MLB Handicapping

mlb-handicapperThe Essence of Three Basic Bets

For those who want every chance to engage in sports betting, then MLB handicapping offers more chances than any other sport in America. The professional baseball season is 162 games long and it involves 30 teams. If you’re looking to take advantage of these innumerable MLB handicapping opportunities, you’ll need to understand the three basic types of wagers and how they work.

You find that when wagering on baseball you’ll be able to play the run line, money line and the over/under. A MLB run line, unlike a NFL point spread, does not change from game to game. It is always either plus or minus-1.5 runs.

One thing you’ll find with MLB handicapping is that games are listed differently than in other sports. Along with the normal date and time of the game, the teams and the types of bets being offered, you’ll find the starting pitcher for each team included. Unlike any other kind of type of sports betting, with MLB the bet is off if the listed starting pitcher is scratched. That is, of course, because so much of a team’s success on the baseball field is directly related to its starting pitching.

Here’s what a typical baseball line looks like.

Date/Time Teams/Pitchers Run Line Money Line Over/Under

05/18/09 Minnesota Twins +1.5 (-120) +162 (-110)o

7:10 pm Glen Perkins (L) 9.5

NY Yankees – 1.5 (EVEN) -177 (-110)u

Andy Pettitte (L)

In this example, you can see the date, time, teams, starting pitchers and whether the pitchers are righties or lefties. The run line is plus-1.5 for the Twins and minus-1.5 for the Yanks. That means that the Yanks are favored, and in order to be considered the winner, New York must be victorious by two or more runs.

If the Twins lose by less than two runs or if the team wins outright and you wagered on them then you win that bet. If you put $100 on the Yankees and they beat the run line, you make even money. With the Twins, you must wager $120 to garner a $100 profit.

In terms of the money line, the Twins are the underdogs at plus-162 and the Yankees are favored at minus-177. If you wager on the Twins, a $100 bet will yield you a profit of $162. Bet $177 on the Yanks and if they win the game, you’ll get a $100 profit.

For the over/under, which for this game is set at 9.5 runs, you’ll need to put $110 down in order to win $100. The over/under is determined by the total number of runs scored in the game. Thus, if you bet on the under in this game and nine or fewer runs are scored by both teams, you’ll win your wager.

Once you understand these three typical wagers, you can perform some MLB handicapping chores. There are five basic areas to consider prior to placing your wager.

The first is starting pitching. Good pitching beats good hitting. Consider the starting pitchers stats, his history against the opponent and any factors that might enhance or hinder his performance. Additionally, you’ll want to consider the bullpen, including middle relief, the set up man and closer. The third element to analyze is the lineup and their ability to produce runs. Are there power hitters, base stealers and percentage guys who can generate offense?

The last two aspects to consider are recent games played between the two teams and each team’s home versus road records. Looking at recent games and series between the two may yield some interesting information. Sometimes a less talented team will dominate a superior club. As an example, for years the last place Baltimore Orioles seemed to always beat the first place Boston Red Sox. Additionally, some clubs are great on the road and terrible at home or vice versa. Some are fine in either venue and other teams simply cannot win in any ballpark but one or two.

If you’re engaging in MLB handicapping remember to perform solid research, practice good money management and wager on games that look like solid bets. Understanding the run line, money line and over/under is essential if you expect to be successful at MLB handicapping.