Major League Baseball (MLB) is right up there, with the National Football League as one of the most attractive leagues for sports betting. In addition to MLB betting trends covering betting options like the money line (which team will win the game) and over/under (total number of runs scored in a game), bettors can wager on a variety of in-game events and have action on things that might occur every inning.
For instance, you can place bets on whether there will be a run in the first inning, whether each team will score a specified amount of runs throughout the course of the game, and the number of hits and total bases a batter will have. These are known as props and are particularly popular in baseball and football betting.
While there are dozens of different props on which bettors can wager, the following are some of the more common and popular prop bets.
Team to Score First
This one is self-explanatory and can be a good value bet depending on the match-up. In simplest terms, bettors select the team they think will score first and, if correct, receive a payout based on the odds of that happening.
However, there are some things to consider. The visiting team always has an advantage in this prop as they’re at bat first and can score a run in the top of the first inning before the home team even has a chance to do so.
That said, some teams are more prone to scoring – or allowing – early runs, so bettors should look into those statistics before making a bet. Similarly, it might be especially worthwhile to bet the home team to score first if they have an ace on the mound who is more likely to mow through the opposition’s first half of the batting order.
Total Hits for Both Teams
Again, this is another easy-to-understand prop that simply involves predicting whether the total number of hits from both teams will be below or above a particular line.
Sportsbooks typically set their lines based on the average amount of hits each team has per game through that point in the season. For instance, the line might be set at 15.5 if the Boston Red Sox (8.8 hits per game) are playing the Toronto Blue Jays (7.6) hits per game. The line will also be adjusted depending on both teams’ starting pitchers.
Batter Home Runs
This prop usually isn’t offered for every player on both teams but instead reserved for sluggers who are near the top of the leaderboard in home runs, ie. Aaron Judge, Vladdy Guerrero Jr., Mookie Betts, etc.
Because even the best sluggers are only likely to hit a home run every few games, lines are usually fairly attractive for bettors. Judge was listed at +205 to hit one home run in a June 8 game against the Minnesota Twins. His teammate, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, meanwhile, was listed at +900.
Batter home runs are usually a more risky bet, but one that can pay off considerably if correct.
Batter Total Bases
Batter total bases is perhaps the most popular individual player prop bet for MLB betting. It’s an over/under bet that simply involves selecting whether a player will have more or less total bases than the line determined by a sportsbook.
It’s important to note, however, that walks do not count as a base in total base prop bets. The same is true for reaching base on an error or by fielder’s choice.
Only singles, doubles, triples, and home runs constitute a base in the total bases prop bets. Depending on the player’s ability and past performance, the line is almost always set at either 1.5 or 0.5. This means a player could go 1-5 with a double and still hit the over on 1.5 total bases prop bet.
Pitcher strikeouts is another over/under prop bet that involves lines determined by sportsbooks based on the pitcher’s ability to record strikeouts as well as his opponent for that game.
Bettors should look into how many strikeouts the pitcher has recorded in recent games and analyze opposition strikeout trends.