Factors to Consider in Developing a Baseball Betting Strategy

If you haven’t developed your baseball betting strategy for this season, relax. Your strategy can evolve over the course of the six-month season. There are tons of games which means you should be able to find value somewhere. We identify a number of factors that can help you develop your own strategy to get more wins this season.

Key Points

– Developing a baseball betting strategy takes time and the consideration of several factors.

– Handicapping MLB games is very dependent upon pitching.

Baseball Betting on Starting Pitchers

Here’s how critical starting pitchers are when betting on baseball. Sportsbooks frequently void all baseball bets if any of the listed starters are scratched. 

Think about the best pitchers in MLB. Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, and Shohei Ohtani come to mind. Bettors will highly consider backing one of those pitchers when their name comes up in the starting rotation.

On the other hand, it’s likely you don’t remember many of the worst pitchers in MLB. That’s not surprising. In baseball, a team’s most valuable starting pitcher takes the mound first, while its least reliable starter is fifth in the rotation. Because of the variance in team schedules, it’s possible for the best pitcher on one team to go up against the No. 5 starter on the other.

Generally speaking, an off-balance pitching matchup like the one indicated above is challenging to overcome because the gap between the best and worst teams in MLB is so narrow.

All of this comes down to one thing. If you want to win more baseball bets, you must learn everything there is to know about the starting pitchers.


Home Team Advantage

The home field advantage is real in baseball. While most sports are even in home-versus-away win percentage, home MLB teams win 54 percent of the time. In the postseason, it’s even higher.

Unfortunately for sports bettors, everything else isn’t equal most of the time. Sportsbooks adjust their lines to account for factors like home field advantage. 

It’s unwise to blindly bet on home teams and expect to win more than you lose. Compare lines and then consider backing a home team. 

Sweeps at Home

The MLB schedule is played in series. Teams will play three or four games (sometimes just two) in a row against a certain team. One of the things that doesn’t happen often is a visiting team winning all of the games in a series. 

Since 1961, road teams in a three-game series have swept their opponent just 22.9 percent of the time. Sweeping a four-game series is even tougher. Road teams have accomplished that feat just 11.6 percent of the time since 1961.

Home teams, however, have successfully swept over 48 percent of all three-game series and over 50 percent of all four-game series since 1961.

Coast to Coast Trips Are Tough

Take an East Coast team and make them travel to the West Coast. Typically, they will not play well. Whether it’s the time change or the travel itself, there is an effect from traveling across the country.

Take the Boston Red Sox traveling across the country to take on the Seattle Mariners. The Red Sox finish a series, maybe they have a day off if they’re lucky, and then they are on a plane for Seattle.

Regardless of the accommodations, cross country travel is difficult. Teams will often go on long road trips across the country too. Boston might go from Seattle to California to play the Angels or A’s. The end of those trips can be tough on teams.

Baseball Betting – Streaks

Baseball is more likely than other sports to have streaks. You’ll witness hitters who have been unable to touch the ball for weeks produce four home runs and 10 RBIs in the span of four games.

What does the science of hot and cold streaks entail? There are many theories, but none has solved the enigma. When betting on baseball games, you can take use of this information by keeping an eye on the stats of specific players you think are on a run.

It’s important to keep in mind that, in the controlled environment of a professional sports locker room, winning generates confidence and losing breeds losing, and both of these feelings are very contagious.

It’s the same for bettors. Winning sports wagers generates confidence.

Watch Pitch Counts

Over the course of their careers and the current season, starting pitchers establish an average number of pitches thrown per start. These need to be monitored to determine whether a starting pitcher significantly surpasses his typical pitch count.

I normally steer clear of betting on a pitcher’s team in his following three starts when he performs much over average. Over average could simply be 20 percent more pitches. It’s really what the individual bettor chooses. 

Surprisingly, if a pitcher has trouble, it usually happens in the second or third start after he has thrown too many pitches. It doesn’t happen in the very next start. Start keeping track of your pitches and look for trends that will help you win more frequently.

Bullpens & Baseball Betting

Starting pitchers don’t throw a lot of complete games anymore. Because of the speed of the game and the dominant management style, starters will go six or seven innings depending upon their pitch counts.

When a starting pitcher struggles, a team with a good bullpen and closer keeps their team in the game longer and clings onto leads longer than other teams.

Bettors can find lucrative betting opportunities when a great starting pitcher is paired with a strong bullpen. It’s also important to know which starting pitchers have the weakest closers and bullpens. Your starting pitcher provides you an advantage, but a weak bullpen can rapidly cancel that out.

The Last Word

You will be able to win more baseball bets by using each of these pieces of advice. You’ll see that a lot of them can be combined to improve your overall MLB betting strategy. Create your own by fusing all or some of these strategies with your own research.