Major League Baseball, the top league when it comes to baseball betting, takes center stage in the American sports landscape from spring through the summer months until it all culminates with the Fall Classic, the World Series. The grueling 162-game season means almost every night provides opportunities to bet on America's past time. 30 teams are in the league with 15 in the American League and 15 in the National League, with 3 divisions in a league.
MLB money lines are based on positive and negative figures and indicate how much money a better must wager to win £100 or how much a £100 bet would win. Negative numbers indicate how much you must bet to win £100. For example, if Boston has a money line of -140 it means you must bet £140 to win £100.
Positive numbers indicate how much you'd win from a £100 bet. So if Baltimore has a money line of +160, it would mean a win of £160 on a £100 bet. To work out how much you'd win on a different bet amount, you just have to scale the figure up or down proportionally. So a £1 bet at -140 would pay out £1.40.
Betting the totals involves betting how many runs will be scored in a single game by both teams combined. If Boston and Baltimore are playing each other with an over/under set at 8.0, you would be betting on whether or not the teams would score 8.0 runs combined, with the opportunity to double up your bet if you are correct.
Futures bets involve season-long goals for both teams and players. These can be bets on whether a team will win the World Series, the American or National League title, a Division Series title, a Division title or make one of the two Wild Card positions in each league.
Bets can also be made on whether players will win the Most Valuable Player award for each league or Cy Young award given to the best pitcher of each league. Bettors can also wager on whether players will win Gold Glove awards for best fielding by position, Silver Slugger awards for best offensive player by position and which player will hit the most home runs. The odds for these goals shift nearly every day, so timing is everything when placing bets.
With 2,430 regular-season games played every season, there are a multitude of chances to bet on baseball from April to early October. The timing of these games can play a huge role on the outcome as teams with division titles locked up could rest players, and teams in the playoff hunt could face increased amounts of pressure.
The "spoiler" factor in which a team that has no stake in the postseason may take pride in eliminating another teams' chances is also something to consider as the season progresses. Teams with no pressure can sometimes outdo teams with loads of pressure, as has been seen quite a few times in MLB history in playoff races.
One newer aspect of the game that has led to greater levels of competition is the introduction of the Wild Card Game. Rather than having three division winners and the "Wild Card team" with the best remaining record, it was decided that two teams in each league would play a one-game playoff to determine who takes part in the five-game Divisional Round.
Having a 162-game season come down to one game is both an exciting and completely nerve-wracking proposition, and while it has allowed for more teams to compete for the playoffs, it has put a much greater emphasis on winning your division, which has been great for maintaining a consistent level of competition throughout the year.
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