MLB

MLB Betting: How To Bet On The First Inning In Baseball

Why do sharp bettors like betting the first inning?


Any sports bettor that has followed the sport will tell you that the game of baseball has changed dramatically in recent years. The number of poor pitchers in the majors has risen and as a result the game has become that much more difficult to predict. There were a record number of blown saves in 2014, and in 2015 the favorites won at a record pace. The professional handicappers turned to five-inning bets and first-inning bets in order to try to regain an edge and we can learn a lot based on what they did. Here is a look at some important rules to keep in mind when betting on first inning baseball.

First Inning Has A Constant Total Of 0.5

The first-inning baseball bet has become a lot more popular in recent years and for good reason. The first-inning bet has a constant total of 0.5 runs and that makes for a very simple wager as bettors simply decide whether or not a run will be scored. The fact that pitching matchups have so much to do with the outcome of the wager means that the money line is often used. Bettors are forced to lay higher odds that a run will be scored when lower-quality pitchers are used in the game. The majority of sportsbooks will ask bettors to wager in to a 30-cent on first inning wagers which means the traditional bet will look something like this:

Will there be a run scored in the first inning?
Yes -120
No -110

Study The Statistics

It’s important to take the statistics into account when betting on the first-inning lines as the data is kept and stored online for the public to see. We can look at how many runs a team has scored in the first inning of games and how many runs a team has conceded in the first inning of games in order to get an appreciation for what is about to happen in any given contest. For example, the Texas Rangers led the majors in runs scored in the first inning as they produced a run in the first inning in nearly 38-percent of their games. Meanwhile in that same year, the New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies scored the fewest first inning runs at a 35-percent clip. We can use the numbers these teams produced to predict the outcomes for different games. We can also use the average numbers in order to break down what to expect in general when it comes to these betting lines.

Who’s Pitching?

Another important factor to keep in mind when evaluating whether or not a run will be scored in the first inning of games is the pitching matchup. A pair of elite pitchers are that much less likely to give up a run in the first inning of a game than a pair of pitchers that have underperformed that season. The lines for the games could shift based on the pitchers but the reality is that even at longer odds you are still in a better position to bet that there will be runs scored in the first inning of a game that features a poor pitching matchup. The advantage is that the terms of the wager are dictated and guaranteed because you know the pitchers and you know the lineups so there won’t be any surprises like a poor performance out of the bullpen late in the game when you bet on the moneyline.  First-inning betting still isn’t as popular with the public as it is with the professional handicappers but getting a read on the markets and investing some time in the numbers could lead to more change as more people get behind the benefits of betting on first-inning baseball.


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