MLB Betting Guide 2021

MLB is one of the longest running baseball leagues in history. It is one of the most popular sports organizations in the North American continent. As a result, MLB has a huge demand and a large fan-base in the betting community. But before you jump right into it, let us go through the key points of MLB betting.

What is the MLB?

MLB stands for Major League Baseball. It is one of the oldest baseball leagues to ever exist. MLB began its humble journey in 1903. It merged the two biggies of those times – National League (NL) and American League (AL). Before MLB came into being, NL was formed in 1876 and AL was established in 1901. Since MLB’s inception, both their experience and popularity have kept growing in the long lifespan lasting over a century. This organization comprises of 30 baseball teams in total. These teams hail from the baseball-loving countries of Canada and the United States of America. They are divided into three regional divisions namely East, West and Central. They all play a total of 162 games each season and five of them get to the next stage, leading to a World Series. People can enjoy all updates of an MLB match through various media including TV, radio and online streaming. So far, MLB holds the record of highest season attendance among all sports leagues by having over 73 million spectators at once in the 2015 series.

How To Bet On The MLB?

MLB is a major sporting event in Canada. Thus, every time there is an MLB match, a huge number of bettors line up on their respective sites to take advantage of the event. If you want to make it big on these betting platforms, you need to walk the extra mile and gain some knowledge on the betting process. A baseball game heavily relies on the pitchers and how they begin the game. One places the bet depending on the type of pitchers involved in the match. There are two kinds of pitchers involved with an MLB betting for the first five innings. Let’s discuss them one by one:

Listed Pitchers

Both the listed pitchers must throw a pitch to officially begin the game, as well as the wagering associated with it. The money line bets can have action only after this happens. If either of the pitchers refuses to throw a pitch, the respective bet will be declared as “no action”. Both the run line bets and total bets depend on listed pitchers only for action.

List One Pitcher

List one pitcher applies to money line wagers. In this case, you need to bet only one pitcher and he has to start the game with a throw. The bet will turn into a no-action one if he doesn’t begin the game. If you happen to switch the selected pitcher, the new wager amount will be calculated after factoring in the updated odds.

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MLB Betting: Understanding the rules

It is mandatory that the games begin at the scheduled date and time. A baseball game is official after five innings are played. This means a winner will definitely be determined in those games even after the match is suspended after the 5th innings. The first three games of a series are counted for betting. If a team ends up winning two games in one series, the series is graded at that time. The regular bettors can have action until two games in the series are completed.

Basic bet types

The following three ways are the most common ones when it comes to MLB betting:

Money Line

This is the most basic category where the bettor just needs to place the stakes on the winning team or the losing team. So you need to predict which team will end up winning or losing the game based on all relevant facts. For example, how the pitcher opens up the match will have an impact on the overall result. So it would be wise to do some research on the pitchers of both the participating teams. That will give you more insight about the possibilities of that match.

A common trend in money line MLB bets is that the match favorite tends to be on negative odds. As a result, if you bet on the underdogs and they win, you will earn a bigger amount. For example, let’s say there is a match between team A, the favorite and team B, the underdog. Now if team A has the odds of -123 and end up winning the game, you can win $100 by betting $123. On the contrary, if team B has the odds of +123 and ends up winning the game, you will win $123 by betting $100.

Run Line or Spreads

Run line, handicap or spreads are mainly popular with NBA and NFL betting events. However, it has now made its way to baseball as well. In this version, each participating team has two numbers associated with them – one is a signed decimal number and the other one is a signed integer. The signed integer here works the same way as in money lines. The decimal number is the handicap and is always set at 1.5, unlike other sports. This lets the bettors know that the team with -1.5 has bigger chance to lose and the team with +1.5 has more probability of winning. The first team needs to win by 2 runs and the second team can lose the game by just one run.

Totals or Over Under

As the name implies, this betting variation has to deal with the total number of runs earned in the game. Here, you need to state a particular number and see if the resulting score goes above or below that number. Typically, the baseball games score totals between 7 and 11 runs.  The number set by you can also be a decimal. Bettors land upon this predicted number after taking in many factors into consideration like the venue (indoor or outdoor) and the wind velocity.

Sports Interaction – Betting on Baseball

MLB Odds

The odds of an MLB can tell you how much you can win from the respective match. That is why you take the help of online bookmakers or sportsbooks where all the odds are laid down after comprehensive calculations. However, never take these odd figures as the gospel truth since all human calculations are susceptible to errors. These numbers just let you make the better decision according to statistics and algorithmic mathematics only.

The betting odds can be represented in three variations – fractions, decimals or money lines. Depending on the territory of the sportsbook, these representations vary. The fractional odds occur more frequently on the British sites, the decimals are for other European countries and money lines suit American regions the most. As a result, most Canadian sportsbooks gravitate towards money line odds.

Moneyline odds rely heavily on the sign preceding the actual number. For example, if team X has the odds of +143, it means you can win $143 by placing a bet worth $100. You can convert this number into the actual probability percentage by this formula:

Probability = 100 / (100+odds) 

If we apply this formula to our example, we will end up with the winning percentage of:

Probability = 100 / (100+143) = 100/243 = 0.4115 = 41.15%

As for the decimal representation, you can figure out the percentage by: 

Probability = 1/odds 

So if an MLB team has the odds of 1.25 in a match, their probability to win the match is:

Probability = 1/1.25 = 0.8 = 80%

The fractional odds are pretty straightforward compared to these two. If the team shows the odds of ¾, they have a 75% chance at winning the game. The conversion of fraction to percentage is pretty elementary so we will not be diving deep into that here.

Major events

MLB takes part in many events every year. One season for MLB typically lasts from April to November. The most notable events within this timeline are:

Divisional Championships

There are three Divisional Championship tournaments in total. In these tournaments, each division consists of at least five teams. One team plays against all other teams of their division 19 times. Besides, they also need to play a home series consisting of 7 games and an away series. In total, all the teams need to take part in about 162 games each season to qualify.

Pennant Winners

The winners of three Divisional Championships, along with the top three runner-ups, take part in matches to find the National League and the American League champions. These games are basically knock-out competitions before the World Series can begin.

World Series

The Pennant winners of NL and AL take part in the World Series to be throned as the new champion team of baseball. This is basically the Super Bowl of baseball where the best of seven matches are counted. The winning team is awarded a gigantic trophy marking the splendor of this ceremony.

MLB Favourites

Out of the 30 teams playing in the MLB, some definitely outshine the others. Based on the latest records, these teams are the current favorites in MLB :

New York Yankees

New York Yankees is one of the all-time favorites for baseball lovers in both Canada and the USA. This team has been playing since 1901 and has a historic record of winning 27 World Series titles! It was one of the eight teams who were the original members of MLB. Players of this team are often termed as Yanks. The most popular among them are Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.

Boston Red Sox

This team also began its journey in 1901 and was part of the eight original MLB teams. It currently plays at Fenway Park which has been theirs since 1912 when the park first opened. After winning 13 League Pennants, Boston Red Sox has earned 8 World Series titles to its name. The favorites among their players are Ted Williams, David Ortiz and Carl Yastrzemski.

Los Angeles Dodgers

One of the oldest baseball teams to ever exist – the Los Angeles Dodgers have maintained its high status since 1883. It has won 22 League Pennants titles and 6 World Series titles so far. Their Dodger Stadium, where they have been playing since 1962, has now become a historic landmark. After a long hiatus since 1988, this team appeared in World Series again in 2017.


  1. Pick your sportsbook carefully. Make sure the one you have chosen has a clean record in both transparency and apt payout. Try to avoid the USA sites since betting on sports is illegal there.
  2. Go through the statistics, records and estimations made by the baseball experts across different media.
  3. Make the habit of calculating the odds yourself rather than depending solely upon the sportsbook. Also, take advantage of live streaming if available and factor in any unprecedented incident into making final predictions.


Q: What are pitchers?

A: If you have never come across a baseball match – either on screen or on a live ground – you may never have heard of pitchers. A pitcher is a player who begins the baseball match by throwing the ball to the catcher. The batter in the middle needs to hit the ball for his team to win. The catcher, on the other hand, needs to catch the ball before it comes in any contact with the batter.

Q: What does “action” mean in baseball betting?

A: Having an “action” in betting terminology means “to be valid”. A baseball bet or an MLB bet will start being valid only after the single pitcher or the listed pitchers have begun the game. Otherwise, the game will be declared as “no action” resulting in a possible refund for the bettors.


MLB has been living up to its expectation for over a century and we all expect it to last even longer! Take a part in its nailbiting matches and earn yourself some extra bucks alongside!

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