Why Betting on the MLB is Difficult

Sportsbook on Left and a MLB Batter Swinging on Left

Sports gambling is difficult and Major League Baseball might be the most challenging sport to bet on.

America’s Pastime is one of the most popular sports in the world and certainly appeals to sports gamblers. Sharps use a variety of different systems and strategies to fleece sportsbooks and gambling sites throughout the season.

However, the average gambler would be lucky to win over 45% of their bets on the MLB. Still, this doesn’t drive the betting public away from trying to make some money off of baseball.

There are plenty of reasons that make betting on the MLB more challenging than other sports. Understanding these difficulties before you start gambling might help you get a leg up on the competition and start winning money.

Here are 7 things to know about betting on the MLB and why it’s so difficult.

1 ‒ There Are Too Many Games to Keep Up With

When you first start betting on sports it can be hard to get your fill. If you primarily focus on sports like football, you have to do a majority of your betting during the weekends.

With a limited 17-game season, gamblers only have so many opportunities to place wagers. Additionally, bettors have an entire week to analyze a game and place bets they believe will win money.

Baseball gamblers don’t face these same issues or have the luxury of time to scout matchups.

During the MLB’s regular season, there is baseball on almost every single night. The only time off is during the All-Star break.

Even then, baseball bettors can still gamble on the game itself, as well as the Home Run Derby and some of the other spectacles and events.

For some, all of these gambling opportunities might sound like a good thing. However, unless you have a reliable betting system and understand the concept of high-volume betting, the regular season can destroy your bankroll.

There’s far too much action for a casual sports gambler to keep up with. Each of the MLB’s 30 teams plays 162 games during a standard season.

Many of these games occur on back-to-back days, as baseball players are accustomed to the rigorous marathon of a season. More action is great for fans of the game but can be disastrous for fledgling sports bettors.

It’s hard to keep up with every team and monitor results closely enough to make bets that can give you a good chance to win money.

2 ‒ Results Are Random and Unpredictable

Not only is the MLB season lengthy compared to other sports, but it’s also incredibly unpredictable.

This isn’t a new take or an original opinion. But, it’s important to establish this for a few reasons. If you approach betting on baseball like other sports, you’re going to get burned.

It’s relatively easy to look at a slate of NFL games and pick winners. If you’re a knowledgeable football fan, there’s no reason you shouldn’t hit a majority of your predictions.

However, nightly results are much harder to predict for baseball gamblers. Coming into a season, solid gamblers have a good idea of which teams should win each division.

MLB Player Pablo Reyes at Bat

This comes down to analyzing past results, comparing rosters, and measuring other aspects of each team. While baseball sharps might be able to correctly predict divisions champs, day-to-day wagers are far less reliable.

That’s due to the length of the season, the cyclical nature of the game, injuries, and a variety of other factors. Sure, a powerhouse like the Dodgers is probably going to have a better record than the Diamondbacks at the end of the year.

But, there’s no way to guarantee that they will beat them in every single regular-season matchup. You truly never know when a bad team will get hot or when a good team will go ice cold.

3 ‒ The 2 Schools of Thought

The sport of baseball has been in a weird position for the last several decades. The steroid era gave way to sabermetrics and subsequently to a league that’s scrambling to figure out its own identity.

Now baseball fans and some less informed gamblers don’t know what to think about the sport they love.

That’s because the sport is stuck between 2 schools of thought: old school vs. new school. Old school baseball fans focus on certain factors of the game that the “modern” fan wouldn’t dare to consider.

These fans and gamblers care about antiquated stats and things like the unwritten code that governs the game. New-school fans and gamblers understand the significance of modernized analysis and statistics.

This divide is apparent in the way the sport is covered and how the gambling public handles the proposition of betting on the MLB.

4 ‒ Which Stats Should You Focus On?

One of the biggest issues gamblers face when betting on baseball comes when trying to figure out how to evaluate the game.

20 years ago the home run seemed to be the single most important statistic in the sport. Superstars like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Alex Rodriguez wowed fans with their feats of superhuman strength.

The hype surrounding McGwire breaking the single-season home run record in 1998 was incredible. 9 years later, the history of Major League Baseball changed forever when Barry Bonds hit home run 756.

2019 MLB World Series Players on Field

The home run is arguably the most exciting accomplishment in sports. But, is it the most important statistic? Absolutely not.

Instead of focusing on some of these types of stats, baseball bettors must turn their attention to more relevant and all-encompassing statistics.

While home runs are certainly important, they are only a small piece of a player’s offensive production. Chicks might dig the long ball, but sports bettors cannot afford to be smitten by a player’s ability to hit homers.

5 ‒ Bad Teams Win Every Night

Most new gamblers don’t pick baseball as their primary sport to bet on. Instead, many choose to wager on the NFL, NCAA, NBA, and even the NHL.

But there comes a time every year where the only sport on television is baseball. If you’re like me, you can only resist the urge for so long.

This is a common occurrence for many gamblers who are new to betting on baseball. Unfortunately, starting out betting on other sports can create some bad habits and get you in a hole early.

You see, when you’re betting on other sports like football, it’s safe to say big favorites when a majority of the time. But bad baseball teams beat great ones every night.

This is something that certain gamblers simply can’t wrap their heads around. It’s important to recognize this fact and apply it to the way you approach betting on baseball.

6 ‒ Regular Season Receives Little Coverage

The MLB’s regular season receives far less converge than other major sports. This is due to a few reasons:

  • The MLB has struggled to capture the attention of younger demographics
  • The novelty of baseball wears off quickly
  • The NBA Playoffs take priority during the early summer months
  • Storylines surrounding the NFL Preseason are more intriguing than MLB storylines
  • Baseball is slower and less “exciting” than other major sports
  • The MLB has a shortage of dynamic superstars to garner the media’s attention

This lack of coverage can be problematic for a few reasons. While the average media company doesn’t have the gambling public’s best interest in mind, all press is good press.

View of MLB Player Swinging at Ball

Any information about the MLB can benefit you when deciding where to spend your money. While there are plenty of useful sources out there, much of this coverage isn’t mainstream and quality information can be hard to come by.

7 ‒ It’s a Struggle to Find Value

The key to winning bets is finding value where a majority of the gambling public cannot. If you can do this consistently, you’ll have a long and prosperous gambling career.

But finding value is easier said than done.

Doing so regularly involves developing a system that’s effective and offers a strong ROI. There are plenty of popular betting systems and it truly doesn’t matter which one you use as long as it works for you.

You can’t rely on luck when betting on baseball. The sport is far too difficult to handicap so you must be more advanced and sophisticated in handling your wagering.


Making profitable baseball bets is incredibly difficult. The MLB regular season is long, unpredictable, and can destroy your bankroll if you’re incapable of making sharp wagers.

The sport of baseball is at an interesting crossroads. The steroids era made stats like home runs the primary focus, but there are other statistics that paint a more complete picture.

Sports gamblers must prioritize stats like WAR, BABIP, and WHIP over more simplistic, antiquated statistics.

Fans coming from other sports might be shocked to learn that bad teams beat great ones every single night. Instead of placing max bets on one or 2 teams, it’s important to spread your bankroll across the board so you don’t get burned by a bad beat.