict the winner of baseball games. Unlike the MLB run line bet, which is baseball’s version of the point spread market, the margin of victory does not matter. And unlike the MLB over/under market, the number of runs scored in the game does not matter. The only thing that matters for the outcome of this bet is which team wins the game.
In the MLB moneyline market, favorites are denoted by a minus sign, with their odds appearing like a negative number. The number after the minus sign tells bettors what they would need to risk to win $100. The underdogs are denoted by a plus sign, with their odds showing bettors what they would win if they risked $100. In MLB, the underdog wins often, as the margins in the sport are so slim in most cases.
In this example of a MLB moneyline bet, the New York Yankees are playing the Boston Red Sox, with the Boston Red Sox as the home team. The Yankees are the favored team at -200 odds, while the Red Sox are the underdog at +150. This means that Yankees bettors would have to risk $200 to win $100, while a $100 bet on the Red Sox would yield $150 in profits.
In this type of bet, it does not matter how much either team wins by, only who the winner is. If the Yankees win the game, those that bet on the Yankees would win their moneyline bets. If the Red Sox came out victorious, those who backed them would come out on top for the purposes of this example. Whether or not the game is won in nine innings is not important, as an extra innings win still counts when betting the moneyline.
A number of sportsbooks changed the way that they offer MLB odds in 2020. MLB betting lines used to be dependent on who the starting pitchers were in a game, with those bets being able to be cancelled if a change in pitcher was announced. Now, all bets are considered to have action in baseball at most sportsbooks, regardless of who the starter is in a game.
The reason for this change is the fact that teams have started putting members of their bullpen on the mound to start games. Without the same regular starting rotations available for each team, this change aims to reduce the number of games that see their bets cancelled due to changes in pitchers. Bettors should keep this in mind when doing their baseball handicapping, especially when they bet on a pitcher who is dealing with injury issues.
When placing a moneyline wager while MLB betting, bettors should always consider the matchup between a pitcher and the opposing batters. With Major League Baseball being so reliant on home runs on offense and strikeouts on defense in today’s game, understanding which of those outcomes is more likely against a lineup is key.
Bettors should also remember that favorites are often more dangerous in baseball than in other sports. While MLB futures odds tend to do a good job of predicting which teams will be better over the long haul, futures bets related to October have no impact on a one-game sample size in baseball. Underdogs regularly come through at long odds in a single game, especially in matchups where teams are not at their strongest point in the pitching rotation.
Placing baseball bets is straightforward, but how to bet on baseball odds depends on the laws in your state. Some states allow for legal sports gambling in-person, at online sportsbooks, or a combination of the two. At these sportsbooks, bettors can also wager on run-line markets, the MLB total market, or place futures bets on World Series odds. Many sportsbooks also offer props, live betting and parlay bets to spice things up for bettors. The prop bet offerings can be especially unique, with markets such as total bases and whether a game will go to extra innings available in some spots.