How to Make Smarter Bets on Baseball

Man Thinking With a Baseball and Money Background

The Major League Baseball season is well underway. Typically, baseball has the highest number of regular-season games, providing gamblers ample opportunity to wager on America’s pastime. However, without a disciplined approach and consistent system, gambling on baseball can be nightmarish.

If you’ve hit the ground running since the restart of the MLB season a few weeks ago and find yourself losing consistently, it might be time to analyze your method and approach.

Here are seven ways to place smarter wagers on baseball and start winning.

1 ‒ Follow Trends

Baseball teams, as well as players, are known to go through several slumps throughout a regular 162 game season. With a wide array of resources at your disposal, you’ll be able to track these trends in an attempt to project results for ensuing matchups.

Trends are everywhere in the sport of baseball. From a pitcher’s recent performance to a team’s success in day games, you can and should inspect a variety of factors before placing a wager.

Each trend you monitor can add insight to the potential profitability of a bet, which can help you gain an advantage over the book.

However, there is such a thing as too much information, which is a common problem when researching a potential bet. Because there is a surplus of information on each game and line around the internet, you must be able to pinpoint the significant trends to monitor. Starting off, I recommend paying attention to pitching staff, a team’s record recent performance as it relates to the spread, and head-to-head matchup records.

2 ‒ Focus on the Important Statistics

The last several decades have given rise to a more in-depth analysis of valuable baseball statistics. This analysis, otherwise known as sabermetrics, monitors the in-game performance of players and teams to understand better why they are successful. For example, a pitcher’s record no longer carries as much weight as it once did, and analysts now focus more on their WHIP and ERA.

Baseball provides a haven for fans of statistics and utilizes more empirical stat taking than any other sport. This can benefit you as a gambler, or it can overwhelm you and lead to information overload. When analyzing a matchup, you should focus on the two statistics I mentioned above to help better understand a pitcher’s productivity.

MLB Padres Player After a Hit

A pitcher’s ERA, or earned run average, is the number of runs a pitcher surrenders over 9 innings. A pitcher’s WHIP is the number of walks plus hits given up per inning pitched. The lower the number the ERA and WHIP are, the better a pitcher should perform in a potential matchup.

3 ‒ Shop the Line

When you’re betting on sports, you need to take advantage of every single edge possible, no matter how small. The saying goes, the house always wins, and it’s your job to make it as competitive as possible. An easy way to gain an edge is to make sure you’re getting the best odds on your wager as possible.

Most gamblers have their sportsbooks or betting sites of choice, where they’re comfortable or have the best interactions and history. Before you place your wager, look around some other online sportsbooks to ensure you’re not robbing yourself of some added value.

I recommend depositing money in three or four sites to help streamline the process of placing bets. That way, if it’s close to first pitch, you’re not worrying about creating an account or fumbling with credit cards trying to deposit money. Even if the difference between the two lines is minuscule, always take advantage of the better odds.

4 ‒ Pay Attention to Divisional Series

During a typical regular season, teams will face off against divisional foes 19 times. Those 19 games allow each side to get the feel of their opponent and give you a reliable sample to base decisions.

Let’s look at an example for last season. The Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros played 19 games against each other, and the Astros won 18 of those 19 games, outscoring the Mariners 118-62. Most divisional series aren’t as lopsided as this, but trends indeed arise during these series.

When following the trends that arise during divisional series, it’s essential to be mindful of the public betting heavy on favorites. This leads to better odds and more value if you bet on the underdog. All in all, the divisional series is an excellent opportunity to make easy money if you approach your bets with diligence.

5 ‒ Watch the Weather

The importance of how weather factors into a baseball game is a source of debate amongst handicappers and bettors alike. Some argue that it’s incredibly overrated, while others say that it can be the difference between wins and losses. I believe that the truth lies somewhere in the middle of both extremes.

As a gambler, it’s your job to factor in every single variable that affects baseball games. Under certain circumstances, the weather will change the course of a game, so you should always take a look at the weather for games not taking place in domed stadiums. Wind direction, while unpredictable, can result in routine fly balls getting out of the park or crush jobs stalling at the warning track.

Additionally, temperature can play a significant role. Say the Dodgers are traveling to New York in October during a cold front. There’s a chance the Dodgers, who typically play in a temperate climate, won’t be prepared to face colder temperatures that Yankee Stadium offers.

6 ‒ Bet Against the Public

Let’s just come out and say it—the average sports gambler isn’t going to beat the house. A lack of information, hometown bias, and other variables can lead to sports betting mistakes from the public. An influx of these under-researched bets can actually impact the odds and lines you’re betting on.

MLB Phillies Player Bryce Harper

I’m not advising to do this in all situations, but when the odds are too lopsided to ignore, consider fading the public. At the very least, monitoring where the public is putting their money will force you to rethink bets that could be impulsive or ill-advised.

When most of the money is coming in on one side, it’s a sure sign that something isn’t right. The house might make a small correction on an opening line, but if the public continues to hammer one side, fade the public. The house knows what it’s doing a majority of the time.

7 ‒ Manage Your Money

Unless you’re brand new to gambling, there’s a good chance you’ve committed some mistakes with your bankroll in the past. Don’t worry, it happens, and there are several ways to help properly manage your bankroll.

For starters, consider sticking to flat bets, or wagering the same amount on every single bet. This will help you abstain from putting down a disproportionate amount of money on a bet due to overconfidence. Everyone wants to win big, and during your gambling career, there will be bets you know are going to win. However, no bet is guaranteed, and flat betting provides consistency so you can avoid severe losses.

The simplest way to manage your bankroll is to set a daily or weekly budget. By budgeting effectively, you eliminate the chance of making impulse bets or chasing losses. A budget will also force you to make smarter bets and avoid ridiculous props or parlays and maximize value while gambling.

Conclusion

Baseball is back, and gamblers have a ton of games ahead of them. Don’t worry if you’re off to a slow start. The lack of fans and a short season make it challenging to adequately handicap games. If you follow the tips in this post, you should get back to your winning ways.

There is more information available to baseball gamblers than any other type of sports gambling. Be sure to understand what you should pay attention to, and what data should be avoided. Pay attention to factors like weather and always shop for the best lines. In sports gambling, especially when it comes to betting on baseball, you must take any advantage you can.