Betting on Baseball: Risks and Rewards

June 22, 2023
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As the dog days of summer set in, with the NHL and NBA seasons long since finished and the NFL and college sports seasons still months away, baseball became the main focus for sports fans and bettors in North America.

With a wealth of statistics to employ and a full slate of games almost every day, America’s pastime is one of the best sports to keep track of for the wary sports bettor.

Baseball is Unique Because of The Abundance of Games

One of the best things about betting on baseball is the sheer number of games played. With 2,430 games played across the course of the regular season, there’s no rush to get your bets in like there are with sports like the NFL that have much shorter seasons: you have plenty of time to pick and choose what you want to bet on… and that’s even before you take into account other leagues like the NCAA, where the College World Series is in full swing.

2023 MLB Season Favorites

Right now, the Atlanta Braves are the MLB team favored to win it all this season, listed at +400 at BetMGM Sportsbook: be sure to use a BetMGM Bonus Code if you want to bet on baseball or any other sport so that you know you have the best possible odds of winning big.

A Beginner’s Guide to Baseball Betting

Here’s a beginner’s guide on what you need to know to start betting on baseball, with words of advice and caution so you know what you’re getting into.

1. Importance of Matchups

First, a word of advice. Baseball is a sport that’s often defined by matchups, with things like a player’s handedness playing a massive role in how managers craft their lineups.

2. The Unique Element of Batter vs Pitcher Matchups

The one-on-one nature of batter vs pitcher matchups is unlike most other sports, where teams work in concert to counteract a rival player. As such, some hitters just possess an innate advantage over the pitchers they face, seeing them better than other players do based on stance, the way the ball spins and other innate things that sometimes the players themselves can’t even describe… or don’t want to, for fear of losing the advantage they hold.

3. Leveraging Player Statistics

Take Brewers’ right fielder Raimel Tapia, who’s hitting an otherworldly .563 in 16 at-bats in his career against Diamondbacks’ starting pitcher Zac Gallen. All of that data is readily available on the ESPN app ahead of a game, so it’s not like you’ll have to pore through statistical databases to find it. With a wealth of prop bets offered on outcomes like the number of hits a player records in a game, keeping an eye on consistent trends like that is a good way to make a quick buck.

4. The Influence of Ballparks

Something to watch out for (both as a betting opportunity and a word of caution) is the way that different ballparks can affect batters and pitchers. Some ballparks, like the Colorado Rockies’ Coors Field, are notorious for being hitter friendly. Others, like Yankee Stadium, famed for its short porch in right field that makes it easier for left-handed hitters to leave the ballpark are excellent for prop bets too.

5. Factors that Affect Performance

On the other hand, the Boston Red Sox’ Fenway Park and Houston Astros’ Minute Maid Park have similar reputations among right-handed hitters for their close fences in left field. Ballparks like that of the Giants, located on windy San Francisco Bay, are known for knocking fly balls out of the air, while wall height is another factor that can boost the offense (or unduly suppress it). Several teams have retractable domes, and exposure to the elements—or protection from them—can make a huge difference in how the ball flies.

6. The Uniqueness of Baseball Parks

In other sports, the playing surface is confined to set dimensions: baseball has no such stipulations, and each of the 30 ballparks has unique factors that significantly influence how the ball plays. Make sure to do a scouting report on a stadium’s quirks before placing any bets so that you aren’t surprised (for better or worse) once the game actually starts.

7. The Role of Weather

As with other sports, keep an eye on the weather: chilly temperatures, wind, or rain can affect how a pitcher grips the ball, making it more challenging to execute the pitches they want to—and easier to make mistakes.

Unleashing Your Potential in Baseball Betting

In summary, the world of baseball betting can be a rich and rewarding arena for those who invest the time to understand its intricate details. From leveraging the wealth of statistics to keeping an eye on individual matchups and understanding the unique characteristics of each ballpark, every aspect of the game offers an opportunity to gain an edge.

In the end, the key to successful baseball betting lies in gaining a holistic understanding of the sport. It’s about more than just crunching numbers or following trends; it’s about seeing the big picture and understanding how all these factors intertwine to determine the outcome of a game.

As we sign off, remember that while knowledge and strategy play a significant role in betting, there are no guarantees. Always set a budget, bet responsibly, and most importantly, enjoy the game! Baseball is, after all, America’s pastime. Here’s to a great summer of baseball, and may your bets be as exciting as the games themselves!