While baseball may be America’s pastime, it is also a very popular sport in Canada and they also have teams representing the nation in the United States, such as the Toronto Blue Jays, who play in the MLB.
There are many different ways to wager on baseball and in this article we will review some of the more popular types available to sports book fans.
Money Line Wagering
This is the simplest and most popular form of wagering when it comes to betting Major League Baseball games. It involves a line set on each game and gamblers may select either team to win. The lines are primarily determined by the starting pitcher for each team.
When placing a baseball wager you must specify if your wager will be graded on action or with the listed pitchers. If you select listed pitchers, it means that the pitchers who are scheduled to start must start the game in order for your wager to be valid. If you select listed pitchers and one of the listed starters is later changed (prior to the start of the game) your bet will be graded as “no action” and a refund will be issued. You may select the listed pitcher for one team or both teams when placing your wager.
If you select action, your wager will be active and graded as a winner or a loser regardless of which pitchers start the game. If, for example, the Toronto Blue Jays are hosting the Minnesota Twins and the line is Toronto -150/Minnesota +130, you would need to risk $150 to win $100 on Toronto, or $100 to win $130 on the Twins.
If the final score is 4-2 Toronto, all bets on the Blue Jays are winners, while all bets on the Twins would be settled as losers.
Gamblers may also wager on the total number of runs that will be scored in any given game. When making totals wagers, you must use the listed pitchers. If a starting pitcher is changed by either team prior to the start of the game, your totals wager will be graded as no action and your bet will be refunded.
You may wager on either the over or the under for total number of runs in a game. The odds on these wagers are typically 11/10, meaning you will wager $110 to win $100. If the total on a game is 9 and the final score is 8-4, the over will be graded as a winner, while the under will be graded as a loser because more than 9 runs were scored. If the total were to land on exactly nine runs, the bet will be considered a push and all bets will be refunded.
Run Line Wagering
In addition to money line wagering, gamblers may bet on whether a team will win by at least two runs, or lose by less than two runs. This is known as a run line wager. The run line wager is a good way to get better odds on a heavy favorite, and to increase variety when you’re looking to place multiple bets on a single game.
As an example of this type of bet, if the New York Yankees are playing the Houston Astros and the money line is Yankees -180/Astros +160, the run line would be Yankees -1.5 runs EVEN or Astros +1.5 runs -120. If you were to bet the Yankees at -1.5 runs you would need to wager $100 to win $100. This is better odds than risking $180 for $100 on the Yankees on the money line.
However, in order for the run line wager to be graded a winner, the Yankees must win by at least two runs. If you were to bet the Astros +1.5 runs -120 you would need to risk $120 to win $100, but even if the Astros lost the game 3-2, your bet on the Astros run line would still be a winner since they lost by less than two runs.
As with the other bets mentioned here, all run line wagers must use the listed pitchers. If a listed pitcher changes after you have made your wager but before the game starts, the wager will be graded as no action and your bet will be refunded.
Alternate Run Line Wagering
Baseball is one of the few sports where a heavy underdog could end up blowing out a big favorite and the bettors have a chance to cash in big when that happens.
Let’s use the Yankees Astros line from above again. The Yankees are -180 and the Astros are +160. With the alternate run line you have the option to bet Astros -1.5 runs +260 or Yankees +1.5 runs -300. In this case you would wager $100 on the Astros to win $260. This wager would be graded as a winner if the Astros win the game by two runs or more.
In order to bet the Yankees on the alternate run line you would need to risk $300 to win $100. There is not very good value in that bet, but the alternate run line is a great way to get big odds on an underdog that you think will win by more than one run.
Again, as with regular run line wagering, the listed pitchers must start the game in order for the wager to be valid.
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