Of all the possible sports to bet on, the idea of betting on baseball seems to be the most polarizing in the gambling community. Many argue that betting on baseball is one of the more challenging ways to win due to several reasons. On the other hand, fans of the game and sharp bettors argue that with a sound system in place, betting profitability is undoubtedly possible.
Like most other types of sports betting, gambling on “America’s pastime” has its benefits and pitfalls. When approached with diligence, profits can potentially follow; however, if you take more of a haphazard swing at gambling, it’s easy to blow your bankroll. For those of you trying to figure out if the sport is right for you to bet on, here are six pros and cons of betting on baseball.
Pro: Longer Season Means More Opportunities
If you’re at all like me, you are probably always on the lookout for action. Lucky for avid sports bettors, the calendar year is typically full of a variety of sports to gamble daily. However, there always seems to be a bit of a dark period during the summer months after the basketball season draws to a close and before football ramps up.
This abundance of matchups offers gamblers the chance to satiate their gambling desires while also learning and adapting throughout the season. Baseball is all about streaks, and bettors can track slumps and hot stretches to further their chances of winning bets. I’ll dive into this at a later point, but suffice to say, baseball offers more gambling opportunities than any other major sport.
Con: It’s Easy to Spread Yourself Thin
Having acknowledged the longevity of a baseball season, you must also note that it can be very easy to place too many bets on a daily or weekly basis. Whereas a standard week in NFL action gives gamblers a maximum of 16 games to bet on, baseball can feature over five times as many opportunities to bet during the regular season.
While it’s always nice to have potential action on the table, gamblers can sometimes overextend themselves. This concept is especially true for newer gamblers breaking onto the sports betting scene. It’s always recommended that you devote a certain amount of time and energy to each bet, so you’re confident it’s a smart wager with the best possible odds.
When gamblers log into their favorite sports betting site, the volume of potential bets can force you to lose focus and place several bets for the sake of chasing a gambling high. I, like many fellow gamblers, have fallen into this trap before. The seemingly nonstop action seems great at first, right up until your half-baked wagers turn out to be terrible losses.
Pro: Plenty of Information and Data to Track
If you’ve ever taken a statistics course, you know that more data means a more extensive and stronger sample size. Throughout a baseball season, gamblers can focus on several different statistics and data points to formulate a model that works for them. New gamblers might struggle with the concept of model building at first. But with time, and more results and outcomes to measure, you’ll be able to predict future results better.
In addition to an increased volume of game results, the research and development that goes into analyzing baseball statistics are second to none.
This movement does away with old-school, antiquated statistics to better analyze the productivity of teams and players. As sabermetrics became mainstream, gamblers and handicappers took notice and began implementing it in their approach to betting on baseball.
Con: You Might Focus on the Wrong Stats
Grizzled baseball fans and sports bettors are creatures of habit, which I can definitely appreciate. They prefer to focus on the statistics they’ve grown to know and love, like home runs, RBIs, and pitcher’s wins and losses. When I first started betting on baseball, I barely gave advanced statistics a second glance, dismissing them as nerdy and too technical.
Chicks might dig the long ball, and a pitcher’s record looks really nice on the television screen during the pregame show, but you should be focusing on more critical stats, especially if you want to win. The complete breakdown of which statistics to focus on when betting on baseball is complex and has been covered in other posts.
So, for the sake of simplicity and brevity, I’ll offer you a few tidbits of knowledge. The pitching staff is one of the most important factors that could influence the results of a game. When picking teams, focus on a pitcher’s earned run average (ERA) and hits/walks per inning pitched (WHIP). These two stats will tell you a lot more than a simple win-loss record.
Pro: More Games Means a Variety of Bets
In baseball, like other types of sports, gamblers have the chance to bet on a variety of potential outcomes. Of course, you have the money, run line, and over/under bets, but most sportsbooks also offer a ton of prop bets for gamblers who enjoy betting on somewhat unconventional action. There’s a stigma in the gambling community about prop bets, and many older gamblers seem to think they’re reserved for novice gamblers.
This issue isn’t worth arguing about, and I’m of the mindset that if you’re enjoying yourself and making money, no one can rain on your parade.
An added benefit for gamblers is having a deeper understanding of a team or a specific player’s potential coming into a season. Whereas in other leagues, specific teams may come out of nowhere, baseball is relatively consistent, especially towards the top of each league. This makes it easier to place informed and logical futures on baseball.
Con: Baseball Is Unpredictable
When describing football’s unpredictability, many people defer to the popular thought of “any given Sunday,” meaning that anything can happen during a football game. I have a bone to pick with this, though. A team like the lowly Dolphins might get lucky and beat the Patriots thanks to an absurd sequence of laterals that resulted in a game-winning touchdown, as we witnessed in 2018. But how often do situations like that truly play out?
I would argue that baseball is the most challenging when it comes to handicapping sports. An elongated season, combined with the streakiness of teams and players, makes it increasingly challenging for sports bettors. For example, you might feel confident betting on a team that has its ace on the mound. But throughout the season, everyone is due for a bad night. So, if you unload a few units on the team in question, but their ace can’t find the strike zone for whatever reason, he might only last a few innings and turn the ball over to a shaky bullpen.
You’re going to face situations like this all the time while betting on sports. This is why it’s crucial to have a dependable system in place that you can defer to when things go awry. By no means should this be a reason to avoid betting on baseball, but it’s something to consider.
Betting on baseball is tough, but it’s no reason not to give it a shot. Newer gamblers might find it easier to score some early wins betting on other sports like football and basketball, but don’t be discouraged. Winning requires diligence and a tireless analysis of advanced analytics and sabermetrics to create a betting system that works for you.
When deciding on whether or not to spend some coin on baseball wagers, remember that baseball provides more betting opportunities than any other sport. With its longer season, you’ll have the chance to track teams and players to track trends and gain a better understanding of potential bets. This can also be problematic for some gamblers who struggle with maintaining a concerted and direct approach to sports betting.
Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on unimportant statistics that don’t shed light on a player’s actual value. Instead, focus on advanced stats, specifically when it comes to starting pitchers. Betting on baseball is challenging, sure, but the satisfaction you’ll receive after your hard work turns to wins will be unmatched.