5 In-depth Baseball Betting Tips
Baseball is one of the most popular sports in North America, and there are many different ways you can watch it, too. Major League Baseball is obviously the most popular, being it's the top professional baseball league in the world. But, today, you can also watch college baseball in all its glory throughout the entire season and not just with the College World Series.
In addition to baseball being a great sport to watch, it's great to bet on, too. If you're new to betting on this sport we recommend you to check out our guide on how to bet on baseball first.
Once you have your basics covered and want to gain an extra edge, follow these baseball betting tips below.
See What Pitcher is Starting
The starting pitcher sets the tone for the entire game. When a solid starting pitcher is scheduled to start on a particular game, you might expect the game to be lower-scoring than normal. This goes for just about any team - no matter how good that team is on paper.
There are many teams in MLB, for example, that don't have a particularly good record. However, they may have a really great starting pitcher that can keep a game closer than normal or keep the score lower than that team usually surrenders.
So, when you're betting on baseball, the first thing you should do is look at the starting pitching matchups. While this isn’t the only analysis you should do on games, it's a great place to begin. When good pitchers are projected to start the game, you might want to temper your expectations for the number of runs that will be scored - especially if that pitcher usually lasts long into games that he starts.
Look at the Pitching Depth
Starting pitchers usually don't pitch the entire game. And in today's game, many starting pitchers don't make it much further than the sixth inning. This means there are at least a few innings each game where another pitcher will be the one on the mound.
So, the next step in your analysis should be the pitching depth that each team has, particularly in the bullpen. Teams that have really good bullpens with a lot of live arms can help keep games close and keep the score low. Teams that don't have that type of pitching depth often let up more runs. In other words, low-scoring games easily turn into high-scoring ones once the bullpen takes over, and vice versa, depending on the teams' pitching depth.
Another thing you want to look at is the freshness of the pitchers in the bullpen. Teams typically won't have the same pitcher out of the bullpen throw more than two days in a row. This means that certain pitchers might not even be available to pitch on a given day, even if they're active for that game. Paying attention to this can give you an edge when you're betting on baseball.
Analyze the Starting Lineup
Of course, the starting lineup is equally as important as which pitchers will be on the mound. Teams will release their starting lineup cards a few hours before the start of the game, so make sure you check to see which players will be in that starting lineup.
With long baseball seasons, teams give nearly all of their players days off from time to time. This helps keep them fresh over the long haul and for when it matters most in the post season play.
It's not enough to just look at the team's roster and make a decision based on the talent there. Unlike in a sport such as football, baseball managers will voluntarily opt to sit even their star players from time to time to give them rest. And this can have a huge effect on the likely outcome of a game.
So, when you're analysing potential baseball bets, check to see which players will actually be in the starting lineup so you can conduct the most accurate analysis possible.
Look at the Recent Trends
Baseball is a game of streaks, as anyone who has played the game or watches it frequently will know. When players perform well, they can get on a hot streak and keep it going. The reverse is also true from time to time.
This can have a huge effect on the outcome of baseball bets, too. So, when you're doing your analysis, make sure to analyse all the recent trends for both the players on the teams and the teams themselves.
Again, because of the really long baseball season, teams will go hot and cold at different stretches of games. This is something you can take advantage of based on the odds.
This is particularly true for underdogs. Teams that aren't regarded as really good or that don't have a great overall record could provide some great betting value as underdogs when they're starting or in the middle of a hot streak.
Likewise, you might be able to gain an edge betting against teams with great overall records that just aren't playing too well in recent games.
Consider Umpire Statistics
How an umpire calls a game can have a surprisingly huge effect on how a game is played. For example, umpires that expand the strike zone often result in fewer players getting on base, which could lead to fewer runs being scored. Umpires that have a tighter strike zone make it tougher on the pitcher, which can lead to them making more mistakes, which can lead to more runs.
There are plenty of places online today where you can check individual umpire statistics. This will show you the trends of individual umpires and whether their games lead to more high-scoring or low-scoring affairs.
Make sure that you know which umpire will be behind the plate each game, as that is the umpire that will matter in this regard. A first-base umpire will have little effect on this part of the outcome of a game, so you can ignore that person altogether. Paying attention to the home plate umpire and his trends could allow you to gain a betting edge in baseball.