How to bet on MLB games

MLB Betting

Baseball… America's pastime. The 162-game grind through the dog days of summer scares off many newcomers. Although not as popular as other major sports, the consensus in our circle is the MLB provides the most upside to sports bettors. The inherent potential in a full season, a month, or even just one day of MLB betting is astounding. The sheer volume of games, odds, lines, and picks available has the power to make or break bankrolls.Baseball betting is a game of trends. Back the right trend and you'll be sitting pretty atop your pile of cash. Choose the wrong time to jump in and it will seem the entire league is conspiring against you.Nobody who takes the time to learn MLB betting regrets it in the end. With our guide, you will quickly understand the reasoning behind good and bad bets, the importance of following scores, standings, odds, and news from around the league, and how to take this raw information and translate it into winning picks and strategies.Let's dive right in and make some money with MLB betting.

NBA Point Spread

If you have any experience betting American football or basketball, you are no doubt familiar with point spreads. Baseball run lines are the MLB equivalent of a point spread. Unlike in other sports where the spread changes drastically based on the matchup, the run line in baseball is always 1.5 runs.New York -1.5-125
Los Angeles +1.5+105

Here is an example of a run line between New York and Los Angeles. Notice how New York has the "-1.5" next to their name. This indicates that New York is the favored team and must win the game by at least 1.5 runs (so they must win by at least 2) to be considered a run line winner.Los Angeles is the underdog and has the "+1.5" next to their name, indicating they will be a run line winner if they can keep the score within 1.5 runs (so they must win or lose by 1).Once again, we see the American odds next to each bet. You must bet $125 to profit $100 in New York. You will profit $105 from a $100 bet on Los Angeles.


Despite a large house edge, parlays are a fan favorite bet type across all sports. Parlays allow you to string together multiple bets at once, greatly increasing the odds of the bet. Each individual game you add to a parlay is called a "leg". Win each leg of your parlay and you will be paid out big time. Lose just one leg and you lose the entire parlay.Most sites will allow for parlays of anywhere from 2 to 13 legs. A 13-leg parlay is incredibly difficult to hit because you must pick the correct result of 13 different games. The payout is massive, however.Big parlays are exciting and have a lottery-type feel to them because of the chance of monster paydays.

Moneylines in MLB Betting

Moneylines are the most straightforward bets in sports. Which team will win? It's that simple.While the concept of the moneyline is simple (picking a winner), the odds behind moneyline bets tend to confuse newcomers. Most sportsbook sites use the American odds format which is standardized around a bet size of $100.Each moneyline bet will have a favored team and an underdog. The favored team will have a large negative number next to their name while the underdog will have a large positive number.

Here is an example:
New York-250
Los Angeles+215

In this scenario, New York is the favored team (more likely to win) and Los Angeles is the underdog (less likely to win). We would say the New York odds are "minus 250" while the Los Angeles odds are "plus 215".Minus odds tell how much you'd need to bet on this team to profit $100. In this case, a $250 bet on New York would yield $100 in profit should they win.Plus odds tell how much you stand to profit off a $100 bet. A $100 bet on Los Angeles would yield $215 in profit should they win.It should be noted that you may bet any amount on the moneyline. The odds are based on $100 bets because that bet size is very standard. Sportsbook sites all have odds calculators that will determine the amount you can win based on your bet size if you'd like to wager an amount other than $100.

Futures Bets for MLB Sports Events

Prop bets are side bets - typically involving statistical accomplishments by a player or team. Examples of prop bets are:

  • Will Player X hit a home run in this game?
  • Will Player X record over or under 1.5 hits in this game?
  • Will Pitcher Y record over or under 6 strikeouts in this game?
  • Will Player Z steal a base in this game?
  • Will either team score in the first inning of the game?