What to Look for in Early Season MLB Wagers

If you like making early season MLB wagers, it pays to know what you are getting yourself into. There are some issues with betting on baseball early in a new season. Baseball played in April and May is much different than that later in the season. Successful bettors know this.

Key Points

– Early season MLB wagers are affected by a few key factors.

– Lack of a sample size makes early season MLB wagers difficult to make.

Betting Early Season Baseball

MLB bettors eagerly await the start of a new season. They have watched spring training through the end of March and get ready for Opening Day.

Betting on these games in late March and early April is different from betting on a game in June or July. The small sample size gives bettors little to go on. Once teams get to the end of April, they have played roughly 25 or so games and the sample size gets a little bigger.

Still, handicapping these games at the beginning of a season is a challenge. Bettors that understand what to look for in these early games can have success when wagering on them. 

There are a few key factors to consider. 


No Pitching Track Records Affects Early MLB Wagers

An average starting pitcher takes the mound every four to six days. Most players will pitch four to five games in the first month of the season in a rotation of five starters. Pitchers lack of a track record is something that they make up for later in the season.

It’s difficult to evaluate a pitcher after only a few starts. The recent performance and form of a pitcher are heavily weighted by bettors. An ace pitcher could be destroyed in his opening game of the year and have an absurdly high ERA for a number of weeks. 

You will have enough starts by June to start looking back and analyzing a pitcher’s previous five starts. In April, you won’t have that luxury. You must therefore search elsewhere. Bettors can examine a pitcher’s spring performance, current health, and even past results against the opponent.

In April compared to later in the season, pitcher handicapping requires more skill, hunch, and even luck. No other option comes even close to being as effective as going over previous outcomes. If you want to accelerate your results, you might have to choose original betting strategies.

New Players Getting Acclimated

Every offseason, rosters change. There will always be new players in the lineup even if the majority of the roster returns. A well-known pitcher or position player may be signed by a team looking for that extra edge.

Teams invest a lot of money in an effort to find the ideal player mix. However, it doesn’t always work out. Some teams find out if their moves were successful very early in a season. New teammates and positions both require adjustment for new players. 

Given the length of the MLB season, new players may not be as concerned with their performance in April. You can bet they’ll want to get used to playing for their new team before September rolls around. 

Because of this, it frequently takes a manager some time to decide how to use the new player. The betting public anticipates that the player will become a star again right away. Because that doesn’t always happen, early-season baseball totals and other wagers can be difficult to make.

A wise bettor will also take note of how the weather affects sports betting. In colder climates, handicapping early season baseball is tricky. 

Rookies & Early Season MLB Wagers

At the beginning of a new season, an MLB team rarely promotes a rookie. Players who are expected to be stars typically start a season in the minors, possibly advance one or two classifications, and then get called up toward the end of the campaign. They will be able to play the following season as true rookies as a result.

MLB teams do this to save money. The longer teams can keep these players from becoming eligible for arbitration, the less often they play in the major leagues. In April, MLB teams might have a wealth of talented players, but they might also assign some of them to their farm teams in the minor leagues. 

A team might be left with a less-than-ideal player who is a cheaper substitute in the MLB lineup instead of a young player who is a very talented future star. This will play a role in baseball run line betting. Early on in a new season, this makes MLB handicapping somewhat risky.

New Coaches

Some teams will have new managers, just like teams have new players. Spring training is when these new managers first begin working with their new teams. The MLB regular season is much more intense than spring training.

As a result, until their team has played a certain number of games, new managers rarely have a clear picture of their team. Managers have to get comfortable with their teams. They have to know where to place hitters in the batting order. Managers also need to know which relief pitchers they can count on. 

As teams navigate through April, some growing pains may occur. Some new managers will perform better than others. Keep that in mind as you predict how a team might perform early in a new baseball season.