How To Bet MLB

How To Bet On Baseball: MLB Betting Guide For 2024

Before locking in your MLB picks, you should have a general grasp of how to bet on baseball. There are many different ways to bet on MLB (runline, moneyline, props, futures, etc.) and I'll break down the basics and some key strategies for those many options below.

How to Bet on the MLB

Understanding the MLB's many offerings and how to read their odds is a key to betting on baseball, so here's all you need to know.


This is the most common and easiest wager for a bettor to make when it comes to MLB picks. Basically, to win an MLB moneyline pick you just have to choose which team will win the game.

It’s simple – if you bet the Brewers moneyline over the Red Sox and Milwaukee wins, you win your bet. The payout is dependent on the odds though, so if a team is heavily favored and wins you won't get as much money as betting correctly on an underdog.

Totals (Over/Under)

Another common wager across all sports is on the total. For baseball, that's betting on the total number of runs scored in a game. You choose whether the total of the final score will be OVER or UNDER a pre-set mark (8.5 runs, for example). If you want to dive in more to how to bet totals, check out our sports betting breakdown.

Runlines (Spread)

The runline is another name for a point spread that you may be more familiar in other leagues. A point spread in baseball (or the runline) is usually set at 1.5 runs, while it can range anywhere from one to double digits in NFL and NBA. 

The favorite will be -1.5 while the underdog will be +1.5. At the end of the game, if you take away 1.5 points from the favorite or add 1.5 points to the underdog and they end up winning the game, you win your MLB pick against the spread.

Player and Team Props

Player props are a great way to hone in on an individual matchup for a game. These types of wagers will be individualized for a player: Will Mike Trout hit a home run? Will Gerrit Cole get over seven strikeouts? Will Vladimir Guerrero Jr. collect over 1.5 total bases? You simply choose whether this outcome will happen or not.

Futures Picks

Prior to a baseball season and even throughout the year, you can place futures bets on all the long-term awards and outcomes. You can lock in an MLB pick on which team will win a division, which squad will win the World Series, or even which player will hit the most home runs.

Here are some futures odds and picks to get you started:

Advanced MLB Betting Options

If moneylines and futures aren't enough for you, baseball offers even more ways to get in on the action. Here are some more advanced ways to bet on baseball:


A parlay bet allows you to combine multiple bets into one mega wager. In baseball, a parlay is when you pick two or more MLB wagers on one single betting ticket, which will increase the payout of your bet. Correctly nailing multiple bets will increase your payout, but there is also a risk. Each of those MLB picks must hit for your ticket to pay out -- even one loss could sink the entire bet. 

Our parlay calculator will help find out what your potential payout would be.

Live Betting

Live betting is a good way to stay connected to a specific contest when you're at the game or watching from home. You can live bet game outcomes (moneyline, runline, totals) and some betting sites also let you live bet props like total bases, pitcher strikeouts, or even the outcomes of specific at-bats.

First Five Innings MLB Picks

Most MLB game picks – moneyline, runline, and totals – can also be placed on the first five innings of a game rather than the full game. Many experienced bettors will use this approach because it removes bullpens from the equation and makes your job researching the game easier because you can just focus on the starting pitchers.

Check out our first five betting report to see how every team performs in this type of wager.

MLB Betting Tips & Strategies

There are many ways to go about strategizing your baseball bets, here are just a few things to consider:

Recent Performance

Sure, your Los Angeles Dodgers might be first place in the NL West but if they're 3-12 in the last 15 games, that's certainly worth noting. Checking out recent MLB scores and schedules can help you identify what teams are hot, letting recent performance dictate a part of your bets.

Understanding why teams are hot or not is also key, as major injuries or hot streaks are a huge part of baseball. Recent player performance, both in general and against teams/pitchers, is also key for props.

Research Umpires

Another factor to consider for MLB games is the umpire, which changes almost every contest. Some umps have bigger or smaller strike zones, which play a factor in whether run totals will be higher or lower or if specific pitchers will have more or fewer strikeouts that day. Check out our MLB umpire betting log to find out. 

Check The Weather

If you really want to get into the weeds on your daily MLB picks, you can also look at how the weather will impact outcomes.

More than just looking if it'll be rainy or sunny on a day, the wind is a huge factor for outdoor games. For example, Wrigley Field is notorious for a wind that blows out to the bleachers, making homers more likely. This can be a key for your player props and run total bets if there is a fly-ball pitcher on the mound for either squad.

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