When it comes to Major League Baseball, no two batters swing the bat the same way. There’s the smooth, effortless swing of a Ken Griffey Jr. Then, you’ve got the violent, powerful swing of a Vladimir Guerrero. Each swing is unique to the player that wields it.
Just like many different styles of swings can lead to a hit, there are many different types of baseball bets that can lead to a big payday.
What type of sports bet will be best for you? You’ll only be able to answer that question if you know the available options. So, as the baseball season starts hitting its stride, let’s go over a variety of baseball bets to help you figure out which ones will ensure you a winning season.
The most straightforward baseball bet is a moneyline bet. For this type of betting option, you have one simple job: figure out who’s going to win the game. The final score doesn’t matter, just focus on putting your money on the team that will be victorious. Let’s say the Brewers are playing the Pirates, and you bet on the Pirates. If the Pirates win, you win. If the Pirates lose, you lose.
While moneyline bets are simple to understand, you’ll need to pay attention to the betting odds since they’ll likely affect your potential winnings. Let’s look at that Brewers and Pirates matchup again:
- Brewers: +325
- Pirates: -280
Those numbers next to each team show you the odds. The team with a negative number is the favorite, and the team with the positive number is the underdog. In this case, you’d have to bet $280 on the Pirates to win $100. If you put $100 on the Brewers, you could win $325.
These odds can be affected by a number of different factors, including:
- Team record
- Starting pitchers
- Which team is home
Moneyline bets may appear to be fairly straightforward, but as you can see, there’s still plenty to consider.
The next type of baseball bet is baseball’s version of a point spread, called the run line. In this type of bet, sportsbooks even the odds by spotting the underdog’s extra runs. In our example, let’s say the run line is 1.5 for the Brewers. This means if you bet on the Pirates, they need to win by 2 or more runs for your bet to win. If you bet the Brewers, they can either win or lose by one run and your bet still wins.
Before placing a run line bet, here are a few more factors to consider:
- The typical run line will be 1.5 runs. However, you may see only 1 run or, if a matchup is seen as very lopsided, run lines of 2 or higher.
- There will still be different payouts depending on who you bet on. For instance, a run line bet on the Pirates may be listed as +140. That means if the Pirates win by 2 or more, a bet of $100 will now earn you a $140 payout.
- You can also make run line bets during live betting (where you bet as the game is occurring). Books that offer this option will continually update the line, meaning you may see high run lines as the game progresses.
If you’re new to baseball betting, make sure you read up on how to read baseball betting lines.
Imago Images / Zuma Wire
What if you’re the type of person who doesn’t care which team wins? You just want to see a good game. Well, you can either bet on tee-ball (we don’t recommend that), or you can make a totals bet. This bet isn’t concerned about who wins but rather how many runs will be scored by both teams combined throughout the game.
For instance, let’s say the total odds for the game above are set at 9.5. You can choose to bet the over or the under. If you bet the over, the teams need to combine to score 10 or more runs for your bet to win. Nine or less means an under bet would be the winner.
If a totals bet tempts you, be sure to keep the following in mind:
- Payouts may differ between the over and under. So, be sure to check the line to see how much each bet pays.
- Sometimes a totals line will be set at a whole number like 9 instead of 9.5. If the game ends with exactly 9 runs combined, the bet is considered a push. No one wins, and you get your initial stake back.
Any of the bets above can be placed on a game. However, you can also place them as 5 innings bets. This means you’re only betting on the outcome of half of the game, namely the first 5 innings. This can be useful as you won’t need to consider bullpens or substitutions when deciding who you want to bet on.
In addition to betting on the results of the game, you can also bet on how individual players will perform or other specific events throughout the game. These are called proposition bets, or prop bets, and there are many to choose from. Some examples include:
- How many total hits, RBIs, or steals a player will get
- How many strikeouts, walks, or runs a pitcher will allow
- Whether or not the game will go into extra innings
- Which team will score first
Each book may have slightly different prop bet options, so it’s worth checking what your particular book offers.
Some of the most exciting prop bet MLB odds come around during the All Star Weekend, especially during the Home Run Derby. Check out how to bet on the Home Run Derby to boost your chances of walking out of All Star Weekend with a big payout.
Think the Cubs are going to win it all this year? Put your money where your mouth is with future bets. In this type of bet, you're wagering on the results of the season as a whole. If you’re right, it could result in a hefty payout. Just remember, these bets are typically the hardest to predict, so you want to be careful about how much you wager here. If you're looking to place a futures bet on the World Series, discover our tips on how to bet on the World Series to boost your sports betting confidence going into the postseason.
Find Your Best Bet at Tipico
Now that you know the different bets available to you, it’s time to develop your season strategy—and there’s nowhere better to do that than at Tipico.
We offer a multitude of baseball bets from the regular season all the way through the Home Run Derby and the World Series. Find your favorite way to bet and start swinging for the fences with Tipico’s online sportsbook.