Guide to Betting on MLB for Rookies

Guide to betting on the MLB for rookies

Starting any new hobby requires patience, learning as well as trial and error. This goes for sports, art - and even sports betting!

When you decide to place your first bet - it can be stressful. What do you bet on? How do you read the odds? What kind of bet should you even make? The decisions are endless. 

However - it doesn’t have to be a challenging experience. If you are interested in betting and MLB bets - we are here to help. We've created the ultimate guide to betting on the MLB to help baseball fans embrace the world of sportsbooks entirely.

Ready to get started? Keep reading for everything you need to know. 

What is sports betting?

Have you placed a bet before? If not - we’ll briefly introduce general sports betting and sportsbooks to help you understand the culture.

Sports betting is the practice of predicting sports results and placing money on the outcomes. This money is often referred to as a wager, and if your team or player wins, you’ll get this back, but there are many types of different bets which you can choose from. 

Most sports bets are placed with a sportsbook — a dedicated gambling website where bettors can see the latest odds and place bets. Sportsbooks often provide odds for a range of sports. Any sport you can imagine can be bet on, from golf and football to racing and baseball. 

While sportsbooks facilitate bets, they also provide discounts and bonus codes. These change monthly or even more frequently, allowing bettors to make the most of their bets. If you’re ready to make your first MLB bet, investigate the latest betting match 2022 bonus offers before you start.

It’s all about the odds

Another large aspect of sports betting involves the odds. If you’re looking to place accurate bets and predict real outcomes, odds are your best friend. This doesn’t just go for baseball; the odds are relevant in all sports to show game possibilities. 

Sportsbook odds are also used to calculate payouts. Depending on the odds you bet on, you’ll receive your winning wager at a price relevant to the odds. Of course, the higher the odds, the better the payout. Remember to assess the risk before diving in!

How to read odds

Odds can change from sport to sport. This doesn't sound very clear, but you’ll be good to go once you can recognize the figures.

For example, baseball odds typically use moneyline odds. These are shown with a positive or negative sign, allowing you to see how likely the team is to win. This style of odds is also sometimes called American odds.

However, some European and Australian sports show odds with fractions (⅕) or decimals (1.20). Decimals are most popular outside of the US, and you’ll likely only see fractional odds in the United Kingdom, so remember this when you go to the races! 

Types of baseball bets

Now onto baseball-specific bets. When betting on sports, make sure you know which type of bet you’re making! This may sound simple, but different sports offer different bets, and you want to know which you’re putting your money on.

Scroll down for a rundown of common MLB bets and how to win with them. 


Moneyline bets are a standard option for baseball games - these allow you to bet on who will win the game, a simple outcome. This type of bet gets interesting when you bet on an underdog. Betting on a clear winner doesn’t always guarantee a big win, but an unlikely victory can pay big.

When making moneyline bets, ensure you’re up to date on the latest play. Knowing the team’s recent wins, strengths and who’s pitching can help you predict the match result. 


Also known as a handicap bet or a point spread, a runline bet is based on a team scoring a certain amount of runs more than their competitors. This is a more complex bet, and you need to take time to explore the odds before putting a wager down.

Runline bets use different odds than standard moneyline bets. This is because the bet requires a certain point threshold alongside a win. Therefore, some losing bets also still result in a win, as the losing team doesn’t lose by more than the point spread. 


Want to bet on more than one outcome? You can consider a parlay bet. This allows bettors to select multiple outcomes. However, to receive your winnings, you need all selected choices to win. Parlays are more difficult to win, as you’re guessing on multiple events. However, these outcomes pay out more due to the higher risk.


Totals bets are formulated by the number of runs scored in a baseball game. When placing totals bet, you’ll have to guess whether the possible runs will be over or under the number chosen by the bookies. 

The numbers set by the bookies are usually a number such as 7.5. This decimal number means you’d need seven or less to win under or eight or more to win over. This helps bookies avoid bettors predicting the exact number, known as a ‘push’.

Prop bets

Prop bets are related to specific events and outcomes. These include game props and player props, allowing bettors more flexibility when betting. For example, you can bet on whether a team will hit a home run, or you can bet on specific players and their performance. 

Unlike other baseball bets, prop bets are more light-hearted. Here you can have fun with bets. These are ideal for those not bothered about winning big.


As the name suggests, futures are offered in advance of the outcomes. These bets allow you to make predictions for far-off events, such as the World Series winners or seasonal games. The excitement of watching the action unfold is part of the allure of these long-term bets.

Live betting

Do you love being in the thick of the action? Live betting, also known as in-game betting, allows you to bet while the game is happening. This lets fans get in on the excitement and make their bets based on real-time events.

Extra MLB betting tips

So, new MLB bettors need to know the odds and the type of bet they’re placing, but are there any other essential tips?

Here are some extra tricks to bear in mind when betting on the MLB:

  • Don’t bet on favorites too often. You may love the team, but that doesn’t mean they’ll always win!

  • Know the player line-up. The player’s strengths and weaknesses will determine the game results, so get to know the stats.

  • Read the odds. We’re going to stress the odds again! These probabilities are essential to making a successful bet.

  • Don’t bet more than you can afford. Set yourself a betting budget before the game to protect your finances. 

Final thoughts

Are you feeling up to an MLB bet? Betting on your favorite sports can make the game even more enjoyable, especially when you’re with like-minded friends. 

Just remember to research and read before placing your bet to secure the best outcome. If gambling starts to lose its enjoyment, consider taking a step back or reaching out for help. Remember, safe gambling is fun gambling!

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