How to Bet on Baseball: A Complete Guide on Strategy, Bets and More

Looking for a complete guide on how to bet on baseball? The OddsIndex MLB Betting Guide brings you the perfect no-nonsense guide with an in-depth look into the sport, strategy, and available sportsbooks.   

If you’re a baseball fan, you know how exciting the game can be. But let’s say you're new to the whole betting scene. Maybe you’re 10 years late to the party and finally got around to watching Moneyball?

We’ve made this quick and easy guide for fans of all levels to help you understand how to bet on baseball. We’ll cover the baseball basics and the keys to any good baseball betting strategy. 

Betting on the MLB has never been easier, with it set to get bigger and better with each season. Understanding how to bet on baseball is the first step towards mastering baseball betting online. 

Online Baseball Betting: Which Sportsbook Should You Use? 

Below are all the latest baseball betting sites, allowing you to grab some fantastic bonuses from the best-licensed sportsbooks in the United States.

You can quickly check what sportsbooks are available in your state for online baseball betting, ensuring you can get involved in the MLB betting action.

And don't forget, you're not just limited to opening one account - you can sign-up for any of the sportsbooks available in your state and claim the bonuses on offer. 

With so many Baseball betting sites to choose from, it's a perfect time to join as many sportsbooks as you like, allowing you to increase your bankroll easily and access varied betting odds and markets.

How to Bet on Baseball

Moneyball may have brought the stats revolution under the spotlight in baseball, but Sabermetrics - the study of in-game baseball data - has been around for decades. Baseball is built on a staggering foundation of statistics, covering everything short of how many times Babe Ruth scratched his nose.

MLB game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants

Luckily, you don’t need to be an MIT grad to decipher ‘The Baseball Code’ and bet successfully. The best way to understand baseball basics is to understand the propositions being put to you. So, to help you avoid swinging and missing, here are the most popular baseball bets you can make online:

MLB Moneyline 

Moneyline baseball bets can also be called outright win bets. This means that you’re backing a team to win, although I'd avoid backing the Pittsburgh Pirates, no matter how good the odds are. As we’ll explain later on, each team has certain odds and in almost all situations, there will be a favorite and an underdog.

It’s important to remember that whilst the underdog will have better odds and lead to larger winnings, they’re placed as the underdog for a reason. It’s worth being up to date with the latest trends and stats so you can be confident going into your bets. 

MLB Run Line Bets

A run-line baseball bet is where one team starts at a disadvantage. In other words, a team has to claim victory by a certain margin in order for you to win a bet. 

For example, the run line on the Los Angeles Dodgers could be +2. This means they have to win by two clear runs in order for you to claim on your bet.

MLB Over/Under Bets

Also known as total bets, over/under wagers set a line, and your job is to say whether the result will be over or under it. Generally, total bets focus on the number of runs scored in a game. 

For example, the line for a game between the Cubs and Mets could be Over +7/Under -7. Taking the over means you believe the total number of runs will be more than seven, while the under means you think it will be below seven.

MLB Prop Bets

Prop bets are wagers that focus on individual outcomes. In other words, they’re events that don’t necessarily impact the game as a whole. Props are typically split into two categories: team and player. Some popular MLB prop bets are: X team to score the first run, X team’s total number of runs, will there be a run scored in X inning, total number of runs/strikes by a player, will any player hit a home run, etc. 

An example of this is an NRFI bet, fans no longer need to be on the edge of their seat for 9 innings with the fast-paced prop bet. 

MLB In-Play Bets

In-play wagers are also known as live bets. They’re called in-play because they can be made while a game is in progress. You can speculate on various outcomes, but the main thing to remember is that the bets are made in the heat of the moment, which means the odds are always changing.

MLB Parlays

Parlays are bets that combine multiple outcomes. For example, you could bet on the result of three MLB games taking place on the same night. You can bet on each game individually or roll them up into one and make a parlay. If you make a parlay, each pick has to be correct. If just one pick is incorrect, the whole bet loses.

The benefit to making parlays is that the odds are a lot longer and, so you can win more cash.

MLB Futures Bets

If you're patient and can play the long game, this method of betting could be a perfect fit for you. These are season-long bets that cover overall outcomes. Say you’re betting on something that will happen in the future. 

For example, you can bet on a team to win the World Series or the AL Cy Young race.

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What Metrics Should You Know When Betting On Baseball?

Understanding key baseball statistics and metrics can give any bettor a great understanding of baseball. If Moneyball taught us anything, baseball is so heavily stats-driven that it can pay off to learn. 

What is wRC+ in Baseball

wRC+ is an acronym for Weighted Runs Created and is a fantastic metric to assess a player’s hitting ability. As with all metrics that follow, the + means the metric is shown as a ratio compared to all league players. 

What is OPS in Baseball 

Now we’re getting more complicated. On Base (%) + Slugging (%). This is an older metric that you do not see as much anymore but it is a measure of offensive performance. What made this so unique was its consideration of ballparks and run environments. However, the more accurate metrics on this list have since made it obsolete 

What is MVR in Baseball

This stands for Mound Visits Remaining. Each team will have a maximum ceiling on how many mound visits they can achieve with the remainder of the game. For bettors, this provides context to strategy, in particular in defense. 

What is FIP in Baseball 

Fielding Independent Pitching, these are measures that look solely at the pitcher and no other players. This then looks as strikeouts, unintentional walks, hit-by-pitches, and home runs, you get the idea. 

A FIP of 3.2 would be considered excellent and is a great measure as it excludes any random factors which fall to chance. 

How to Read Baseball Odds

Something else you need to consider when you’re learning how to bet on baseball is the odds. Otherwise known as betting lines, the odds tell you how likely a team or individual is to complete a certain task. These lines are expressed as positive or negative numbers.

For example, the Yankees might be listed as -200 favorites against the Red Sox. The figure -200 basically means that you need to put $200 on to win $100. Of course, you don’t have to stake $200, it can be any amount you like.

You can bet $100 and win $50 or stake $25 and win $12.50. However, US betting odds tell you how much you need to bet in order to win $100. So, in this example, -200 means that you need to be $200 to make a $100 profit. That’s why it’s best to explain baseball odds in this way.

Favorites vs. Underdogs

Everyone loves an underdog, right? This is especially the case in betting on baseball. If we stick with this example and say the betting line for the Red Sox is +100, that means you’ll win $100 for every $100 you stake. If the odds for the Red Sox were +300, you’d win $300 for every $100 you wager. This is how US baseball betting odds are decided and, in turn, how you can determine who is the favorite.

If you need to bet more on one team than the other to win $100, then that team is the favorite. So, in the above scenario, the Yankees are favorites at -200 because you need to bet $200 to win $100. In contrast, you only need to bet $100 on the Red Sox to get the same return.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the odds are just a bookmaker’s opinion. These opinions may be based on statistics, results, form, and experience. But bookmakers aren’t always right. So, as we’ll explain later in this guide on how to bet on baseball, you should be looking for spots where the odds don’t align with your game analysis.

Compare MLB Odds: Using an Odds Comparison Tool for the Latest MLB Odds

Navigating your way through the MLB betting markets can be confusing and time-consuming.

Everyone wants to get the best odds for their picks. Here at OddsIndex, we have a powerful odds comparison tool that allows you to quickly and easily see the best betting odds at all the leading sportsbooks in your state.

Waste no time, as our tool provides the latest and best odds every 5 minutes, showing sportsbooks and events unique to your location. 

So why waste time checking numerous websites when our odds comparison tool does the hard work for you?

How to Claim Baseball Sportsbook Promo Codes

If you're looking to use baseball sportsbook promo codes to claim a new customer bonus, it's a simple process to sign-up for most sportsbooks.

Here is our step-by-step guide to joining a sportsbook.

  1. Decide what sportsbook and promotion you want to take advantage of.
  2. Navigate to the sportsbook's homepage or download their app and click on the join now/join here/registration button.
  3. Complete the registration form with your details, including your address, email, and telephone number.
  4. In some cases, you’ll need to input the relevant promo code to activate the bonus. 
  5. Next, you will need to verify your identity by providing a copy of some photographic ID, such as your driver's license.
  6. Once your account is verified, head to the promotions page, read the terms and conditions for the offer you are looking to claim, and opt-in to the promotion if necessary.
  7. Now it's time to deposit funds into your account - ensure you deposit enough to claim the bonus you are looking to use. For example, if the offer is a 100% matched deposit bonus up to $100, and you want to max this offer out, ensure you deposit $100. Also, double-check if any promo code is required when making your initial deposit.
  8. Make your qualifying bet, and your bonus should be released per its terms and conditions.

What are the Best Baseball Sportsbook Promo Codes to Look Out For? 

You can also log in to your betting accounts and check for yourself. Whichever way you keep an eye on things, you’ll find the following offers at the leading US sportsbooks:

Parlay Boost:

Bet on multiple baseball games, and you can unlock boosts that will increase your profit by a certain amount.

Free Baseball Bets: 

These promos are often linked to deposits. For example, you might be asked to reload your account with $10 to receive a free $5 bet on the next MLB game.

Enhanced Odds:

The top US sportsbooks will always offer generous odds. However, there are times when you can get even more value thanks to enhanced odds. These baseball promos are when the bookmaker increases the standard line by a point or two.

Bet Insurance: 

Also known as cashback or risk-free bets, these offers allow you to get a rebate if your pick loses. For example, if you bet on the Red Sox to win and they don’t, an insurance bonus will see you get the stake back (up to a certain amount) as a free wager.

The Best Baseball Betting Strategy: The Only 5 Tips You'll Ever Need

Okay, so we’re almost at fourth base. The plate is in sight, and you’re about to score a home run. To help you get down the final stretch without falling, here are some quick baseball betting strategy tips you can use each time you place a wager:

Bet within your limits

In simple terms, don’t bet more than you can afford. Make sure your stake is a small percentage of your total bankroll.

Look for Hidden Value

We referenced odds earlier in this guide and said they’re based on a bookmaker’s analysis. That’s true, but as we know, the bookies aren’t always right. 

They could represent hidden value if you can find odds that don’t match your take on a game. For example, if the Mets are +200 but you think they’re a +100 shot, this is a smart bet because you’re getting more value, according to your take on the game. Alternatively, you may prefer an early future bet on MVP odds if you're familiar with player statistics. 

Don’t Trust the Favorites

Baseball is one of the most watched sports across the US. However, this doesn’t mean everyone is as familiar with the sport, leaving them open for exploitation. 

Baseball has a huge cultural presence, and with that comes some assumptions that some of the familiar teams, such as the New York Yankees and the Red Sox, can dominate all games. In fact, in the AL East division, both these teams failed to top their league last year with win percentages of 56% each! 

Sportsbooks may exploit this and raise the juice for some of these games, resulting in some gutting losses. 

Avoid Ambitious Payouts

As avid bettors ourselves, we’ve been there. Parlay betting is a one-way ticket to losing your bankroll. We know how exciting those large payouts can be, but ask how many times you could guess a coin toss in a row. Those are 50:50 chances, so why are your odds of picking prop picks any better? 

Do Your Research

Most people bet on instinct, but the pros use data to guide their decisions. This, of course, doesn’t always work out the way it was meant to. However, if you can compare the stats between the two teams, look at recent results, scroll through the starting line-ups, and consider the weather conditions, you stand a better chance of being right.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

Which Players are Eligible for Baseball Sportsbook Promo Codes? 

It's worth checking whether or not sports betting is legal in your location. Each state will have its own legalization of sports betting which can be tracked with our own tracker. If you're over 21 and you have sportsbooks operating in your state, you'll be eligible to sign up for an account with the above promo codes. 

How do I use the Baseball Sportsbook Promo Codes? 

Before setting up any sportsbook account, check the baseball sportsbook promo codes and cash bonuses above for relevant promo codes, otherwise, you may find the bonus invalid. Each operator will have a different sign-up procedure, our unique reviews look at the usability of each in more detail.  

What Mistakes Should I Avoid when using Baseball Betting Best Promo Codes? 

As sports bettors ourselves, we have been burned a few times. You should always look for terms and conditions regarding bonuses and ensure you maximize the bonus value. More often than not, offers will match your initial deposit and you'll want to stretch this to suit your bankroll. The other obvious error is letting free bets or bonuses expire. Check the expiry date and make sure you use them by then!


Our full list of Baseball sportsbook promo codes allows fans to get in on the action and bet alongside other like-minded fans. 

If you're interested in more Baseball content, check out our resources and visit our odds comparison tool to compare the latest odds.