Taking a Look at MLB Betting and How It’s Done Properly
Heading out to Las Vegas to bet on baseball games or interested in signing up for an online sportsbook but don’t have a clue where to begin? No worries. We’ve got you covered in this MLB betting guide. We’re going to go over basic MLB betting strategy and understanding advanced baseball statistics…
Don’t try to cover your losses on one game
You need to have a poker player’s mentality when betting on baseball games. Don’t rely on short-term wins. Play your cards right and you’ll win in the long-term. Baseball games are more random than other sports. So don’t bet above your normal limit on one random game even if you’re in the hole. Be patient when betting on baseball. The wins will come, but you should expect the unexpected from time to time. The worst team in the league will beat the best team in the league 1 out of 3, on average. So don’t get discouraged when you lose a game here and there or even a semi-long stretch of bad luck.
Pitching match-ups are the most important aspect of the game
What’s the one thing 90% of playoff baseball teams have in common? Good starting pitching. Games are won and lost with pitching on most days. Don’t bet on a team to cover or win straight up until you’ve analyzed the pitching match-ups. How does a certain pitcher match-up against the opposing lineup? Just because a pitcher has a good ERA doesn’t mean he’s likely to be successful against the lineup he is facing that day. His ERA might be inflated due to luck. Or his ERA against that type of lineup might be higher than his overall ERA.
For example, pitchers that struggle to find the strikezone will have problems against a patient lineup. In most years, the Oakland A’s have a low batting average but high walk rates. You might think a pitcher with a low ERA would dominate a lineup with a low batting average. But not if that lineup draws a lot of walks and that pitcher has a tendency to throw a lower percentage of strikes than league average. Lines are set based on how the public is betting. However, the general public doesn’t factor in advanced statistics and match-ups. They see that the Yankees are facing the Mariners, so they’re going to put their money on the superior team. Wagering on the superior team isn’t always the smart bet.
Understanding Advanced Baseball Statistics That Are Important for Betting
If you’re not familiar with Baseball-Reference.com, you should spend the next few hours getting to know that site. Ditto for Fangraphs.com. These two websites will do wonders for baseball bettors. You need to find an edge. That’s how you win at baseball betting. How do you find an edge? By uncovering match-up advantages based on your statistical analysis. Not good at statistics? Don’t worry about it. All you have to do is learn the following advanced baseball statistics and know how to use them to your advantage…
Swinging-strike rate versus opponent strikeout rate: Remember what we said about pitching match-ups versus opposing lineup? Always check the swinging-strike rate of a pitcher and compare it to how many K’s per 9 innings the opposing lineup has. If the offense strikes out a lot and the pitcher has a high swinging-strike rate, this lineup is a good match-up for that pitcher.
Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched (WHIP): Sometimes a pitcher’s ERA can be inflated. If you notice a pitcher has a WHIP of more than 1.2 and a low ERA, chances are he’s been on the good end of the luck stick. Luck eventually runs out.
Fly ball ratio versus opponent slugging percentage: Another pitcher versus hitter match-up to take into consideration is the percentage of balls put into play that are fly balls versus the opposition’s power. A power hitting team is never a good match-up for a fly ball pitcher.
Ballpark factors: If an offense relies on homeruns to score runs, they’ll have a hard time scoring runs in a big ballpark. Conversely, if they’re playing in a small ballpark, they’re likely to score runs in bunches.
There are some baseball statistics that are overrated such as a pitcher’s win/loss total. That’s not a good indicator of how effective the pitcher has been. Another factor you shouldn’t take much consideration into is past history between pitcher and batter unless they have a long history facing each other. If a hitter is 0-9 against a pitcher, it’s merely a coincidence until proven otherwise. 9 at-bats is far too small of a sample size.