How to bet on baseball – Best MLB tips and picks

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Baseball is another popular sport to bet on and for good reason. Due to the lack of a salary cap unlike the other three major American sports, there is a severe lack of parity. You often see the same teams at the top of the standings year after year and applying some of the MLB tips and picks do become challenging. The big market teams can afford to spend on the top free agents, which creates a dichotomy in the standings.

All MLB owners also participate in profit sharing. For this reason they have very little incentive to win. The Steinbrunners, The Monforts and the like are getting paid no matter what. Consistently teams like the Marlins and the A’s have little to no fans in the stands game after game. Their lineups are either homegrown or horrible (both?). The owner is still going to make a profit off of the other teams in the MLB. Why would a frugal owner want to pay up for good coaching/analytics/players? This creates a massive disparity between the best and worst teams in baseball.


Because of this lack of parity, baseball spreads and money lines can become outrageous. They often get so heavily juiced to the point that they are almost impossible to bet. The “Run Line” in baseball is always -1.5 for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdog. This means the favorite would have to win by 2 runs or more for you to win your bet. The bet is lost if the favorite wins by only one run.


You can bet the game outright by betting the moneyline. This means according to our MLB tips and picks, the team you wager on simply has to win for you to win your bet. Let’s use a heavy favorite like the Yankees against a poor team like the Royals as an example. A game like this can get up to -350 or -400. Moneyline parlays are an option to get those odds down to a more acceptable number.

Total (over/under):

Combined runs scored by both teams in the game. Baseball totals can vary due to a number of different factors. Ballpark dimensions are different for all 30 teams. This variability results in unique pitching and hitting environments for different teams. Causing ballparks to be “hitter’s parks” or “pitcher’s parks” depending on those dimensions.

Some teams have domes or retractable roofs, but most ballparks are outdoors. The weather tends to become a factor in outdoor games, especially for the total. For example, if the wind is blowing in at Wrigley Field, most fly balls are going to stay in the park. That total might be closer to 6.5 for an over/under. Now if that wind is blowing out from the home plate and causing every flyball to carry? This leads to more home runs resulting in the sportsbooks adjusting. This total will likely be closer to 10 or 11 runs at that same ballpark simply due to the wind direction.

MLB has changed the structure of baseball itself without warning multiple times over the past few years. This has caused outlandish hitting and pitching statistics depending on which ball they were using that particular year. Certain teams are better at hitting righty pitchers versus lefty pitchers, which can also influence the total.

First 5 Innings:

Often referred to as F5 (First 5). This is a popular way to bet on baseball, since it only takes into account the first 5 innings of the game. The bet is over when the bottom of the 5th concludes. You can bet F5 moneyline, so if the team you wagered on is winning at the end of 5 innings, you would win your bet. Our MLB tips and picks suggest, if both teams are tied at the end of nine innings, the bet is voided. And obviously, if the team you wagered on is losing at the end of 5 innings you would lose that bet.

You can also bet on the F5 spread, which is normally -0.5 runs for the favorite and +0.5 for the underdog. This is at better odds for the favorite than the F5 moneyline, due to the inherent risk of a draw at the end of 5 innings resulting in a loss for a -0.5 F5 bet. So a bet that had the Rockies -0.5 F5 with a result of a tie at the end of 5 innings would lose. F5 totals are also available to bet on.

The advantage of betting the F5 is due to the more predictable nature of starting pitchers. Normally pitchers start every 5th day, this allows the bettor to target certain matchups. The starting pitcher will inevitably be replaced by a reliever. With a F5 bet you don’t have to risk the bullpen ruining a good start and blowing a lead late in the game, since the bet concludes after the first five innings.


Another baseball bet growing in popularity is “No Runs First Inning.” If the score is 0-0 after the first inning, the bet wins. However the bet loses if a run or more is scored in the 1st inning. If two highly skilled pitchers are on the mound, the odds can be -130 or worse. Normally this line hovers around -110.

Player Props

Wagers can be placed on both hitters and pitchers player props. Hitters props available include hits, home runs, runs scored, stolen bases, runs batted in, total bases, singles, and doubles all at varying odds. Pitchers props are a little different; strikeouts, outs recorded and to record a win are the statistics available to bet on.