Tips for Handicapping Baseball

Let’s get into some tips for handicapping baseball.

Key Points

– Unlike NFL and NBA betting, baseball is more of a moneyline sport.

– Baseball bettors have a number of factors – pitchers, weather, etc. – to consider when handicapping for baseball.

Betting on baseball is fun and exciting and can also be profitable for bettors that put in the time. Baseball is a little different from the NFL and NBA where the majority of bets are on the point spread.

Baseball is a moneyline sport where bettors pick the winner of a game, not the team that covers a point spread. It is still possible to bet against the spread – the run line as it is called in baseball – but it is not as popular as betting the moneyline.

Here are a few tips for handicapping baseball.

Tips for Handicapping Baseball – Avoid Large Favorites

Since baseball is a moneyline sport, you cannot simply bet on the popular favorites – Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees, etc. Since 2005, teams favored by -150 or higher have won more games (about 63 percent).

The problem is that since bettors are paying so much in juice, they end up in the red. You can’t simply bet MLB favorites, especially big ones, and come out ahead when betting baseball.

Plus-Money Underdogs

One of the best strategies to employ as a baseball bettor is to find solid plus-money underdogs. Dogs don’t win as often, but when they do they offer bigger payouts.

One of the great places to find value is on divisional underdogs. In MLB, teams play their division opponents 19 times in a regular season. This breeds familiarity and helps the underdog. 

The best times to focus on a divisional underdog come when the dog is on the road and when the game total is high (8.5 or higher). The betting public tends to overvalue home-field advantage creating an inflated value on visitors. With more runs expected in a game, visiting underdogs have a greater opportunity to score more and win.

Plus-money underdogs, especially those playing on the road in a game with a total of 8.5 or higher, are worthy of a baseball bettor’s attention.

Weather & Tips for Handicapping Baseball

One of the biggest factors in baseball that is beyond players’ control is the weather. The biggest natural factor that affects baseball games is wind.

It’s important to look at wind speed and direction. In games where the wind blows in from the outfield at speeds of 5 mph or higher, the Under has hit over 55 percent of the time since 2005.

Likewise, when the wind blows out from home plate at speeds of 8 mph or higher, the Over is the trend. Since 2005, the Over has cashed 53 percent of the time in these conditions.

Get geared for this season. We recently looked at 2022 World Series Futures.

Always Watch Starting Pitchers

Starting pitchers can have a great impact on the outcome of a game, but bettors cannot just simply look at a pitcher’s record or ERA. They have to go a little deeper.

One of the best statistics to look at in terms of pitching is WHIP. This is the number of walks plus hits per innings pitched. The lower the number the better since this gives an idea of how many baserunners a pitcher allows. Only baserunners can score runs.

There are a few other factors to consider like bullpens, hitting lineups, injuries, ballparks, and more, but these few tips can help anyone handicap baseball.