The wealth of data available and the sheer volume of play throughout the MLB season make it an attractive betting proposition. However, in order to successfully bet on baseball, you need to avoid common mistakes that players make. Read on to find out more.
Baseball is not the most popular sport in our country. Therefore, first we will have to talk about the placement of players on the field and their functions, both for the attacking and defensive teams, as well as the main principles of the game itself.
Responsibilities of the players on the pitch: attacking team
Batter (striker) – a player who is near the “house” with a bat. He must skillfully spend his time, being in this role (on the bat), in order to reach at least first base, or give the runners on the bases the opportunity to dash to the next base (there can be no more than one attacking player at the same time on one base), and the best option is both together.
If he managed to strike the ball accurately, he throws the bat and tries to run around as many bases as possible. If this succeeds (the defense will not send him out-of-bounds), the other player from the attacking team armed with a bat, becoming the new batter. The batter can stop at any of the bases. After he has been sent out or reached base, another batter comes into play and everything starts over.
When the batter manages to hit the ball over the fence, then he and all his partners on the bases can freely run to the “home”. Such a blow is called a “home run” and thus brings the team from 1 to 4 points (depending on the number of people at the bases during the “home run”). A good batter predicts the trajectory of the ball when it leaves the pitcher’s hand, and predicts the flight, estimates the position of the players in the inner field in a few fractions of a second, in which the ball reaches him.
Runner – a former batter who either hit a pitcher or hit 1 base on a base-on-ball, hit-by-pitch, or catcher hindrance. His task is to run through all bases (1 – 2 – 3 – house), touching each of them in turn, and bring a point (by touching the house). The task of each player from the attacking team is to alternately hit the ball served by the pitcher (being in the role of the batter) and, thanks to the successful action of partners or the mistakes of opponents, move from base to base. If you manage to visit all the bases and return to the “home”, then the attacking team scores a point.
Players on the pitch: defending team
Pitcher – The main player of the team stands in the center of the inner field on a small embankment (“slide”). He starts the game by serving. The pitcher’s task is to make life easier for his teammates, namely: to serve the ball in such a way that the batter either cannot hit at all (there are many tricks to beat the batter, for example, a very strong serve, twisting the ball, etc.), or to hit it turned out to be unsuccessful (easy for the defenders to receive). However, the ball must fly over the “house” and not above the armpit or below the knee of the batter, through the so-called “strike zone”), which is closely monitored by the referee.
If the pitcher manages to throw the ball in this way and the batter does not hit it, or if the batter hits it but misses the ball (in which case it doesn’t matter where the ball was thrown), the pitcher is defended with a strike. The batter is eliminated after 3 strikes. However, if the ball does not fly in the zone and the batter does not hit inaccurately, the ball is defended to the pitcher. After 4 “balls” the batter automatically takes 1st base. The batter also has the right to take 1st base if the pitcher hits him with the ball. The pitcher also helps defend all bases.
Catcher squatting behind the “house”. It is his responsibility to catch the ball served by the pitcher, provided, of course, that the batter did not hit the ball. In addition, he protects the house, insures the 1st and 3rd bases. With his free hand (with a trap on the other hand) he quickly shows the pitcher which serve to make – strong, sliding or completely unexpected. The catcher’s finger, facing inward, outward, up, down, makes it clear how to throw the ball in relation to the base.
First base defender receives a bouncer between 1 and 2 bases, defends first base, insures home and 2 bases.
Second base defender receives a bouncer between 2 and 1 bases, defends second base, insures 1 and 2 bases.
Third base defender receives a bouncer between 3 and 2 bases, defends third base, insures the house.
Shortstop is placed between bases depending on the situation on the field, usually between first and second base. He receives a hit by a kicker between 2 and 3 bases, defends 2 bases, insures 2 and 3 bases.
Three outfielders are playing outside the inner field. They accept the ball missed by the defenders of 2 and 3 bases.
The essence of the game
The defensive team players, having received the bounced ball, send it to their partners located near the bases as soon as possible, so that these players can touch (shower) the attacking player with the ball, thereby preventing him from occupying another base and removing this attacker from the game. When the ball is hit by the batter, the defense can send it out-of-bounds in the following ways: run with the ball to first base before the batter gets there; show the batter with a ball in his hand.
The pitcher will often serve the ball with an offset to the right or left, or serve so that the ball crosses the home base much higher or lower than expected, while varying the speed of the ball. For example, if the pitcher serves the ball twice at high speed, then the batter can expect the next serve with a curved trajectory. Instead, the pitcher changes tactics and throws the ball with less force, hoping the batter will swing the bat earlier and let the ball pass.
Three accurate, compelling throws – and the batter from the attacking team goes out-of-bounds, giving way to another player. If, on the contrary, the pitcher makes four incorrect serves in one series, then the batter gets the right to take first base without a fight, and this game situation is called “walk” or “base on balls”. A ball served into the hitting zone and not hit by the bat is called a “strike”, and a ball that is served outside the hitting zone and not hit by a batsman calls “Ball.”
If the batter swings, but misses the ball, it doesn’t matter if the ball was in the strike zone or not, this is also considered a strike, just like a ball bounced to the side outside the baseball court. If the batter already has two strikes, the ball hit out of bounds is not considered a “strike”, unless the defending player succeeds in catching the ball on the fly. Then the batter is out of the game.
If the ball is not caught or falls to the ground behind the sideline, the next ball will be served. If the ball flies outside the strike zone, then the referee, located behind the catcher’s back, fixes the error and shouts “Bol”. After four such errors, the batter automatically gets the right to take first base. After each service, the referee will announce the number of balls and strikes (say, “two balls, one strike”) so that players can vary their tactics.
After three “strikes”, the batter is out (out of the game). He is also out of the game in the following cases: if he manages to strike, but the defensive field players will be able to catch the ball from the summer; if the ball touches the ground after being hit, but is caught and arrives at the base before the runner himself. The winner is the team that succeeds in nine innings (during each inning, the opponents play once in attack and defense) to complete more complete runs across the bases and thus score more points.
There are no draws in baseball. If by the end of the ninth inning the score is equal, then the tenth, eleventh innings, etc., are appointed, until some team comes out ahead. The time of the fight is not limited. However, it may happen that by the end of the seventh inning one of the teams will have a 10-point lead. In this case, the game is stopped and a victory is declared by “knockout” (a typical baseball score is 7: 4, but 1: 0 or, for example, 12: 2 is not uncommon either).
Use the available data
If you’re new to baseball betting (and more specifically MLB betting), the first thing you need to know is that the game is more measurable than any other sport. Data is taken, recorded and stored for every action in the game, and this data can (and should) be taken into account when placing a bet.
The temptation when you first start betting is to trust your own knowledge of the sport and the valuation of the betting market, which often leads to gut reaction bets. However, with so much information to work with and make better decisions, not using the data you have is a mistake you simply cannot afford.
An example of the use of intuition in betting can be given, but even so, it will take time to develop it before it is of any use. When you first start working with data, it may seem quite daunting, but starting with small segments of data (perhaps a specific command), you will learn where to look and how to use them.
Always consider external factors
Another reason baseball attracts so much interest in betting is that it is unique compared to other sports in terms of its lack of uniformity. The two most obvious examples of this are that leagues use different rules (e.g. designated striker) and stadium / pitch sizes can be very different.
While the size of the pitch in football can help or hinder a team’s playing style, in baseball the impact is more obvious. The goal of the batter is to try to clear the fields of the field when the ball is hit, and the larger the field, the more difficult it is to achieve this goal. Examining the strengths of the various teams (especially the shot) and the stadium they will play in seems obvious, but so often overlooked.
In addition to the size of the stadium, it is also important to consider other location-based factors that can affect the outcome of a baseball game. Since national football leagues across Europe are limited to relatively small areas, the climate varies little from match to season (apart from seasonal changes). However, this is not the case in MLB, where extreme weather conditions can change from one game to the next depending on the team’s schedule.
You don’t need to spend hours studying past performances at different stadiums if you want to incorporate the stadium factor into your baseball betting considerations. The tables below include arena information from the last five years.
Top 5 Attack Stadiums:
Worst five stadiums to attack:
Don’t put too much emphasis on the starting pitcher
One of the general tips for baseball players is that you need to be able to adapt to the game. Whether it’s the resumption of defensive shifts from 2014 or the offensive adjustments we saw last season, there have been many major changes in the way baseball is played in recent years. Of course, when the game changes, people will bet on it too.
Pitching appears to be the last element of the game to undergo a shift (namely starting pitchers). Where starting pitchers once had to go seven, eight, or even nine innings, today’s game has front offices sticking to lower pitch counts with more defensive reliance than ever before.
The identity of the starting pitchers of a given game is still important, but there are more moving parts in the pitching picture that players should be aware of. Seeing how strong each team’s defenses are and how heavily they have been used in recent days is certainly a good way to start baseball betting.
Don’t worry too much about individual players
As with any sport, baseball has its stars, and they are important to the results throughout the season. However, with so many factors (and players) that contribute to the outcome of the game (with 9 or 10 starting players per team) and the variance where the best teams lose to the worst teams three or four out of ten times, it is important to understand that these stars are not have the same impact on one game as in most other sports.
Mike Trout is a 26-year-old Los Angeles outfielder. He is on his way to becoming the greatest star of all time. While his mistake may seem like a huge blow to the Angels’ chances of winning any match, the reality is that his value in any given game is likely to be negligible compared to his replacement.
Any newcomer to MLB betting is likely to overreact to the news that someone like Trout is sitting on the bench. Obviously it’s important to keep an eye on any relevant news if you’re betting on the game, but overreaction can cost you dearly.
Don’t overestimate the home margin
Home field advantage is, of course, a critical concept in sports betting and is noticeably dominant in most major sports (especially football and the NFL). In addition to being familiar with the environment and the psychological benefits, referees can also benefit the home team (not least because 50,000 fans will insist they blow the whistle in their favor).
The fact that the home field advantage exists is obvious, but how powerful it really is is difficult to assess. In baseball, the home team win approximately 54% of regular season games (this number increases slightly in playoff games), and while this percentage is significant, it does not match the advantage that the home team has in other sports. For example, in the English Premier League football teams win about 46% of home matches, while only 27% win away and the remaining 27% are tied.
Another baseball nuance that needs to be considered and accounted for by players is that if the home team are in the lead at the bottom of the ninth inning, then this half-inning is not played out (shortening the game by about 6%). This reduction in playing time can have a legitimate impact on scoring and running lines. At the most basic level, if the home team are strong favorites, players should consider this small home advantage.
Remember the similarities when betting on different sports
While it is important to understand how baseball differs from other sports, if you want to make a consistent profit from betting on it, you must also remember the basic principles that apply to betting no matter what sport is involved.
Any successful player knows that you should only place bets when you have a positive expected value. Randomness and luck can help you win in the short term, but over the long term, only those with an edge over the market (and betting accordingly) will make money.
Last but not least, you should always place your bets with the correct bookmaker. Whether it is about betting with the best odds so that you make big profits when you win, or knowing that your account will not be capped or closed if you win regularly, the bookmaker where you bet is just as important, like the rates themselves.