Whether you live in the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, China, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic or many other countries around the world, you’ll be able to watch and bet on MLB online.
By the end of this guide, my goal is to have taught everyone how to bet on MLB. I’ll also include sections detailing how to bet on a baseball game as it’s being played live, how to bet on your mobile device and how to watch MLB games online.
A lot of this guide can be utilized by baseball bettors of any league, as the bet types are the same or very similar.
You can bet on multiple baseball leagues online, including the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in Japan. The betting sites we recommend offer betting on these leagues in most cases.
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Popular baseball betting markets
The most common baseball wagers are full game bets, including the money line, runline and game total.
- Money Line (Ex: Red Sox -130 vs. Angels +120):
The bookmaker sets the odds and you simply pick the team that’ll win the baseball game. Just make sure you know how to read the odds, which I’ll explain below.
- Runline (Ex: Red Sox -1.5 +125 vs. Angels +1.5 -135):
The team with the negative handicap has to win by 2+ runs (In this case the Red Sox), while the Angels will cash if they win or lose by a single run.
- Game Total (Ex: Red Sox vs. Angels Over 8 -105 vs. Under 8 -105):
Bettors have to predict whether the two teams will score over or under the total. In this example, the bet could push (tie) if the total is 8 runs.
If you don’t understand how to read baseball odds – here’s how.
Let’s use our money line example from above. The Red Sox have negative odds (-130), which means they’re the favorite (Team expected to win). The easiest way to figure out how much you can win is to imagine you’re betting an even $100.
With a favorite – the odds indicate how much a MLB handicapper has to wager in order to win $100 (Ex: Red Sox -130 = Bet $130 to win $100). The team with positive odds is the underdog (Team expected to lose).
With an underdog – the odds indicate how much a handicapper will win on a $100 bet (Ex: Angels +120 = Bet $100 to win $120). You can divide or multiply these numbers to determine how much you’ll win on a bigger/smaller wager.
NB: The above explanation uses American odds, if you are wagering from a country like Australia, England, and India you may find Fractional or Decimal odds. Most online sites allow you to alter the odds displayed between the three most common types.
There are numerous other baseball betting markets available at online bookies that we’re going to look at now.
- Alternate Runline:
The same as a MLB runline wager, except the handicap switches. Using our example from above – the Red Sox would become +1.5 runline underdogs and the Angels would become the favorites (-1.5).
- 1st 5 Innings:
Rather than bet on a full game – it’s possible to bet on the 1st 5 innings only. Available markets include the money line, runline, run total (over/under) and alternate runline.
- Series Betting:
Every baseball fan should know what a series is. This market allows you to bet on which team will win a series rather than a single game, which can help decrease your variance when betting.
- MLB Props:
There are hundreds of daily props in MLB to handicap and wager on. Examples include betting on whether there will be a run scored in the 1st inning or how many strikeouts a pitcher will have in a game.
- MLB Futures:
Season long bets don’t appeal to everyone, but they can offer huge rewards. Examples include betting on which team will win the World Series, AL/NL Pennant or one of the six divisions.
- Will there be a hit in the next 1/2 inning?
- Total strikeouts in the next 1/2 inning?
- Will a pitcher record a strikeout this inning?
- How many total hits will there be in the game?
- Which team will have the most hits in the next inning?
- Winning margin bets (Bet on a team to win by X runs).
- Boston Red Sox +150
- New York Yankees -160
- Boston Red Sox +1.5 +100
- New York Yankees -1.5 -110
- Boston Red Sox o8.5 -110
- New York Yankees u8.5 -110
Bet on baseball games live (in-play)
MLB is the one American sport that caters well to sports traders. A baseball game can have a lot of ups and downs. Lead changes are a common occurrence during the course of a game and that’s great news for in-play traders.
The full game markets will fluctuate in-play based on the score of a game and how much time is left.
Casual bettors and full-time handicappers both enjoy this next live market. In baseball – you can wager on every single at-bat in a game. Think the next hitter will strikeout, single or hit a home run? You can bet on that exact outcome.
There are numerous other markets exclusive to betting in-play. Want to bet on a run being scored in the next inning or on how many pitches a pitcher will need to get out of the next 1/2 inning? These in-play MLB props can all be bet on.
Here are a few more MLB live betting markets to wager on:
MLB betting on the iPhone, iPad and Android
Years ago no one even had heard of mobile baseball betting – now everyone is doing it.
The quality of mobile betting apps has improved in recent years, but the US market still lags behind other markets. In the US, baseball fans can wager on MLB markets by accessing a web-app on any Internet-enabled mobile device.
Whether you have an iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry or other mobile device, you’ll be able to wager on all of the bets discussed above from anywhere in the world. The only requirements? Have WiFi and a funded sportsbook account.
Watch MLB online
With some sports, it’s possible to live stream games directly from sportsbooks. That’s not the case with MLB.
There are multiple free streaming websites available to watch most MLB games, but they’re full of ads and potentially viruses. I recommend using MLB.tv, which is a premium service from MLB.com.
MLB.tv will allow you to watch every MLB and thousands of minor league games annually for about $125. This service is available to people all over the world, which certainly adds to the global appeal of betting on baseball.
Why bet on baseball?
Baseball may be America’s past time but not for betting baseball is actually well behind basketball and football when it comes to wagering. In this article we’ll take a look at the basics of baseball betting and it works.
There are 3 bet types used when betting baseball. There’s the money line which is the most common way to bet baseball then there’s the runline which is a spread type bet and finally there’s the total also know as the over/under.
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The money line is the most common bet type used in baseball and it’s very simple. All your doing is betting which team will win or lose outright it doesn’t matter if they win by 1 run or 10 runs. An example of a money line bet in baseball would be.
In this example the Red Sox are the underdog and if you were to bet them you would wager $100 to win $150. You can bet any amount you want it could be $10 to win $15 or $200 to win $300 it doesn’t matter we’re just using $100 wager amounts because it makes things easier to explain. Anyway if the Red Sox win the game you win the bet and $150 and if the Red Sox lose the game you lose the $100 you wagered. If you bet the Yankees you would risk $160 to win $100 and if the Yankees win the game you win $100 and if the Yankees lose you lose your $160.
The second way to bet baseball is the runline and the runline is a 1.5 run spread so you would be betting and a team to win by more then 1.5 runs or lose by less then 1.5 runs. We’ll take a look at an example below of a runline.
So now with the runline if you wanted to bet the Red Sox you would risk $100 to win just $100 and if the Red Sox win the game you would win your bet but you would also win your bet if the Red Sox lost by just 1 run. If the Yankees win 5-4 and you had the Red Sox +1.5 on the runline you still win your bet even though the Red Sox lost the game. Now if you wanted to bet the New York Yankees to win you would wager $110 to win $100 and in order to win your bet the Yankees would have to win by more then 1.5 runs so essentially they would have to win by 2 runs or more for you to win your bet. If the Yankees win by just 1 run it doesn’t matter you would still lose your bet.
The runline is usually used to reduce the odds when betting a heavy favorite. So say the Yankees were -160 on the money line and you didn’t want to risk $160 to win $100 you could take them on the runline instead and only have to risk just $110 to win $100. This sounds great and all but be careful betting a lot of favorites on the runline because in baseball underdogs win a lot more often then sports like basketball or football and even when favorites win it might only be by 1 run.
The last way to bet baseball is the total also know as the over/under. When betting the total your betting on if the number of runs scored in the game will be over or under a set number. Lets take a look at betting the total in baseball.
The first thing you’ll notice is that there is a o8.5 after the Red Sox and a u8.5 after the Yankees. The o stands for over and the u stands for under, which makes “total” sense. It doesn’t matter that the over 8.5 is next to the Red Sox and the under 8.5 is next to the Yankees that’s just the way the odds are shown for totals your still betting on of the total number of runs scored in the game by both teams will be over or under 8.5 runs. If you bet the over you would rick $110 to win $100 and to win your bet the Red Sox and Yankees would have to combine to score over 8.5 runs. If the game ended up 5-4 for the Yankees or 5-4 for the Red Sox or 100-1 for someone you would win it doesn’t matter who wins or by how much it just matters on if there’s more then 8.5 runs scored in the game. If you bet the under you would risk $110 to win $100 and to win the bet there would have to be less them 8.5 runs scored in the game.
(When betting totals the game has to go 9 innings if the game is shortened due to weather your bet would be refunded)