MLB is not the king of the American sports world anymore as the NFL has taken its place at the top, but the rise in sports betting should increase the popularity of baseball and all-American sports as it continues to be legalized in more and more places across the country. In this article, we will give you all you need to know when it comes to betting on MLB games in the state of Virginia where legal sports betting is set to launch soon. You will learn about the different betting types available for MLB games with some gambling tips and general information on the league.
Let’s get started.
For the first order of business, you need to research the best place to bet before you consider placing your first wager. While there has not been any announcement of which sportsbooks will be available for use yet, it’s certainly possible each of these three sportsbooks below are set to take action on MLB bets placed in the state of Virginia:
Sportsbooks are likely to offer bonuses for new and experienced customers as the industry is booming, and they want to keep everyone satisfied. This is creating fantastic experiences for the sports bettor with tons of offers available. The strategy is to lure you in with sports betting options that are too good to pass up as they are looking to secure a customer for years to come. Do your research on which sportsbook offers the best bonuses and you could get a good head start and see significant value right away.
One of the main questions people ask when it comes to betting on sports is, is this legal? While it may be different across the United States, it is legal to bet on MLB games in the state of Virginia. The state legalized sports betting in April 2020, however, it is not live at this point. Sports betting is expected to launch early in 2021 in Virginia and should give MLB bettors plenty of time to research teams and players as we get closer to the return of the sport’s regular season.
Another thing to note for Virginia sports betting is you do not need to be a resident to bet in the state, but you must be physically located in Virginia to place a wager.
Understanding betting odds are a crucial part of sports betting and it should be something you understand prior to placing your first or your next wager, no matter the sport. Here’s a look at how you can calculate odds for the three biggest betting categories in Major League Baseball: the moneyline, runline, and totals, with examples of each. All the examples will be explained using American odds, which you are most likely to see betting on MLB games in Virginia.
When calculating moneyline odds, it’s easiest to explain by using the $100 mark. In this example, let’s say the New York Yankees are playing the Boston Red Sox and are favorites heading into the game. Here’s what the moneyline odds might look like:
The minus sign typically means that is the favorite, and the plus sign usually signifies the underdog. So how do we calculate this?
Using $100 to explain this, if you believe the Yankees will win this game with -200 odds, you would need to bet $200 to earn a $100 profit in your wager. On the other side, if you believe the Red Sox can pull off this upset, you will get a bigger payout because they are the underdog. To calculate Boston winning at +150 odds, a $100 bet would net a $150 profit in this scenario. The bigger the underdog, the higher the payout will be if you predict it correctly. Conversely, the bigger the favorite, the less of a payout you’ll see with a winning bet.
Runline odds are calculated in the same way as moneyline, but it’s a bit more structured. Here’s what the runline might look like for a game between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies, where the Nationals are the favorites:
This isn’t always the case and it’s more consistent with sports like football or basketball, but ideally oddsmakers would like to get even action on both sides with the standard set at -110 odds. Whether the Nationals win by more than 1.5 runs or the Phillies lose by less than 1.5 runs, or win the game, the winning side would need to bet $110 to gain a $100 profit.
Calculating run totals are similar to runline odds in that both sides will likely have a similar payout. Here’s our example with the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs with the over/under set at 7.5 runs:
MLB odds for the run total are likely to be close to the -110 odds on each side, so the winning bet would need to bet $110 to win $100.
While moneyline, runline, and run totals are the three major categories for MLB bettors, there are additional options available for bettors. Here’s a further explanation of the major categories and other available betting options for Major League Baseball.
Moneyline betting is the simplest form of wagering in sports. When betting on the moneyline, bettors do not need to factor in how many runs a game is won by or how many runs are scored. All that matters is which team wins the game. Payouts will be larger if you correctly predict an underdog to win as opposed to wagering on a heavy favorite that ends up winning a particular game.
A runline is much like the point spread in sports like football or basketball. Essentially the oddsmakers attempt to even the playing field by giving the lesser team a head start. In baseball, the runline is almost always -1.5 runs to the favorite and +1.5 runs for the underdog. If you believe the favorite has a better chance to win by more than 1.5 runs, take them. If you think the underdogs can keep it within a run or win the game outright, take the underdogs on the runline.
When betting on totals, which can also be referred to as the over/under, sports bettors do not worry about who wins the game or by how many points the team wins by. All they are concerned with are how many total runs are scored combined for both teams. If you believe there will be more runs than the given total, take the over. If you’re expecting more of a low-scoring ballgame, placing money on the underdog is the play.
Betting on props can be an entertaining way to wager as more of a side bet during a game. Prop bets do not necessarily have a direct impact on the final result of a particular MLB game, but there are tons of prop options to pick from in baseball. Potential props that may be available before the game are how many strikeouts a pitcher will record or whether or not an individual player will hit a home run in the game.
Sports bettors have the option to bet on the first five innings of a baseball game, which is essentially placing a wager on the starting pitching matchup for the particular game. Starting pitchers are the biggest key to handicapping a game, and most of the time they will not complete a full nine-inning game, but most will at least get past the fifth inning. If you have a strong feeling the starting pitcher will perform well but have no trust in the team’s relief pitchers, a first five innings bet is a good way to go.
A unique part of baseball that you don’t see in other sports is playing a team three or four times on consecutive days. While the best team doesn’t win every game, especially in baseball, a series of a few games has a better chance of determining who the better team is because it provides more of a sample size to determine the superior competitor. If a team is better than another heading into a series, but you don’t want to let your wager ride on just a single game, betting on your preferred team to take at least two out of three games of the series would make for a good bet.
Parlays are an all-or-nothing style of betting where MLB bettors may choose two or more outcomes to come true. If you are confident in multiple outcomes, you could group them all into a parlay bet. No matter how many outcomes there are in a parlay, if one of them comes up short, your bet is a loss. The more possible outcomes involved in the parlay, the more of a payout there will be in the end. The payouts are big because they are difficult to pick correctly, especially on a consistent basis.
Rather than worrying about a single game, MLB futures betting consists of a particular event or accomplishment that could be months away from happening. Some potential futures bets may include which team will win the World Series, who will be named the MVP of the league, or the winner of a particular division. There are plenty of MLB futures options to choose from.
Successful sports bettors are able to develop strategies to help enable a profit in the long term. Here are a few useful tips to keep an eye on before you place your first or next wager on MLB games:
Players from all 30 teams report to the spring training facility in the month of February and, shortly thereafter, spring training exhibition games will start up as players prepare themselves for the regular season and try to make the major league roster. The typical MLB regular season starts in late March or early April and runs through late September or early October with the postseason to decide who wins the World Series.
The World Series is a best-of-seven event between the two teams that advanced from the American League and National League playoffs. The first team to four victories is crowned as the World Series champion, which usually takes place in late October.
Teams play a 162-game regular season to determine who will qualify for the playoffs. It remains to be seen how many teams will make the postseason moving forward, as the league expanded to 16 teams in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The league has yet to decide how it wants to proceed in future years.
While there are no major professional sports teams in the state of Virginia including baseball, many Virginia residents will root for the Washington Nationals. The Nationals play their home games at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
The Nationals were previously the Montreal Expos until they were relocated to Washington, D.C. in the 2005 season and became the Nationals. Washington struggled as one of the worst teams in the league for several years before reaching the playoffs for the first time in 2012 by winning the National League East division. The Nationals won division titles again in 2014, 2016, and 2017, but failed to make it out of the Divisional Round of the playoffs despite having Bryce Harper, who had been the face of the league for years.
Washington made the playoffs as a wild card team in the 2019 season and won its first ever World Series in a seven-game series with the Houston Astros. The franchise had never made the World Series when it was known as the Montreal Expos from 1969 through 2004.
Betting on baseball is legal in the state of Virginia, but sports betting has yet to go live. It is expected to launch in early 2021.
No, MLB players are not allowed to place bets.
Former MLB great Pete Rose has been accused of betting on baseball games he participated in as a player and manager. He admitted to betting while he was a manager. Because of this, he is banned from the sport for life and has not had his name on the Hall of Fame ballot despite being one of the game’s best hitters.
It’s hard to say, but Major League Baseball is much more of a regional sport where fans watch their own teams play and do not focus too much on the entirety of the sport as fans do more often in the NBA and NFL. All leagues are hoping the continued legalization of sports betting will increase the popularity of their sport.
Baseball is very popular in the US, but the league features a significant number of foreign-born players, including many from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, with a bit of a drop off after that.