The quote, “experience is the best teacher”, tends to hold true in all facets of life, which means that this quote also applies to MLB betting. With more games wagered on and more seasons under your belt, you will be able to use this experience to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated. For relatively new bettors, here are some tips that can improve your chances of winning in the MLB betting markets.
Avoid Betting On Too Many Favourites
Favourites are called that for a reason – they tend to win most of the time. However, the keyword to focus on in the previous sentence is ‘most’. In MLB, good teams rarely win 70% of their games and bad teams usually win 40% of their games. As a result, betting on too many favourites may end up costing you more money in the long-run since you must win over 50% of your games (sometimes 55%–58%) just to break even due to the fact that payouts for favourites are never 1:1. Additionally, in a three- or four-game series between a good team and a bad team, the good team usually fails to sweep the bad team. It is important to be able to avoid always betting on favourites and instead look to find value in underdogs.
Avoid Fading Streaks
When a bad team has put together a winning streak, amateur bettors are inclined to fade the team’s winning streak, thinking that it must come to an end. However, baseball is a game of streaks, both on the players’ end as well as the teams’ perspective. Although it may be tempting to bet on the favourite against a bad team on a winning streak, it would be wiser to ride the winning streak of the bad team with hopes of cashing in on some nice payouts.
Avoid Overvaluing Starting Pitchers
Although MLB lines reflect, to a large extent, the strength of starting pitchers, it is essential for a bettor to avoid overvaluing starting pitchers. In the modern era, a team’s bullpen has begun to play a larger role in the outcome of games as starting pitchers (if they are pitching well) will usually only last six or seven innings. As a result, the remaining one-third of the game will be completely out of the starting pitcher’s control. It would be prudent to avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket, especially if that basket only reflects a bit more than half of the game.
Analyze Games Completely
While some factors that may decide the outcome of a game may stand out more, it is important to consider all factors of a game from a macro standpoint. Placing too much value on one star slugger’s hot streak or the recent dominance of a team’s closer may skew your outlook of the game. Since there are many aspects that may determine the outcome of a game, you must also research all of these areas in order to accurately reflect the game at hand.
Beware Of High Scoring Teams
Many amateur bettors tend to be enamoured with high scoring teams – teams with star players who hit lots of home runs. However, due to the public’s appeal of high scoring teams, MLB lines tend to reflect this point quite accurately. As a result, there may be limited value in betting on these teams. Instead of jumping on high scoring teams at every opportunity, a smarter option would be to take a look at teams that are capable of producing runs but have been overlooked by the public.
Analyze Home-Away Splits
In any one season, there tends to be teams who perform extremely well at home but very poorly on the road, and vice-versa. For teams with dramatic home-away splits, these trends may begin to occur close to the halfway point of the season. As a result, it is important that you are able to pick up on these trends and capitalize on them accordingly.