MLB is the biggest baseball league on the planet and attracts the best players each year. And here at Unibet we recognise the importance of Major League Baseball to millions of fans.
Which is why we’ve created the very best baseball betting sportsbook, with up-to-date odds and a huge variety of markets, so you can bet on baseball whenever and wherever you like.
Baseball betting is a growing trend and fans love the option to bet In Play as well as place long-term bets on the sport.
Unibet has the latest technology to ensure you can bet however you like, with ever-changing live odds and varied betting markets to suit every player.
But fans who are new to baseball betting may be daunted by the scale of the markets on offer. That’s why we’ve created this guide to give you a greater insight into how baseball betting actually works.
You’ll be able to master MLB betting once you know the key bet types and terminologies in the sportsbook. So why not check out this guide below before heading over to our MLB betting suite! We can also recommend our NHL Betting Guide.
How baseball works — the basics
The basic rules of baseball are very straightforward. Two teams take it in turns to bat and field, with the team that scores the most runs the winner. Matches take place over nine innings, and during each innings the teams swap over the batting / fielding duties.
A baseball batter scores runs by hitting the ball either beyond the field boundaries (for a home run) or by running between the four bases in a diamond shape out on the field. They may only be able to run to one base after hitting the ball themselves, but can run to further bases when a team-mate hits the ball.
The fielding team has a pitcher who throws the ball from a central mound towards the batter. The pitcher aims to get the batter out, ideally through strikes. A strike is awarded when the batter swings for the ball and misses, or leaves the ball which flies into a specific zone within the batter’s range. Three strikes and you’re out.
A batter can also be out if a fielder catches the ball they hit without it bouncing first. Or if the ball is thrown to a base before the batter reaches it. After three outs, the team’s innings is over and both sides swap positions.
There are nine innings each, so plenty of opportunities for both sides to score runs. Fielding teams will typically select a starting pitcher who will throw for the majority of the game. But they have specialised pitchers for later in the game when things get tight.
All players who field also get the chance to bat, making MLB a less specialised sport than, for example, NFL. It means players can excel not only at catching and throwing, but also slugging the ball.
Baseball betting markets explained
Baseball betting is popular in the USA and Canada, as well as parts of Europe and Asia. Away from the MLB, the big baseball leagues are found in Japan and Mexico. Baseball betting fans are always on the lookout for a game and luckily the MLB offers 2,340 games per season, plus the playoffs! That is a lot of games for which to bet on.
Most MLB betting fans stick to the straightforward match bet. This is a good bet type when you’re new to baseball betting as it is simply a market on who will win the game. Because there are no draws in baseball, the match bet only has two outcomes: win or lose (1 or 2). So if you think the home team (1) will win, you simply place a bet on that team. If they win, you win.
Match betting is the easiest form of sports betting and is found in every sport on the Unibet sportsbook. But quite often the odds in match betting are not worth playing. That’s because a game might be uneven, with a heavy favourite someone up against a lowly underdog. In this instance, you would have to stake a lot of money on the favourite in the match bet, in order to earn a respectable amount back.
So here at Unibet we offer handicap betting for baseball games. This is when you give an imaginary advantage / disadvantage to teams in the game. For example, the Padres are 1/5 to beat the Rays in a match. The market offers you the chance to bet on a Padres win at 2/1 with a -4.5 run handicap. That means the Padres must win by five runs or more for you to win your bet.
Likewise, you could bet on the Rays to win with a +3.5 handicap. So long as the Rays don’t lose by more than four runs, you win your bet.
Handicap betting is great for levelling out the odds and making an uncompetitive game suddenly competitive. And you can use it when betting on players too. Here at Unibet we will often put two batters up against each other in a market, where you can bet on which batter will score the most runs. In this instance, you could bet on a Padres batter to score more than their Rays counterpart, with a +1.5 handicap.
Over/Under betting is another popular MLB betting type and is especially useful in this sport because of the scoring system. Over/Under betting works by placing a bet on whether or not you think the maximum number of runs in a game will be over or under a certain line. For example, you could bet on there being +9.5 total runs in a match between the Giants and Twins. If there are 10 runs or more, you win your bet.
Over/Under betting can also be done on individual teams. So, if you think the Twins will score fewer than 6.5 runs against the Giants, you can make that bet. If the Twins score six runs or fewer, you win your bet.
Match Parlays are also available in baseball betting. This is when you effectively combine two outcomes together, in order to enhance your odds. The match parley market will offer an outcome of, for example, Match Winner and Total Runs 9.5. Here, there are four possible bets: Home Team and Over 9.5, Home Team and Under 9.5, Away Team and Over 9.5, Away Team and Under 9.5. You pick the bet you want to make, with odds differing depending on which outcome you go for.
You can also bet on events midway through games, such as Lead After 5 Innings. This is a great way to follow a bet that won’t necessarily take three hours to settle. It’s a lot like a half time bet in soccer, or a first quarter lead bet in basketball. Effectively, you bet on who will be winning at a certain stage of the baseball game.
Live baseball betting In Play
Here at Unibet we’re dedicated to bringing you the best live experiences in baseball betting. And that’s why we offer live In Play betting on all matches during the MLB season. In Play betting differs from pre-match betting because you can bet live while the action is unfolding. Of course, that means the odds are always changing, because events on the field will increase and decrease the likelihood of certain results.
Many baseball betting fans like to bet In Play on run totals. This is where you bet on a team to score a certain number of runs, or score more or less runs in an Over/Under bet. Of course, the odds will change if the team hits a home run, or gets a number of their batters out to bases on the field.
The beauty of In Play betting is that it’s all about timing — and you’re in control of that. It’s up to you to decide when to bet and what to bet on. Many shrewd baseball betting fans like to bet early in games. But some will wait until the ninth inning before making their move.
Outright betting in baseball
Outright betting is not only based on results of matches, but also results of competitions. In outright betting, you can make season-long bets on which team you think will win the World Series. The World Series is the final set of games in the MLB season, when all 30 teams have been whittled down to just two.
You can bet on which team will win the World Series before the season has even begun! You can also bet on the MVP from a season, as well as which players will score the most runs / take the most strike outs over a campaign.
There really is no limit to outright betting in the MLB and here at Unibet we’re always on hand to offer more exciting, details markets for our players.