Baseball is box-office in the USA and Canada and its popularity is growing in the UK too. For anyone with an interest in this sport, our baseball betting guide has it all.
We have the inside track on live baseball streaming, live baseball betting and finding the best baseball odds. After reading this page, you’ll be backing baseball winners galore!
Top 7 Baseball Betting Sites
Bet on Baseball with bet365
If you are looking for a top quality baseball betting site, bet365 fits the bill. They cover all of the best baseball tournaments to bet on, including the MLB World Series. Added to that, they also have one of the most extensive ranges of baseball markets you are likely to find at any bookmaker.
Another strength is the competitiveness of bet365’s baseball odds. You can bet in-play on baseball at bet365 and they have live baseball streaming available too. So, baseball fans from the UK, Canada and the USA should all consider making bet365 their go-to bookmaker for betting on baseball.
Most Popular Baseball Betting Markets
If you are going to bet on baseball you need to be familiar with the different bet types. In this section you’ll learn about some of the most popular baseball betting markets, including outrights/futures, moneylines and winning margin bets. To get a rough idea of the risk level of each option look at the table below and then afterwards we look at the markets in more detail, outlining exactly how they work and how best to approach them.
(*risk can be managed, not volatility)
Baseball futures bets are also commonly known as outright bets. The most common futures market is the outright tournament winner. The MLB is the premier professional baseball competition in the world and before it starts you can bet on any team you want to win their division, league or the World Series.
Other examples of outright baseball markets include ‘most home runs’ or ‘MVP’. You can bet on futures markets throughout the season too, but odds are adjusted accordingly for team/player performances in the preceding weeks.
The moneyline in baseball is an extremely simple market to understand. You bet on either Team A or Team B to win. It is a 2-way market and if your team wins you get paid at the agreed odds. So, for example, say the Toronto Blue Jays were 2.50 (6/4) for a match against the NY Yankees.
If you had a C$20 bet on the Blue Jays and they won, you would get C$50 in winnings and your stake back for a total return of C$70. If they lose, you get nada! The key to making money from moneyline bets is finding value and the more experience and practice you get, the better you’ll become at spotting those value bets. Live betting on baseball can often produce a lot of value bets so start honing your in-play betting skills now!
⚾ Total Runs (Over/Under)
This is another popular market with baseball punters, and we think it is a nice one to bet on. For every baseball match, the bookies will set the amount of runs they think will be scored in a match. What punters need to do is predict whether the teams will score more (over) or less (under) runs than the number nominated by the bookmaker.
You can bet on the total runs of both teams combined and also on the total runs scored by individual teams. With Betfair and a number of other baseball betting sites you can bet on a nice range of player totals markets too (player runs scored, pitcher strikeouts, hits allowed etc.).
⚾ Winning Margin
A winning margin bet is one of the tougher markets to crack when betting on baseball. Not only do you need to predict the match winner, you also need to get the winning margin right. On the upside, the odds for this market are pretty generous if you do manage to land a winner.
With bet365 you can bet on a team to win by 1,2 or 3 runs exactly or to win by 4 runs or more. There is no room for error in this market and that is why it is a risky choice. Winning margin betting is best left to those with plenty of baseball betting experience under their belts.
If you want to give yourself a chance of landing a big win from modest stakes, parlays are the way to go. A parlay isn’t a type of market, it is a combination of different bets that all need to win for you to get a return. You can combine different moneyline wagers, runline bets or wagers from any other baseball betting market. Be warned though, the odds are big for a reason and they are extremely hard bets to hit.
The odds of each leg or separate wager multiply, so the more bets you include the higher the return will be. Say you place a parlay bet on the Yankees (3.0), Red Sox (2.5) and Blue Jays (2.00) all to win their matches (moneyline). If you staked C$10 and all three teams won, you would get a nice return of C$150. However, if just one of the teams included in your baseball parlay lose, you’ll be going home empty handed.
How Do I Bet on Baseball?
We mentioned some of the most popular baseball betting markets above and explained how they work. In this section we look at another trio of baseball bets. We examine what makes a value bet, how to bet on the moneyline and we also discuss prop bets. You will hopefully learn how to read baseball odds and this will greatly increase your potential for making a profit.
What is a Value Bet?
No matter what sport you are betting on, finding value bets is the key to consistent success. So, what is a baseball value bet? Basically, if you can find a bet where you believe the probability of the bet winning is greater than the probability of the odds, then you have found a value bet. In mathematical terms, say you thought the Toronto Blue Jays had a 55% chance of winning a playoff game and their baseball playoff odds were 2.3.
|Value = (Probability x Odds) -1|
In order to find whether you have a value bet or not, use the following formula: Value = (Probability x Odds) -1. So, in this case, the value calculation would be (0.55 x 2.3) -1 = 0.265. If the value is more than 0 then that is viewed as a value bet and at .265, the Blue Jays would definitely be worth backing in this instance. This is sport and the probability figure is your own opinion, so you won’t be guaranteed to win. However, the better you become at judging the probability of teams winning, the more you will improve at finding value bets.
What are “Prop Bets” in Baseball Betting?
A proposition bet, or Prop Bet as they are more commonly known, is a bet on a specific event (or events) happening during a match. Prop bets can be structured in a number of different ways and there are player prop bets and team prop bets. An example of a team Prop Bet would be ‘Which team will score the first run’. An example of a player prop bet would be ‘Will player A hit a home run in this match?’.
There is no shortage of different types of prop bets for baseball punters to pick from. There are over/under prop bets too, for example ‘Total Strikeouts for Pitcher A’. The bookie sets the most likely number of strikeouts and you bet on whether there will be more or less (over or under). Combination prop bets like ‘Total Runs, Hits and Errors’ are available too with most of the top baseball betting sites.
“Run Lines” in Baseball Betting
The runline is a market where one team gets a start of a number of runs. The size of the start depends on the difference in quality of the two teams involved. If there is a big underdog in the match, they will get a bigger start in comparison to two evenly matched sides. If you are familiar with point spread betting in other sports, this is exactly the same. Those who like betting baseball favourites will get better odds by using the runline option.
For example, in a match between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Houston Astros the Rays were the favourites in the moneyline market. The Astros had a +1.5 run start, while the Rays were -1.5 runs. So, if you backed the Rays you needed a minimum 2 run winning margin to get paid. Alternatively, a 1 run defeat or win would see you collect if you bet on the Astros.
Find the Best Baseball Odds
Finding the best baseball odds should be the top priority for anyone that has ambitions of making money in the long term from betting on the sport. There are many variables that are beyond your control when betting on baseball but getting the best MLB odds possible when you place a bet is something that every punter is capable of doing.
The odds comparison table above compared and contrasted the odds on offer from three baseball betting sites for the World Series Winner outright market. As you can see, William Hill had the best odds for every team, while bet365 were best or joint best about 3 of them. If you planned to back the Houston Astros and you had C$10 on at 12.0 (11/1) with Betfair you would earn a profit of C$110 if they won.
Sounds good, right? Not as good as if you had the same bet with William Hill who were offering odds of 15.0 (14/1) for the same bet. If you were on with William Hill your profit would be C$140, a pretty substantial difference of C$30. To ensure that you are maximising your returns from winning wagers, finding the best baseball betting odds is absolutely crucial.
Live Baseball Betting
For us at Sportsbetting24, live betting on sport is one of the most engaging and exciting ways to bet. Baseball is a sport that is really well suited to in-play betting, but you need to have a clear strategy before you start. It is easy to get carried away with events during a game, but the most successful live baseball betting punters keep a cool head and a very close eye on the odds.
Live baseball betting can offer some good opportunities to punters. Let’s say, for example, you strongly fancied the Chicago Cubs to beat the Tampa Bay Rays but you weren’t tempted by the pre-match odds. If you wait until the game starts and the Rays score first, you will get much better odds on the Chicago Cubs in the live moneyline market. The more you become used to in-play baseball betting, the easier you will find it to spot value live bets.
In this day and age more and more bookies are offering live streaming of sports to their customers. Baseball fans who want to stream matches live, including MLB games, need to check with their chosen bookie to see if streaming is available. If you are based in the UK, you should be able to find live MLB streams with a number of bookies, including Paddy Power and bet365.
The MLB broadcasting rights in the USA and Canada are chopped and changed from season to season so you won’t know exactly which baseball betting sites have live baseball streaming available until each new season starts. William Hill and bet365 are both worth checking out for live MLB streams as they have both had them in the past.
If you are in the USA or Canada and your bookmaker doesn’t have live streaming rights for the MLB season, you have two alternative options. You can either buy in an expensive cable package or you can purchase an MLB.tv subscription for US$24.99 for the whole season. Some regions may be subject to blackouts for certain games, enter your area’s Zip Code when subscribing to see which ones are blacked out in your jurisdiction.
Best Baseball Tournaments to Bet On
We have covered almost every angle of betting on baseball so far. You know where, when and how to bet on baseball and now we will tell you all about the biggest and best baseball tournaments to bet on. Yes, every baseball fan will be well aware of the MLB World Series but you might find some nice bets in other major events like the World Baseball Classic, the Premier 12 World Championship and in Nippon Professional Baseball.
⚾ World Series
The World Series is the holy grail for anyone who ever picks up a baseball bat. The MLB is the most prestigious baseball league in the world and the World Series determines the season’s Champions. The teams that contest the World Series will have played upwards of 160 games in the regular season alone. The MLB World Series is a best of 7 contest and the first team to reach 4 wins is presented with the Commissioner’s Trophy.
Baseball World Series odds will be available before the regular season starts right up until the final game. As ever, make sure you find the best MLB World Series odds before you have a bet. Shop around at as many of our top baseball betting sites as you can to ensure that you get the maximum possible returns if you do win. To keep up to date on the latest news about the World Series, check out the official MLB website.
⚾ World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is baseball’s version of the soccer World Cup. It was first hosted by Japan, the USA and Puerto Rico in 2006 and it usually held every 4 years. A total of 16 nations competed for the right to be the World Champions of Baseball in 2006. Japan ran out as the eventual winners, beating Cuba 10-6 in the final. Japan added another title in 2009. In 2013 the Dominican Republic won it for the first time and 2017 saw the USA crowned World Champions for the very first time.
⚾ Premier12 World Championship
The Premier 12 World Championship, sanctioned by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC Official Site) is a relatively new addition to the International Baseball calendar. The inaugural event was hosted by Japan and Taiwan in November 2015 and South Korea beat the USA 8-0 in the final. In 2019 Japan won the Premier 12 World Championship which was held in Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. It is held every 4 years and the 2019 event was a qualifier for the 2021 Summer Olympic Games.
⚾ Nippon Professional Baseball
In terms of quality and prestige, the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) tournament is second only to MLB. It is the top tier of pro-baseball in Japan, the two time World Baseball Classic winners. It is divided into two main leagues, the Central and Pacific. The season starts in late March/early April and ends in October. 12 teams compete and they play 146 game in a season (6 a week).
There are a few small technical differences between Nippon Professional Baseball and MLB. For example, the playing fields are slightly smaller and ties are possible. The Yomiuri Giants are the most successful team with 22 wins and if you are having a bet on the Nippon Professional Baseball futures market, they are always worth considering. You can check the latest standings and stats (in English) on the official NPB site.
⚾ Japan Series
The Japan Series determines the national baseball championship in Japan. It is a best of 7 series and the finalists are determined by the ‘Climax Series’. The Central League and Pacific League are represented in the final, which is usually played in late October or early November. If the series is a tie after 7 games an 8th match is played to determine the winner. This has only happened once, in 1986 when Seibu Lions beat Hiroshima Toyo Carp in the 8th game. The Central League winners have won the Japan series 35 times with the Pacific League winning 30.
Expert Baseball Betting Advice
- Heavy Favourites Overrated – Stats for the last 15 years show that odds on favourites have a winning strike rate of just over 63%. Sounds like easy money right? Well when you look more closely you would see that if you backed every heavy favourite for the same stake ($C10) you would be down almost $C2600. So, don’t just rely on favourites, look for value bets on underdogs if you want to make a profit from baseball betting.
- Watch The Odds – Before you bet on a baseball match it can often pay to watch the odds for a period. If you see the odds shorten on a team, it can often pay to follow the money. More often than not it is professional punters placing big bets that shift the markets and if you can recognize when it is ‘sharp money’ that is going on one of the teams, this is the time to place your bet.
- Wind Direction – For punters who like to focus on the total runs markets, the wind direction has a massive influence. If the wind is blowing into the face of batters, this will clearly impact on their ability to hit home runs. Alternatively, if it is blowing in the other direction home runs will be much easier to hit. It is always worth checking the direction and strength of the wind before you bet on the total runs or total home runs markets.
- Pick Parlays Wisely – You need to stay disciplined if you want to be successful at betting on baseball. Every punter dreams of hitting the jackpot with a massive parlay but realistically, the odds of landing bets of this nature are astronomical. We recommend sticking to single bets when you are betting on baseball. It is also important to set a rigid staking plan and to never chase your losses.
- Do Your Research – There are loads of resources that baseball punters can use to get an edge over the bookies. If you are betting on player prop markets total home runs or total strikeouts, you should always spend some time doing research on previous performances. Patterns often emerge and the more studying you do, the more these patterns will become apparent and this will help you improve your baseball betting strike rate.
Baseball Betting FAQs
What is the runline?
The runline is a handicap type market and it is one of the most popular baseball betting markets. The underdogs receive a ‘start’ of a number of runs and the favourites start minus a number of runs. If you back the underdogs +1.5 runs you need them to lose by 1 run or less (or win) for you to win your bet. Those who go for the favourites -1.5 runs would need their team to win by 2 runs or more.
What’s the best site for baseball betting?
All of the sites that make our top baseball bookmakers list are worth a second look but Sportsbetting24’s pick for betting on baseball is bet365. There is every chance that US, UK and Canadian customers will be able to access live MLB streaming at bet365 and they have a massive range of baseball betting markets available too.
How do I bet on baseball?
You need to know how to bet on baseball before you start risking your hard earned cash. It is pretty easy, just choose a baseball betting site from our list, sign up and make a deposit. Make sure you learn about all the different markets and check out our expert betting advice before you have a bet.
What is an action bet in baseball?
An action bet is a bet that is an option offered by some bookies on moneyline bets. If you choose the ‘Listed Pitcher’ option and the scheduled starting pitcher doesn’t play, your bet will be voided. However, if you go for an ‘Action bet’ it doesn’t matter what pitcher starts, your bet will count. As we outlined in our expert baseball betting advice, watch the odds as sharp money may come for team that changes their starting pitcher just before a game starts.
Where can I find the best baseball betting odds?
Every baseball bettor needs to realize how important it is to find the best baseball betting odds. For futures baseball markets we found that bet365 and William Hill had the best odds for the majority of the teams, but you cannot rely on them to have the biggest prices for all baseball markets. Allocate some time to shopping around before you bet and make sure you don’t miss out by not taking the best available price.