Baseball betting for rookies
And while baseball can be a great sport to bet on, handicappers that don’t regularly bet on it, can find it very daunting. The main reason is that baseball requires bettors to wager on the moneyline or runline, rather than a points spread, which is what most sports handicappers are familiar with.
Add to that the mind-numbing number of games that are played on any given day — up to 15 on some days — and the fact that that number of games gives very little time for handicappers to analyze and process the endless number of statistics that are available, and while fun and profitable, betting on baseball can be extremely challenging.
So, to help bettors coming off a March Madness high, here are a few tips to get them started on successfully betting on baseball.
First, in baseball, there are always some really heavy favorites and some very underwhelming underdogs. But even the worst MLB team is more than capable of winning any game on any given day. That’s because the season is so long, and teams face each other many times. This is most important for bettors wanting to wager on a team’s season over/under win totals, as even the underdogs in the long term can win 60 games in a 162-game season.
Nevertheless, it’s important for handicappers wagering on individual games to keep their sights set on the short term.
That’s because the MLB season is so long, and teams can change significantly – several times – over the course of so many games.
Handicappers need to wager not based on what a team did last month, or on the average of their performances over the season, but rather on what a team has done on the last five or 10 games, to really see how well it is doing, and in turn where to put their money.
One way of getting a clearer picture how a team is currently performing, is by looking at a team’s starting pitchers.
Who a team sends to the mound to start a game on any given day in the MLB, can really impact a team’s ability to win games. For example, a team might lose on Monday with its fifth starter, but win big on Tuesday when its number one ace toes the rubber.
And while baseball handicappers can’t focus solely on a starter for the basis of their wagers, looking at both team’s starters is definitely a good place to start when analyzing and predicting a game’s outcome. Nevertheless, as good as a team’s starting rotation is, a bad bullpen can crush a team’s chances of winning games consistently, and a make handicappers miserable many times.
There is nothing more frustrating than betting on a team that gets a great performance out of its starter, only to have their efforts ruined by a bad performance from the bullpen.
But MLB bullpens are tough to handicap, as there is no real way of predicting how much a team may have to use its relievers, or who will get the call, or what situation they will come into for that matter. However, there are a few ways baseball handicappers can avoid the dreaded bullpen collapse.
First, they need to look at the quality a team’s closer, looking at his recent performances. Has he been consistent, or is he slumping?
Next, they need to look at the overall performance of the bullpen. How do they perform at home or on the road and do they do well against a particular type of team? If so, is their current opponent that type of team?
Finally, handicappers need to look at the pitching matchup of a particular game, realizing unlike the betting public a prior year’s Cy Young who may be struggling.