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Major League Baseball betting guide

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the pinnacle of America’s oldest and, arguably, most beloved sport. MLB betting online is a great way to feel connected to the game and become more invested in each contest. There are many ways in which you can do so, and we can help you cover your bases.

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What is the World Series?

The World Series is the culmination of the MLB season where the winner gets the biggest prize in baseball – the title of World Series champion. With the length of the MLB regular season (a huge 2,430 games in total) and structure of the playoffs, it is often viewed as the hardest title to win among the four major North American sports.

The duration of the regular season makes it possible for several teams to appear to be favorites during the season. This helps make betting on the World Series one of the most popular and exciting sports betting opportunities.

Reigning champions

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2020 World
Series winner

Los Angeles Dodgers

The reigning World Series champions are the Los Angeles Dodgers. They beat the American League champions, the Tampa Bay Rays, in the best of seven series, 4-2.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entirety of the 2020 World Series was played at the Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. This made it the first ever World Series to be played at a neutral venue.

Previous Winner Baseball Conference Winner

2020 World
Series MVP

Corey Seager

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was named MVP of the World Series after hitting .400 during the Series and recording an on-base plus slugging (OPS) of 1.256. He had two home runs, recorded five runs batted in (RBI) and scored seven runs.

Heading into the Series, MLB odds had him pegged as a longshot to win this award at +1200, but his odds had shortened to +175 heading into Game Six.

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2020 American
League winner

Tampa Bay Rays

The American League (AL) is one of two leagues that make up MLB. The Tampa Bay Rays are in the AL East division. They were not an MLB betting favorite to win this division when the season began (+330), but the MLB odds favored them in the end as they won by seven.

Many MLB predictions did not have them picked to win the AL title either. They began the season with +1000 odds to win the AL and ended up beating the Houston Astros in seven.

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2020 National
League winner

Los Angeles Dodgers

The National League (NL) is one of two leagues that make up MLB. The Los Angeles Dodgers, the NL West winners, have been one of the more dominant teams in baseball in recent years.

They entered the 2020 season with great MLB playoff odds and were heavily favored to win. After falling into a 3-1 hole against the Atlanta Braves in the NL Championship Series, they staged a comeback and won the best of seven series, 4-3.

Previous Winner Baseball Conference Winner

2020 National
League MVP

Freddie Freeman

Many MLB predictions focused on Mookie Betts to win the NL MVP after he was traded to the Dodgers; Freeman was in the conversation but had much longer odds. While Betts had a good year, Freeman had an even better one for the Braves, hitting .341 on the season (second best in the NL), recording an OPS of 1.102, and leading the stats in extra-base hits.

Previous Winner Baseball Conference Winner

2020 American
League MVP

José Abreu

When the season began, Jose Abreu wasn’t a contender for AL MVP, but after finishing second in homeruns (19), fourth in batting average (.317), and first in RBI (60) he ended the regular season looking a very worthy winner.

MLB: Most popular markets

The World Series is the end goal for every MLB team and its fanbase each year, making it a popular bet among fans. Heading into a new season, MLB predictions and sites offering MLB free picks will often focus on the top contenders from the previous season.

Among the teams with the best MLB playoff odds are the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees. Both are expected to contend for the World Series like they often do.

With how well they did last season and the improvements made to their pitching rotation, the San Diego Padres also have good odds at many MLB sportsbooks.

Other teams expected to be contenders this year include the Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, and Minnesota Twins.

Baseball bets explained

Moneyline

The moneyline is a bet on picking a team to win straight up (with no point spread). Baseball betting sites will display it as a three-digit number which both teams will have. The favorite will have a negative number, while the underdog’s will be positive.

Live betting on the MLB

Most MLB sportsbooks offer in-play or live betting with great MLB odds.

Live betting offers you the chance to bet on the action as the game is in progress. Just because the game has started, that doesn’t mean you cannot still bet.

Sportsbooks are constantly adjusting their odds depending on how the game is playing out. Live betting is a popular way to bet on the MLB because it allows you to see how momentum is swinging in a game before locking in a wager.

One common in-game betting option is the correct score after a particular inning:

3rd Inning Correct Score
Houston Astros, 1-0+600Tie, 0-0-200Oakland Athletics, 1-0+550
Houston Astros, 2-0+1500Tie, 1-1+4000Oakland Athletics, 2-0+1600
Houston Astros, 2-1+4900Tie, 2-2+12000Oakland Athletics, 2-1+5200

Based on the above, a $100 live bet on the game to be scoreless after the third inning will win you $50 (plus your $100 stake). Use our bet calculator to see how much a different bet total will win you.

MLB betting tips

The best MLB betting sites will always offer a wide selection of betting options along with up-to-date MLB betting lines and MLB odds.

You should also look for what the sportsbook will offer you to open an account with them. Many will offer sign-up bonuses where they match your first deposit to a given amount. Most will also offer a variety of rewards and promotions as well. It is also a good idea to see what options they offer for making deposits and withdrawals.

Keep an eye out for referral bonuses also – these are great if you have a lot of friends interested in betting on baseball.

MLB betting promotions

Parlay insurance

Love the chance to win big with parlays but hate how easy they are to lose? Meet certain criteria, depending on the MLB betting site, and that is a risk you can reduce with parlay insurance as you can get your stake back if one leg of your bet loses.

Reload bonus

Many of the best MLB betting sites love to offer bonuses when you sign up to get you to deposit. To get you to deposit more, or to reload your account, some will also offer to match a percentage of your second deposit.

Free bets

A free bet is just what it sounds like – a certain amount of money a sportsbook will deposit into your account for you to bet. You will need to place a bet with it before you can withdraw your winnings, and the stake is normally not included in the return.

Scoring special

Scoring specials are designed to encourage you to bet a minimum amount by making it easier for you to win money.

For example, if you bet $25 on MLB betting lines for a given day, a sportsbook may award you $5 for every home run your team hits.

Deposit match

One of the most widely available sign-up offers; many sportsbooks will offer to match 100 percent of your first deposit up to a certain amount, while others will match a percentage.

Bet $1, win $100

To encourage you to bet on a certain game, sportsbooks will sometimes offer a ‘bet a $1, win $100’ promotion. For example, bet at least $1 on the MLB line for that game, and if anyone hits a home run, you win $100 in free bets.

Risk-free bets

Risk-free bets minimize a bettors risk. If your bet loses, you do not necessarily get your money back, but sportsbooks will credit your account with an equal amount in free bets.

Odds boosters

Odds booster promotions offer users elevated odds on the MLB betting lines for certain games and/or events. For example, if the Dodgers are favored to win a game by -125, a sportsbook may offer +100 odds for that game giving you a chance to win more money.

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