How to Bet on Baseball – Baseball Betting Explained

Baseball, particularly Major League Baseball, is America’s favorite pastime. So, it stands to reason that baseball betting is one of the most prolific markets offered by online sportsbooks. Whether you’re a seasoned MLB bettor,  or a newer bettor looking for help regarding how to bet on baseball, this guide is for you.

Here, we cover everything you need to know about baseball bets, from the odds and betting lines to how to place a wager online and which sportsbooks offer the top MLB betting in PA.

How to Bet on Baseball

Wagering on baseball is relatively straightforward and bettors have a wealth of teams, tournaments, and games to pick from. Top online sportsbooks also provide a wide assortment of betting lines for bettors to use when putting money on their top teams and athletes. While wagering a bet on baseball at a brick-and-mortar sportsbook is simple, it is even easier to do online and a lot more convenient too. Here, bettors can see all of the options in one place and easily make decisions about bets and bet values.

When betting on baseball online, bettors will need to make several decisions about the team they want to bet on, how much they want to put down on that team, and what kind of bet they want to place. Once you have given careful thought to these aspects, placing the bet online is easy and all you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose your game and team – browse through the sportsbook’s selection of baseball games offered. Here, you can find options for the MLB and other national and international leagues. Once you have decided which MLB game and team or athlete you want to bet on, you’ll need to double-click that game to launch the various betting lines and odds offered for it.
  2. Pick your betting line – now you will need to decide which type of bet you want to wager. Browse through the options and double-click the bet you want to wager, for instance a moneyline, run line, total bet, or prop. Make sure it is the offer for the team you want to back and don’t forget to check the odds. Clicking the betting line value will fill in all the details on your betting slip.
  3. Select your wager value – you will need to decide how much you want to wager on your bet. Keep in mind your bankroll and budget when choosing this value and also consider the odds and whether you think this will be a good or winning bet. Fill in your wager amount on the bet slip by typing it in. Then once you have input your wager value, click “Place Bet.” You have now wagered your baseball bet.
  4. Outcome and payout – now you can sit back, relax and enjoy the game. Once the outcome of your bet becomes clear you will know if your bet was a winner or not. If you win your wager, the online sportsbook will pay out your winnings into your sportsbook account.

Baseball Betting Rules

Before we take a closer look at baseball betting, getting to know and understanding the rules of baseball and betting on the MLB is essential.

When it comes to the game and wagering baseball bets, there are several must-know rules that will help you when placing your baseball wagers, which we cover below:

  • In baseball, there are two teams, with nine players each.
  • The team that is fielding holds several positions, including the pitcher, catcher, first and second basemen, shortstop, third baseman, and three outfielders.
  • Baseball games last for nine innings. Both teams get to bat once per inning. If the game sits in a tie after nine innings, an additional inning is added until there is a winner. However, if the team batting second in the bottom of the ninth inning is winning, they do not need to complete their batting for that inning.
  • Once a batting order is settled on, it must remain in that order, with the exception of substitute batters.
  • If the batter hits the ball thrown by the pitcher, they must attempt to get to first base. The player must touch each base with one part of their body for it to be recognized that they reached that particular base.
  • A batter gets three strikes ( when they swing for the ball and miss) before they are out.
  • There are four ways a batter can be ousted from a game (we cover these in detail below)

Handy Hint

The four ways a player can be eliminated include:

  1. Strikeout – missing the ball three times consecutively
  2. Force Out – not making it to base before a member of the fielding team
  3. Fly Out – when the ball is hit and caught without it bouncing first
  4. Tag Out – when a fielding player tags the batter with the ball while they are running between bases

What is Baseball Betting?

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the top form of pro baseball and is one of the leading professional baseball leagues globally. Thirty teams make up this league, 29 from the United States and one from Canada. The MLB further splits into two additional leagues, the American League (AL) and the National League (NL).

These two leagues each comprise three divisions, East, West, and Central, and there are five teams in each division. The teams in a single division play one another in three or four games. Those that win in their division go up against the teams from the other divisions in the post-season playoffs, which determine the champion of each league.

The champions from each league then go head-to-head in the World Series, which sees the winner take the best of seven games and earn the title of the champion of the MLB.

PA bettors visit top sportsbooks to place wagers on these various games and tournaments to turn a profit while baseball betting. If done correctly, these bets can be highly lucrative and offer a lot of excitement.

How Does Baseball Betting Work?

Whether bettors visit local sportsbooks or use the best online sportsbooks in PA, they will have access to MLB betting odds and can even enjoy NCAAB betting. Regulated sportsbooks in the state provide a diverse range of betting lines for baseball and cover a selection of baseball leagues and tournaments.

Baseball betting is relatively straightforward, and bettors will find the lines and odds easy to follow. To place baseball bets, bettors will need to sign up with a sportsbook or use one of the best PA sports betting apps. Once bettors have signed up and deposited funds, they can begin placing their wagers.

However, to place lucrative bets that will turn a profit, it is essential to understand how baseball odds and betting lines work. Below, we take a closer look at both.

Baseball Betting Odds Explained

MLB betting odds are the figures sportsbooks use to show bettors how much they can win when betting on a particular betting line, provided that bet is successful.

When baseball betting, bettors will find there are several betting lines that each come with their own unique odds. While many sports like the NBA or NFL utilize point spreads (called run lines in baseball betting) as their primary wager, the MLB is a moneyline sport. As a result, the most popular bet those learning how to bet on baseball can wager is a moneyline.

We will review the various betting lines available a little later on in this guide, but for now, let’s look at the odds offered for these lines and how they work.

Handy Hint

Baseball is a moneyline sport. In other words, bettors typically put money on the MLB team they predict will win the game overall. This also happens to be one of the easiest wagers to place, making it ideal for new bettors.

MLB Betting Odds

When wagering baseball bets, bettors will need to visit a sportsbook. Those using an online sportsbook will typically find that baseball betting odds come in three formats, fractional, decimal, and American odds. However, for top PA sportsbooks, the default is usually American odds, and we will take a closer look at these here.

When reading baseball odds, bettors will find both opposing teams displayed. However, one will have a minus sign (-) and three numbers next to their name, while the other will have a plus (+) sign and three digits.

The team with the negative figures is the favorite or the team the sportsbook predicts will win. The number indicates how much a bettor must put down on the team to win back $100.

In contrast, the team with the positive figure is the underdog or team least likely to win. The numbers next to this team show a bettor how much they will win back off a $100 wager should that team be successful and win.

If the sportsbook displays the odds as decimal or fractional values, bettors can work out the MLB betting percentages to see how much they will win back.

BetMGM MLB Betting Odds

Baseball Betting Lines

When placing baseball bets, bettors will find these odds applied to the various betting lines. The betting lines or markets refer to the various ways bettors can put money on their favorite MLB teams and players. Below, we review the different baseball betting lines and how they work.

Moneyline Bets

Baseball is a moneyline sport, which means the best way to bet on the game is by wagering a moneyline. This bet sees bettors backing the MLB team they predict will win the game overall. Here, bettors can put money on the underdog or the favorite to win, and the odds provided are exactly like those discussed above.

For example, using the table below, the Washington Nationals are the favorites (-140), while the Colorado Rockies are the underdogs (+115). Bettors who back the Nationals must put down $140 to win back $100 on their bets should the team win.

Team Moneyline Odds
Colorado Rockies +115
Washington Nationals -140

Run Line Bets

In ice hockey, there are puck lines; in football and basketball, there is the point spread. However, baseball’s version of this betting line is the run line. Because baseball has a relatively low score rate, in most cases, the line is set at 1.5.

A sportsbook applies a run line to narrow the odds and give a particular team an advantage, leveling the playing field and creating a more exciting wager. Since the handicap is usually set at 1.5, the favorites must win by two runs or more for bettors backing them to win. However, if you back the underdog, the team must lose by no less than one run or win the game for you to win your bet.

Team Run Line Odds
Colorado Rockies +1.5   -160
Washington Nationals -1.5   +135

Over/Under or Total Bets

Another way for bettors to wager on the outcome of a baseball game is to place a total bet. Here, bettors don’t wager on one team’s performance but rather on the total combined score of both teams. In this case, the sportsbook releases its prediction on what the total combined score will be at the end of the game. Bettors must then put money on whether they predict the total score will be more than what the bookie outlines (over) or less than (under.)

Team Total Bet Odds
Colorado Rockies O 9.5   -115
Washington Nationals U 9.5   -105

Five Innings Wager

Although a thrilling game, baseball can be a fairly long game, particularly if there is a tie and new innings are added. However, those betting on MLB games have the option to wager a five innings bet. These wagers are usually the same as any other bets a bettor can wager on a baseball game, like a run line, moneyline, or total bet, but these wagers only apply to the first five innings of a game.

BetMGM First Five Innings Wager


Parlay wagers are some of the riskiest bets a bettor can wager. A parlay comprises three or more smaller bets called legs. A bettor must win all three of their legs to win their parlay bet. Losing even one leg causes the entire parlay to fold, and the bettor loses.

Bettors can wager same-game parlays that allow them to bet on three or more elements within the game, or they can place multi-game parlays that see each leg coming from a different game. For example, a bettor may predict the winning team for the next three consecutive baseball games.

BetMGM MLB Same Game Parlays

Prop Bets

Proposition bets give bettors the chance to bet on something other than the outcome of the game. Bettors can wager player or game props. Player props focus on the performance of players during the match. For instance, batter props include betting on whether the player will make a certain number of runs or not or how many home runs they will score.

Alternatively, Pitcher props include over/under bets on strikeouts and placing action on the pitcher’s total outs for the game.

On contrast, game props focus on happenings within the game. For example, bettors can wager game props on which inning the first run will take place in, or th game’s final winning margin.

BetMGM MLB Player Props

Correct Score

Wagering on the correct final score of a baseball game is challenging and provides some of the longest odds. Here, bettors put money on their prediction of what the final score for both teams will be. The only way to win this wager is to make the right prediction.


These bets are precisely what they sound like, long-term wagers on outcomes that will only take place in the distant future. Here, bettors can wager team futures, like which team will win the league, which team will be the division winner, or which state the World Series winner will come from.

Additionally, there are also player futures, including which player will win the MVP, which player will win Rookie of the Year, and which athlete will walk away with the Cy Young Award.

Generally, sportsbooks open these lines in the off-season and adjust the odds as the season progresses according to outcomes, wins, and injuries.

Live Baseball Betting

Bettors visiting the best sites for live betting can place a range of wagers on baseball games already in play. However, keep in mind that the odds here are not fixed like those provided for pre-game wagers. Instead, live betting odds fluctuate according to how the game progresses.

Baseball Betting Stats

While choosing a team because they’re you’re favorite is great, but this doesn’t always work when it comes to placing lucrative wagers. Bettors who are serious about making a profit off their wagers may want to place well-informed bets on teams that have more chance of winning.

To make the best decisions regarding teams, athletes, and betting lines the quickest way to get a feel for things is by looking at the latest baseball stats, which you can find on the MLB website.

Is Betting on the MLB Legal?

Yes. Pennsylvania introduced legal sports and baseball betting in 2017. However, this only came into effect after the repeal of PASPA in 2018, with online sportsbooks launching in the state in 2019. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulates these state-managed sites, ensuring each provides fair play and consistent payouts.

While bettors in Pennsylvania can legally bet on baseball leagues like the MLB and enjoy NCAAB betting on collegiate games, there is one stipulation. Bettors may not wager individual player props on college athletes, including baseball players.

Baseball Betting Tips

When it comes to baseball betting, seasoned and new bettors will always tell you that having several baseball betting tips makes the world of difference. So, to help you out, we have put together our list of the top five tips for betting on MLB games to get you started.

Tip One – Understand the Game and Know the Rules

To accurately place wagers on the MLB, bettors need to understand how the rules work and how the game plays out. Once bettors have a clear understanding of this, it becomes simple to see which bets are worth wagering and which are worth walking away from.

Tip Two – Shop Around for Odds

While most online sportsbooks offer similar odds, it is imperative to find the best odds available. Although this won’t make much of a difference for smaller bets, those putting down large sums will find this makes a significant impact on successful bets. By comparing the odds provided by several sportsbooks, bettors can easily find the best ones. We also recommend signing up with several sports betting sites in advance, so you don’t have to go through registration before you can place your bets.

Tip Three – Use a Reputable Online Sportsbook

There are many online sportsbooks available to bettors in Pennsylvania. However, we recommend only using those sites that the state regulates. These licensed platforms must uphold a high standard of betting and provide consistent payouts. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board oversees these sites, ensuring bettors enjoy fair play, the best odds, and speedy payouts of winnings.

Tip Four – Manage Your Bankroll

Setting up a budget before you begin betting and sticking to it is the ideal way to ensure you manage your bankroll properly. The more careful you are with your betting funds and how you spend them allows you to place more accurate, well-considered bets. Instead of wagering random bets in the hopes of winning, careful thought and strategic bets will help extend the time you can wager for as your bankroll will last for longer.

Tip Five – Consider the Underdog

While it is tempting, particularly for new bettors, to continually back the favorite, there is merit in sometimes putting money on the underdog. Since there are 162 games in an MLB season, there is a relatively wide margin that the favorite could lose a game or two. As a result, backing the underdog on occasion could prove lucrative and a lot more exciting.

BetMGM Baseball Betting

Baseball Betting Strategy – How to Bet Baseball and Win

If you want to know how to bet baseball and win, then we recommend employing a top baseball betting strategy or two. While the strategies we offer below won’t turn you into a pro bettor overnight, they will set you on the right path. So, check out our top five baseball wagering strategies:

1. Bet Against the Public

The “public” refers to the general group of bettors wagering for fun rather than to turn a profit. In most cases, the public will back the favorite or the home team. However, this large volume betting on the favorite typically throws off the odds, making them relatively low. In this case, it is worth looking at the underdog and putting your money on that team, effectively betting against the public. Since you wouldn’t get much back on a winning bet on the favorite, backing the more profitable option here makes sense.

2. Check the Weather

When baseball betting, seasoned bettors keep a sharp eye on the weather. Wind direction and speed can have an impact on Over/Under bets. Strong winds blowing toward the home plate will keep balls inside the park, whereas fly balls are often sent over the fence by strong winds blowing in the direction of the outfield.

Similarly, rain makes the ball slippery and challenging for fielders and pitchers to handle. Additionally, excessive rain will halt play.

Handy Hint

Humidity will also affect the score. Fly balls tend to stay in the air longer, allowing them to carry further when the humidity index is high.

3. Know the Umpires

As with any sport, the umpires in baseball have their proclivities when calling stikes and balls. While some create more called balls that require pitchers to be extremely accurate, this is a good time to bet on the Over results. In contrast, umpires who have bigger strike zones benefit the pitchers, which makes backing the Under results a better option.

4.  Keep Tabs on Players and Injuries

Player injuries are essential to keep tabs on. An injury could take a star player out of the game and shift the odds at the last minute. Additionally, players who have been on the bench for several games and ar now rejoining the field are also important to consider, as they may not be back to their full potential or their injury may cause pain or discomfort during the game and put them off their usual play. Checking out the latest sports news, updates, and MLB forums is a great way to keep up with the latest happenings.

5. Understand the Ballparks

While some ballparks are pitcher-friendly, others are more favorable for batters. Knowing which way a particular ballpark swings will help you see which side is best to back, that with the best defense (pitcher-friendly park) or the best offense (batter-friendly park).

List of Baseball Leagues

There are over 47 professional baseball leagues globally. As a result, bettors looking to wager on pro teams or enjoy NCAAB betting have plenty of options to choose from. Most of the top online sportsbooks in PA offer baseball betting on a number of local, national, and international baseball leagues. Below, we list 10 of the top pro baseball leagues both in the US and across the globe.

  1. Major League Baseball
  2. National League
  3. American League
  4. Minor League Baseball
  5. International League
  6. Australian League Baseball
  7. Malaysian All-Star League Baseball
  8. Frontier League
  9. KBO League
  10. World Baseball Classic

Best Sportsbooks for Wagering Baseball Bets

Now that we have baseball betting explained, w can look at the best online sportsbooks to visit to place those wagers. Since Pennsylvania provides state-regulated online sports betting, there are a number of top sportsbooks that bettors in PA can visit to place their wagers. However, the best sites to wager on the various baseball leagues and tournaments are listed below.

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