2024 MLB Season Betting Tips & Strategies

It rolls in every year like an old friend. The start of the MLB season renews a beautiful friendship between gamblers and the long, cozy lineup of bettable games.

From now through October, gamblers peruse betting choices like a daily crossword puzzle. Find the edge and bet it. No edge, no bet. Rising prop options accent the excitement.

What a time to be playing. An entire world is sitting beyond the realm of moneyline, run lines, and Over/Unders.

Here’s an early-season look at navigating MLB choices and finding the sweet betting spot.

Betting the Series

Take a team to prevail over a set of games. This can be an individual bet or a parlay.

“The great thing about props, futures, and season-long bets is that it keeps you locked in on certain teams so that you know how they are going, how they are trending throughout the season,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Gaming Today. “If you are a baseball aficionado, there is no better way to follow it than to play what we have up there on the board.

“One of my favorites is playing a team to win the series. It’s great to be able to lock in on one team versus another and probably have three games to decide what happens.”

Series bets also enable bettors to wager teams in the right spot. The Colorado Rockies were not good two years ago. But they were a strong team at home in the second half.

Bettors who picked up on that played them to win series at home in August and September.

First Inning Runs: Yes or No

“This one has become more popular because it gets you into the game right away,” Avello noted. “Will a team score in the first inning? Well, if you are following the lineups closely and know who the first three or four guys are, that will be important. They are your key in that bet.”

First Five Innings Props

Many bettors love the first five innings prop because it shields a team with a bad bullpen.

The Philadelphia Phillies don’t have a good middle-innings pen. Bettors who play into that have already cashed twice this season.

One came on Opening Day against the Atlanta Braves. Bettors cashed a ticket with them leading 2-0 after five innings. The Phillies eventually lost 9-3. Those same bettors may have also jumped on the Braves halfway through the game at a nice price.

It happened again Monday night when the Phillies coughed up a 2-0 sixth-inning lead and lost to the Cincinnati Reds, 6-3, in 10 innings.

Philly early, opponents late. Double cha-ching.

Watch teams night in and night out, and you may get a feel for the flow of their games. Hence, the stacked Los Angeles Dodgers were +220 when they fell behind the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 in the fifth inning on Sunday night.

In-game gamblers who took the Dodgers were rewarded with a 5-4 victory.

Live In-Game Props

There’s nothing like minute-by-minute action. Which team will score the next run?

If a team has three runs, what are the odds it will reach four or five?

Bettors can assess this on factors like whether the heart of the order is coming up, or whether an ace pitcher has been replaced. And when all else fails, bettors can take odds or even for the total number of runs scored by a given team.

Sometimes, you might hit that one just as often as the bets you handicap.

Total Daily Runs

This is a fun bet, also known as the Grand Salami. It can be found under Daily Specials.

Gamblers can wager on the number of runs scored in all MLB games on a given day. With a big schedule, it’s often a number over 100. On Sunday, the number was 136.5. And a late rally in the final game pushed the total to 139.

This wager gives gamblers action in every inning of every game.

More Popular MLB Bets

Will Any Game Have 20 or Total Runs?

It happens quite a few times a year. Saturday seems to be a good time to pull the trigger on this for some reason.

Highest Scoring Game

Which matchup will produce the most runs? The Colorado Rockies are often a good candidate at home during warm weather.

Lowest Scoring Game

Find a slumping team going against a top pitcher.

No-No Becomes Yes-Yes

No-hitters usually pay in the vicinity of +2500. And Ronel Blanco of the Houston Astros rang that bell on Monday night, tossing a 10-0 no-hitter over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Home Runs, Total Bases Remain Popular

Home runs by an individual will pay well, often above +500. The total bases prop has a better shot and starts being worth it at above 1.5, but still can’t pay like a homer. Note that a walk is not considered a total base.

Combining the Futures and the Present

Projecting a team’s overall pattern may help bettors identify smaller trends within the big picture.

Consider the path of bettors who wagered that no team would win more than 105.5 games last year. When the Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves, and the Baltimore Orioles threatened to eclipse that number last year, bettors jumped on them for home games and the series. The Braves also had money in the bank to score in the first inning.

Bettors also developed a feel about when it might be wise to back away when a team hit a rough stretch of games.

What finally decided the bet for the Under was the Braves clinching the National League East early and playing just average ball after that. They wound up with 104 wins. Many bettors cashed the season Under and the hot teams in individual series.

“You can bet much more confidently when you find your edge,” Avello said. “That’s very important.”

Especially considering that the possibilities are endless for MLB wagering. And the beauty of a long season is that daily search for the edge.


About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970s. He won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1997, and is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. Bontempo has broadcast major fights all over the world. The advent of legalized sports wagering shifted his focus to this exciting new industry in 2018.

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