Ultimate MLB Betting Guide (2020)

Betting on MLB is very different from betting on other sports. The baseball season consists of 162 games per team, with each team playing around 4 games every single week. Baseball betting consists of classic markets such as which team to win, but you can also bet on less common things such as Run Line.

Christmas is a great time of the year, especially for football fans as the season is in full swing and games come thick and fast. The same cannot be said for fans of baseball. The baseball season ends with the Fall Classic in October and it doesn’t start again until Spring Training in late February. Christmas time can be hell for a baseball fan. Alas, February is here and the time is nigh to get ready for a new, long season of America’s pastime!

 

Best Betting Sites We Recommend for MLB Betting in 2020

bet365
  • Good selection of MLB betting markets
  • Futures and line bets already open
  • Also covers Spring Training
Betfred
  • A good starting point for new punters as Betfred gives players a proper intro to the MLB
  • Good selection of markets
  • Good offer for new players
Betfair
  • Outrights are up and ready to be viewed
  • Many interesting MLB betting markets
  • Decent odds on Outright and World Series betting

 

MLB 2020 Season Betting Odds, Tips And Predictions

The long winter has come and gone, and baseball is finally right around the corner. Yes, we still have a little while to go until the first pitch on March 26th, but spring training is underway, the sign stealing scandal will surely start to fade at some point sooner or later, and we are all ready to get going on a new, 162 game season.

Best Odds For MLB 2020

TeamBest OddsBookmaker
New York Yankees4/1Ladbrokes
Los Angeles Dodgers9/2Betfred
Houston Astros7/1MarathonBet
Atlanta Braves12/1Bet365
Washington Nationals16/1Unibet
St Louis Cardinals20/1Betfair
Minnesota Twins20/1Ladbrokes
Philadelphia Phillies22/1Ladbrokes
Cleveland Indians25/1Betfred
Chicago Cubs25/1Paddy Power
Tampa Bay Rays25/1Coral
New York Mets25/1Ladbrokes
Milwaukee Brewers33/1Unibet
Oakland Athletics33/1BoyleSports
Boston Red Sox40/1William Hill
Los Angeles Angels45/1888Sport
Chicago White Sox50/1William Hill
Cincinnati Reds50/1Ladbrokes
San Diego Padres50/1Unibet
Arizona Diamondbacks66/1William Hill
Texas Rangers100/1888Sport
Toronto Blue Jays100/1888Sport
Colorado Rockies200/1BoyleSports
Pittsburgh Pirates250/1Bet365
San Francisco Giants250/1William Hill
Seattle Mariners 500/1Unibet
Baltimore Orioles1000/1Bet365
Miami Marlins1000/1Bet365
Detroit Tigers1000/1William Hill
Kansas City Royals1000/1Bet365

 

The 2019 season ended with heartbreak for the Houston Astros as they lost the best-of-seven series to the Washington Nationals. At home, in Texas. It was horrible for the team that many looked upon as the best in the major leagues, it was fantastic for a team in Washington which – back in May of the 2019 season – was seen as one of the worst teams in the league.

While the Nationals were celebrating their first ever trophy, the Astros and owner Jim Crane were vowing to do one better next season and use Altuve, Bregman and the best rotation in baseball to win their second ever Commissioner’s Trophy.

MLB 2020 Tips and Predictions

 

Houston Astros Loss

Houston Astros Magical Loss Season Disintegrates in Stunning Game 7 Loss (Image: ©Matt Slocum)

 

The winter-time is a time for NBA, NFL and NHL, baseball has nothing to do with the colder winter months. We baseball fans go into hibernation between December and March. Not this year. This year was significantly different.

We will go into details later on, but as soon as the World Series was over, news about the Astros stealing signs back in 2017 was uncovered and leaked to the media by former Astro’s pitcher Mike Fiers. Baseball, its lack of morals and the dirty side of the sport has been on everyone’s lips ever since.

This is justifiable, but now it is finally time to focus on the upcoming season. As can be seen from the table above, most bookies see the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers as the two main favourites, and a World Series that will be switching from New York to LA seems almost unavoidable in 2020.

 

 

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MLB 2020 News and Updates

We can never truly predict an MLB season, a fact which was proved by the Nationals last year as Soto and Company managed to win the league after being rock-bottom in May. Mid-season trades, horrific injuries and sub-par performances from your team’s biggest stars are all unavoidable factors which we fans have no control over. And let’s not forget that the MLB season is 162 games long. It truly is very difficult to predict.

Yet some sense and reason remain. The Astros, Dodgers and Yankees were seen as the three best teams last season, and they all made it to the playoffs. Out of these three, the Yankees and the Dodgers have undoubtedly improved the most and they both seem set for another playoff run. The addition of Mookie in LA might finally lead to a trophy for the blues.

The Banging Scheme

But we cannot talk about last season – or the off-season for that matter – without shining a gigantic light on the Banging Scheme. Yes, that is the name baseball seems to have settled on.

The Banging Scheme (also known as the Houston Astros Sign-Stealing Scandal) was uncovered late in 2019 by the Athletic, who got the information for their unbelievable, ground-breaking article from former Astros pitcher (now heading up the rotation in Oakland) Mike Fiers. Fiers spilled the beans and made an unholy mess.

The activity of stealing signs is not illegal in baseball, at least not if you do it with your eyeballs. If the oppositions lead-off man gets a double knock and finds himself on second base, it is up to your catcher to make sure that he manages to hide the signs he is relaying to his pitcher. Stealing signs by being sneaky is fine. Stealing signs by use of illegal technology that only your team has access to, is not quite as fine. Not even close.

And that’s what the Astros did. A thorough investigation by commissioner Rob Manfred proved that the Astros stole signs in their only World Series winning season back in 2017. The investigation also proved that Red Sox manager Alex Cora was one of the leading brains behind the sign stealing scandal (Cora was a bench coach in Houston during the 2017 season), and it proved that newly hired Mets manager Carlos Beltran was the player who put it all in motion. Mass firings ensued.

Cora is out of baseball, so is Beltran, and Jim Crane fired both his Manager and General Manager and everyone is licking wounds. The Astros are still one of the best teams in baseball, but everyone absolutely hates them and 2020 will not be a happy time in Houston no matter how the season goes. Altuve and company are desperate to move on, but that will not be an option before several backs and upper bodies have been pelted with 100 mph fastballs. That’s just the way of baseball.

Mookie in LA

 

Mookie Betts, LA - MLB Betting Guide

Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodger (Image: © Christian Petersen)

 

This offseason was messy and entertaining, but it wasn’t all about scandals and cheating. Mere weeks ago, Mookie Betts and David Price were put on a plane, flown to LA and told that they now represent the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Red Sox are regrouping post Cora and a full rebuild seems to be on the cards, a rebuild that would be impossible without shedding the horrible contract David Price is on, but was ridding yourself of the second best player in baseball really necessary?

Red Sox fans certainly don’t seem to think so and are likening the move to that of Babe Ruth – who famously got sold to the Yankees, a move which allegedly led to the “Curse of the Bambino”. The Red Sox are tanking and will not be in contention for a quite a few years to come, but trading both Price and Betts for a good amount of prospects could at least mean that the process is quicker than the one still going on in Baltimore.

For the Dodgers, this should be the season. The Dodgers haven’t won the title since 1988, but they arguably have never had as good a team as they are having right now.

The Battle of New York

In fact, there seems to be very little real competition for the Dodgers in the entire National League. Sure, the Diamondbacks have improved and MadBum might help them nail down that Wild Card spot, but there is no way Arizona amasses more points than the Dodgers. In fact, the only team in the entire league that stands any chance at all in knocking the Dodgers off their perch in the NLCS, would, in many peoples opinion, be the Braves. Dodgers in the World Series is pretty much looking like a forgone conclusion at this point.

But should they make it to the World Series, the Dodgers will have to contend with the Yankees and Gerrit Cole, most likely. Cole was the big talking point this off season as it quickly became clear that he wanted out of Houston. The best pitcher in baseball wanted to stay on the West Coast, he wanted to play in warm weather and keep his family in California. Then he signed for the Yankees and moved to New York. Gerrit Cole is being paid £36 million in 2020.

That means that the two best pitchers in baseball are both to be found in New York. Cole for the Yankees, DeGrom for the Mets. The Sub-way series should be amazing.

 

Yankees VS Mets - MLB Betting Guide

Original Painting of the annual “Subway Series” (Image: © Gary Longordo)

 

Popular MLB Bets

It is high time we took a look at some of the more interesting markets available to punters when it comes to MLB betting. Putting your money on the outright winner of the World Series is one way to go, but the regular season consists of a total of 2,430 games, and, even if you are correct and your team makes it to the World Series (which is highly unlikely to begin with) you will still have a really boring season, at least betting-wise. Therefore, we have here decided to focus on some selected markets that we believe can add a lot of entertainment to the rather complicated task of being a baseball fan.

 

 

Moneyline

First out, is the market known as Moneyline. This might sound complicated and potentially difficult, especially for fans of other sports such as football (soccer), but the truth is that Moneyline betting is very straightforward. In fact, Moneyline betting in baseball is the same as Final Result betting in football.

In Moneyline betting, you get a certain odds for team A to beat team B and you get rewarded according to the odds If you select the correct team to win. Moneyline betting can be found at any online bookmaker offering odds on baseball, and it is a good starting point for new fans looking to get into, and understand, baseball betting.

Run Line

Run line is very similar to Moneyline betting, with one important difference: whilst Moneyline only asks you to select the winner of a game, Run line betting will require you to pick a team that wins with 1.5 runs or more. It is here important to understand that a run in baseball is the same as a goal. 1 run represents 1 point, so if you pick the Brewers to beat the Pirates in Run line betting, you are betting that the Brewers will win with 2 points or more as there are no half points in baseball.

Run line betting is the baseball equivalent of spread betting, the only difference is that the line never changes. In football, you often have the chance to bet that team A will beat team B with 2.5 goals or more, that is not the case with Run line betting. The Run line is always 1.5.

Proposition bets

Prop bets are very popular in baseball, a fact that is probably down to the amount of games being played every single season. As mentioned, every team plays at least 162 competitive games from March until September. This results in roughly 2,430 games a season and with that sheer amount of games, weird things are bound to happen.

And that’s what prop bets are; the chance of weird, strange and abnormal things to happen, among other things. In short, prop bets are the chance of a certain event happening during a given game. Will Mookie Betts clobber a home run during his first at-bat? How many times will Jose Altuve be plunked by the Dodgers and how many games will he miss thanks to said plunking? Will the Astros players still be playing baseball in April? Will Tommy Lasorda come back and snap at another mascot when the Phillies host the Nationals?

Prop bets vary from game to game and we recommend that you check the list of prop bets before betting on any given game. We also recommend that you place prop bets on skill-based things, such as which player to score first. Random and funny prop bets may add some entertainment, but they most certainly will not increase your bankroll. Skill based betting is always preferable and “lead off hitter to get on base” is a type of prop bet that might actually earn you some money. We all want to see Lasorda v. Youppi 2, but Lasorda is 92 years old and Youppi now belongs to the Montreal Canadians hockey team. It’s time to move on, some dreams just don’t come true.

 

Baseball Player

 

MLB Futures Betting

Finally, we have the market known as “MLB futures betting”. Futures betting is very simple: you’re placing a bet on something to happen in the future. This can be anything from a team to win at least 70 games, to the Dodgers and Yankees finally meeting in the World Series. Futures bets are usually placed at the beginning of a season, but this list of bets will also be updated as the season progresses and we will see a whole new set of futures bets become available once we enter October baseball with the Fall Classic right around the corner.

 

 

History of The MLB

Baseball is affectionately known as “the American Pastime” and the game has a long and unrivalled history. Many have claimed that Abner Doubleday – a man who went on to become a civil-war hero some years later – invented the rules of baseball in Cooperstown, New York back in 1839. It is said that the game grew out from Cooperstown to become the favourite sport of a young nation. Many people have been very wrong about that.

The Early Days

In fact, there is no evidence at all that Abner Doubleday as much as heard the word “baseball” spoken out loud before he passed away in 1893. He most likely did hear about it late in his life, but he certainly had nothing to do with the invention of it and all evidence points to Doubleday never having played the sport.

No one knows who invented baseball and its rules, but we do know that the year was 1869, and that the place was Cincinnati, Ohio. This doesn’t matter. Most people still think of Abner Doubleday when they hear about baseball’s origins, and the Baseball Hall of Fame has had its home in Cooperstown, New York since 1939, purely because of good old Abner.

The House That Ruth Built

 

Baseball Legend Babe Ruth - MLB Betting Guide

One of the best baseball players of all time, Babe Ruth (Image: © Paul Thompson)

 

The rules of baseball were more-or-less formed in 1869, but the first official MLB season did not take place until 1901 and it was won by… Well, that point is a little bit unclear, even in hindsight. Just like today, the MLB consisted of two leagues: the National League and the American League. Unlike today, the season ended with two champions. The Chicago White Stockings won the AL, and a Honus Wagner-led Pittsburgh Pirates won the NL.

There were many heroes of the early days of baseball (the aforementioned Honus Wagner was undeniably one of the greatest ones), but no one could rival the Bambino.

George Hermann “Babe” Ruth was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1895 and he was born to play baseball. He started out as a left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in 1914, and retired 22 years later after having become the best hitter – yes, hitter – in MLB history as a member of the Red Sox’s number one rival: the New York Yankees.

Babe Ruth dominated every batter that came up to the plate when he was pitching for the Red Sox, but he got bored when he had to sit and watch his team mates go up and hit, so he joined in on the fun. Babe Ruth hit an unholy 714 Home Runs during his career. This number is so good that it was not broken until a certain Barry Bonds (fuelled by steroids one might add) came along around 80 years later.

Ruth was the best player in baseball (he might still be the best player in baseball and he’s been dead for over 70 years), but the Red Sox needed money, so they sold the Babe to the Yankees and never lived it down. The Yankees dominated early baseball thanks to a line-up consisting of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The Red Sox didn’t win another title for 86 years and the Curse of the Bambino was in full swing.

42

 

Jackie Robinson, LA Dodgers - MLB Betting Guide

6-time All Star who changed the game, Jackie Robinson (Image : © 2020 CMG Worldwide)

 

The very early days of baseball was dominated by names that we recognise even today, but these names had something rather uncomfortable in common: they all belonged to white players. In fact, there was nationwide segregation of baseball until 1947, when a young black man by the name of Jackie Robinson pulled on a jersey with the number 42 for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Robinson made his name in the Negro Leagues with the Kansas City Monarchs before being picked up by the Dodgers. Moses Fleetwood Walker was the first black player to play in the majors, but one cannot deny the fact that Jackie Robinson was the player who changed the game of baseball forever.

Jackie Robinson suffered abuse from everyone, even from his team mates, but this seemed to only fuel him. Jackie won the World Series with Brooklyn, he was a 6-time All Star, Batting Champion and Rookie of the Year. Today, the number 42 is retired across the entire MLB and 15th of April 2020 is Jackie Robinson Day, a day where every single player will wear number 42 in honour of the pioneer that passed away 48 years ago.

A League of Curses

The Curse of the Bambino is well-known in baseball. It was the “curse” imposed on the Boston Red Sox as a result of their greediness when they shipped the Sultan of Swat off to New York for something as pedestrian and mundane as money. Babe Ruth gave New York the best franchise in sports history, the Red Sox had some pocket-change for a while.

It is known as the Curse of the Bambino because this transaction led to the Red Sox going 86 years without a title, but this is not the only curse in MLB history. One might even say that MLB is a league of curses.

Or one could be truthful and say that the Chicago Cubs have been the unluckiest team in history. It all started – as all great stories start – with a drunken tavern owner and his pet goat. Yes, baseball is weird.

William Sianis, the owner of a local tavern, was watching his beloved Cubs at Wrigley Field in the World Series game 4 in 1945, accompanied by his ticket-holding goat, named Murphy. Sianis had made sure that both him and Murphy had tickets, and all was going well. That was until people started complaining about the smell of Murphy, and the two companions were asked to leave the stadium. Sianis was enraged. Fuelled by blind anger, as well as loyalty towards his pets, Sianis put a curse over Wrigley Field. The Chicago Cubs did not win another title for 71 years.

The PED-era

But the MLB is not only a league for the superstitious, it is also a league for those willing to do whatever it takes to win, and in the ‘90’s, that meant supplements. Illegal supplements.

The race between Mark MgWire and Sammy Sosa for the title of homerun king was as exciting as watching Barry Bonds hammer home a total of 762 Homeruns, but it all came crashing down when reports revealed that pretty much every single one of the best players in the MLB was in fact on steroids. The PED-era nearly killed the game and some of baseballs most important and impressive records and players will forever have an asterisk next to their name.

A New Dawn

The sign stealing scandal has proven that baseball still has some work to do when it comes to avoiding scandals and controversies, but the fact is that baseball is much cleaner today then it ever has been before.

The Yankees’ Evil Empire is back, LA has not only got one competitive team filled with superstars in the form of the Dodgers, they also have a highly entertaining and exciting team from Anaheim in the Los Angeles Angels, led by the best player in the league, Mike Trout.

There is a lot of fun and excitement to be had with MLB betting and, if you cannot wait until the first pitch is thrown out in March, you can get going with your baseball fandom right now, thanks to MLB Spring Training.

Past winners

YearWinner
2019Washington Nationals
2018Boston Red Sox
2017Houston Astros
2016Chicago Cubs
2015Kansas City Royals
2014San Francisco Giants
2013Boston Red Sox
2012San Francisco Giants
2011St Louis Cardinals
2010San Francisco Giants
2009New York Yankees
2008Philadelphia Phillies
2007Boston Red Sox
2006St Louis Cardinals
2005Chicago White Sox
2004Boston Red Sox
2003Florida Marlins
2002Anaheim Angels
2001Arizona Diamondbacks
2000New York Yankees
1999New York Yankees
1998New York Yankees
1997Florida Marlins
1996New York Yankees
1995Atlanta Braves
1994Player’s Strike – No World Series
1993Toronto Blue Jays
1992Toronto Blue Jays
1991Minnesota Twins
1990Cincinnati Reds

 

Most successful teams

TeamNumber of World Series titles
New York Yankees27
St. Louis Cardinals11
Boston Red Sox9
Oakland Athletics9
San Francisco Giants8
LA Dodgers6
Pittsburgh Pirates5
Cincinnati Reds5
Detroit Tigers4
Chicago White Sox3

 

Ultimate MLB FAQs

🇨🇭 Is MLB Betting Difficult?

The short answer is no, but it helps to have information and knowledge. If all you want to do is put some money on the World Series winner, then go right ahead, but if you plan to bet on MLB regularly, you should do your best to stay up to date on stats, line-up changes and the rotations of each team.

🇦🇹 Does Every Bookmaker Offer MLB Betting?

Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the world, so yes, you should be able to find MLB betting at more-or-less any bookmaker today. Check with your chosen bookmaker for specifics.

🔵 Can I Bet on MLB Through my Phone?

Most bookmakers that offer MLB betting will also offer this through their mobile service. Check with your chosen bookmaker for details.

🔐 Do I Have to Pick my World Series Favourite Before April?

No, World Series betting is open all year. If you don’t want to place your bet on the World Series winner just yet, it could be a good idea to wait until the summer when you will have an idea as to how the league will shape up this season.

 

 

ThePuntersPage Final Say

We Europeans tend to stick to more traditional betting like football and hockey, but this also leaves us with a problem: what to do with our summers? Sure, the European Championship in football is coming around in 2020, but that only lasts for one month. If you find yourself with a sports-hole in your life once the Premier League is done, why not check out baseball?

There are players, legends, stories and teams you are bound to fall in love with. Baseball might seem like a slow game which evolves throughout the whole year (which is partly true), but it is also a fast paced game consisting of experienced players turning impossible double-plays as if it were nothing.

MLB is getting bigger and bigger in Europe every year, thanks to the now yearly series in London. If you want to make sure that your summers are filled with sports and joy, we suggest that you take a look into the MLB, you will not regret it!