The Science of Betting on Baseball

baseball betting scienceSolving the science of wagering on baseball would likely result in wheel barrels of profits for your bankroll. Die hard baseball fans enjoy the statistical analysis aspect of the game while sports betting experts leverage these same stats to make predictions. Using stats and trends, baseball handicappers could gain an edge against the sports books. When betting on a baseball game, you should always consider these important factors.

MLB Runs Per Game Are Currently at a 22 Year Low

When you bet on baseball games, you have to take into account the different eras of baseball. Some analysts believe that the 1990s and early 2000s could be called the steroid era. The statistical analysis combined with admissions from the era’s top players supports this claim. During this time, home runs were being hit at an all time high. Compare and contrast year 2000’s home run total of 5,693 to 2014’s total of 4,186.

In 1992, baseball teams combined for an average of 8.23 runs per game. This stat continued to rise until it peaked in 2000 when Major League Baseball games were averaging a total of 10.2 runs per game. The runs per game figure has gradually fallen back to its lowest point in the past 25 years to 8.1 runs per game in 2014.

What Can Historical Analysis of MLB Runs Per Game Tell Us?

If you look at the data on a graph, you will see that the total of overall runs scored per game has been on a sharp decline since the end of the steroid era. Looking at more recent data, combined runs per game has declined year over year since 2012. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers:

  • 2012 MLB Season Runs Per Game Total: 8.65
  • 2013 MLB Season Runs Per Game Total: 8.33
  • 2014 MLB Season Runs Per Game Total: 8.13

This decrease in total runs per game has produced two schools of thought. Some analysts believe that this stat has bottomed out and that the runs per game will rebound over the next few years. Others believe that MLB managers have fully embraced the small ball approach. Regardless of what you believe, these stats scream one fact:  in today’s MLB, a pitcher can be team’s most valuable asset.

Looking At Runs Per Game From Another Angle: Strikeouts

Since the year 2005, the total number of strikeouts per season in the MLB has risen year over year. In 2014, Major League Baseball pitchers struck out 37,441 batters. This data backs up the fact that pitchers in today’s MLB are better than ever. When you begin placing bets on baseball teams, the first thing you should research are the stats involving the starting pitchers of the particular game.

Research a particular pitcher’s past stats against sluggers in the opposing dugout. If the pitcher has historically pitched well against that specific roster, use this knowledge to place your bets accordingly. Knowing a pitcher’s past results against a roster of batters will allow you get grip on how the game may be played out. The specific stats of the pitcher combined with the trends discussed in this piece should point you in the right direction as you begin to place your bets on the run line, the money line or the over/under totals.

How to Make Money with Baseball Stats and Trends

The easiest way to leverage these specific stats and trends is to focus a specific type of wager. It could be the over/under, the money line or the run line wager. Some sports bettors stay away from the run line wager due to the unpredictability of baseball. Other bettors do not like the lower odds assigned to money line favorites. Many sports betting experts stick to the over/under bet because most of these wagers pay you close to even money when you win.

More Info About Betting the Over/Under in Baseball

Since the average number of total runs scored currently sits in the 8 runs per game range, finding over/under totals between 7.5 and 8.5 could show a profit. Blindly taking the under on the bet is probably a bad idea. The MLB stats and trends that we’ve presented tell us to find games with competitive pitching matchups that feature an over/under line in the 7.5 to 8.5 range. These are the pitching showdowns that will likely keep the run total under whatever arbitrary number the online sports books have assigned for the matchup.