Major League Baseball is one of the more popular activities for Americans to bet on, as it is part of the four major US sports. Plus, it’s still the national pastime, after all.
Baseball is also the only major U.S. league running for much of the late summer and early fall, making it a popular choice for sports bettors. MLB play typically begins in late March or early April and runs all the way through October, which includes the playoffs.
Let’s look at the best baseball betting sites, bonuses and MLB betting tips so you can make the best bets possible.
See below for daily lines on every MLB game plus MLB futures odds at Michigan online sportsbooks. Use the drop-down menu to see more MLB odds boards, including AL and NL pennant winners, division winners, Cy Young, Win Totals and more. Click on any odds to go directly to the sportsbook, claim your bonus and lock in your bet.
MLB betting lines typically see three popular types of bets: moneyline, runline and run total. These three bet types are the most common for bettors to pick, and lines for each are set in accordance with what sportsbooks think will garner the most balanced betting. Sportsbooks generally want the public to bet on both teams evenly in order to profit.
The moneyline bet is the most popular type of wager for many sports bettors. The moneyline is the numerical representation of an oddsmaker’s predicted probability a team will win a game. Positive numbers imply the underdog, while negative numbers imply the favorite. The further away a number is from 100, the more likely a favorite or underdog that team is.
If the Chicago White Sox have a moneyline of -200, it would cost bettors $200 to win $100. If a bettor thinks the Detroit Tigers at +250 will win instead, it would cost $100 to win $250. Moneyline bets are popular because they does not require the winning team to score a certain amount of runs — only to win the game.
Runlines are the number of runs an oddsmaker thinks a team will win by, along with the implied odds of said team covering those runs. Runline bets almost always have a line of 1.5 runs.
If the White Sox have a runline of -1.5 at -110, then oddsmakers are giving them a 52.4% chance to win the game by two or more runs. Bettors would have to spend $110 and see Chicago win by two or more runs to win $100.
The Tigers, on the other hand, might have a runline of +1.5 at -110. For a bettor to win, the Marlins would either have to lose by one run or win the game.
You might notice it’s more expensive for bettors to wager on the Tigers’ runline than their moneyline. This is because it’s more likely for Detroit to lose by one run or fewer than it is for the team to win the game outright.
Totals are the combined number of runs scored by both teams in a game. Bettors can select whether a total will go over or under what the sportsbooks set. If the White Sox vs. Tigers game has a run total of 7.5, then bettors can decide to wager on eight or more runs, or seven runs or fewer. Much like runlines, totals usually see similar betting odds.
If a bettor takes under 7.5 at -110, then a bettor will need to stake $110 to win $100. If the White Sox win 8-4, then the under bettor will lose. If the Tigers win 5-1, then the under bettor wins.
Starting pitchers are arguably the most important factor to consider when betting on a baseball game. Of course, starters generally don’t pitch all nine innings (or more) of a game. When you feel good about the matchup between the two starting pitchers but don’t want to take the risk of how the bullpen might perform, you can always place a first five innings bet.
This bet covers exactly what it says and operates like a first-half wager in football or basketball. So, in the hypothetical example, say you bet the White Sox at -120 for the first five innings. If the score after five innings is 5-4 with the White Sox leading, you win — even if Chicago goes on to lose the game 10-5 in the end.
Some bettors might shorten the game even further. In that case, inning bets is the way to go. An innings bet can work a few different ways, but the most common is betting on a team to win a single inning.
A bettor can select the White Sox to win the first inning at -105 as opposed to winning the game. This strategy, although more difficult to hit, provides better value. A bettor may also elect to wager on a per-inning runs total.
If a bettor believes both teams’ pitchers will give up runs, but is unsure who will win, he/she may elect to take the run total for a specific inning. A bettor can take over 1.5 total runs for the third inning, in which case, the bettor would only need two or more total runs, regardless of which team scores them.
Inning bets shorten the game for bettors and provide great value for favorites, but are more difficult to win based on the limited duration.
A short form of futures betting, series betting is a common strategy for MLB bettors. In baseball, the better team doesn’t always win given the season’s length and occasional variance on starting pitching, which is why the sport usually operates in three- or four-game series.
It’s also unlikely a team wins all its games in one series. Predicting which games a team will win within a series can be difficult, which is why some bettors lean towards the series bet.
If a bettor is sold that the White Sox will beat the Tigers, but unsure which games they will win, then they might elect to take them winning the series instead. As long as Chicago wins two of the three games it plays against Detroit, then a bettor will win, regardless of which two games the White Sox win.
If the White Sox are -110 to win the series as opposed to -195 to win a single game, then a bettor may lean toward the better price. It would only cost the bettor $110 to win back $100, rather than paying $195 to win back $100.
Futures betting is a great way to invest in a long-term bet at great value. MLB betting lines for baseball futures can change over time, so it can be wise for an MLB bettor to place their futures wagers earlier rather than later.
If a bettor likes the New York Yankees to win the World Series before the season starts, they might elect to take them for odds at +700. If two months go by and the Yankees are in first place, their futures odds to win the World Series may drop to +250. Timing is everything with futures bets.
There are five common MLB futures bets:
Prop betting is typical in sports wagering and is quite popular with those who like to play fantasy sports. MLB prop bets are wagers that can be made around the game, such as which players will hit a home run or the number of strikeouts a pitcher will record.
If a bettor is uncertain who will win between the White Sox and Tigers but sees Miguel Cabrera has career success off the starting Chicago pitcher, then a bettor might elect to take Cabrera to hit a home run at a much better value than Detroit winning the game.
If Matthew Boyd is facing a team struggling to hit the ball, a bettor might take Boyd going over the strikeout total as opposed to a dicier team line. These props usually provide better value to wager on, as opposed to picking a team to win.
Experienced sports bettors typically live bet, or bet on a game while in-play. This is a form of betting in which wagers are placed while the game is being played. Live betting is tricky, as odds change with every pitch.
If the Marlins are down two runs in the eighth inning with odds to win at +200, a live bettor might wait to see how the eighth inning progresses. If Miami suddenly has two base runners on and no outs, their odds might fall to +110. A live bettor will recognize this and, if confident in Miami, elect to place a live bet on the Marlins to win.
This strategy works both ways. The same bettor might see the Braves’ odds drop from -200 to -115 and decide to bet on Atlanta working out of the inning for a cheaper price. Odds shift on every pitch based on the count, so live bettors must act quickly and impulsively.
Yes. It’s legal to bet on MLB games and MLB teams at licensed Michigan sportsbooks. All licensed retail sportsbooks and legal sports betting sites will host a huge variety of MLB betting markets you can legally bet on all season long.
DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sports Betting and BetRivers Sportsbook are among the best MLB betting apps that have launched in Michigan. These sportsbooks typically provide a daily odds boost for customers, such as slashing a team’s odds to win from -150 to +125.
Other daily odds boost include types of small parlays, such as the Philadelphia Phillies winning and Bryce Harper to hit a home run at +1100.
These sites have great options for MLB bettors to select from, whether it be live betting or wagering on baseball futures. Futures bets are available for both teams and players, which include the World Series winner, MVP winners and team win totals.
These sportsbooks also offer promotions and bonuses, such as paying bettors a certain amount of money for each time the team they bet on scores a run, regardless if they win or lose. It’s important to consider all these sites when betting on MLB in order to find promotions and get the best value for your bet.
The MLB season is broken into three parts: preseason, regular season and the playoffs. Two of these seasons present betting opportunities, but each needs to be approached differently.
Spring training baseball is tricky, mainly because the games don’t count. Many teams will use the preseason as a way to experiment with their roster and lineup. Top players don’t play every game, and they usually leave early in the ones in which they do participate.
Preseason games are not included in the approved sports wagering catalog in Michigan. If and when they are added, be cautious betting on MLB spring training games.
With the season lasting so long, bettors are able to use a larger sample size for the direction certain teams and players are heading. The MLB All-Star Break usually presents a great chance for baseball bettors to cash in, too.
During the postseason, series betting is an extremely popular type of wager. It provides good value for favorites to win, which also allows for the favored team to drop a game without penalizing the bettor.
Series betting also allows for a bettor to potentially hedge a game. If a bettor takes the Dodgers to win a series, but they’re on the verge of elimination at home, then the bettor can hedge their series bet by wagering the road underdog to win the game. If the road underdog wins, then the bettor will cover his series bet. If the Dodgers win the game, then the series bet is still alive.
There isn’t much of a difference when betting on the World Series and a regular-season game. Live betting is the same, despite each pitch feeling much more important than in a regular-season game.
The pitching matchup is the best way to start looking at a World Series game to bet on. Beginning with a series bet, though, allows you to possibly hedge moving forward.
There is great value in some World Series prop bets, such as the MVP market, for example. Selecting which player will win is difficult, but every player provides great value to at least throw a few bucks on. This also provides an opportunity to hedge a bet if it looks as if your MVP pick won’t pan out.
When betting the World Series, the best strategy is to find value in series betting or props. From there, you should react accordingly. If your bets look good as the World Series progresses, then you can ride it out. If your bets look bad, then you can look for other bets to potentially hedge.
National networks such as FOX, ESPN, TBS, and the league’s own MLB Network broadcast a variety of baseball games from across the country.
FOX Sports’ Saturday Baseball show broadcasts some of the highest-profile MLB games each week. FOX also has the broadcast rights for the World Series and alternates coverage of the American and National League Championship series each year.
ESPN airs a variety of games throughout the season and the highest-profile MLB matchups each week on Monday Night Baseball, Wednesday Night Baseball and Sunday Night Baseball.
TBS broadcasts Sunday afternoon games nationally and owns the broadcast rights to tiebreaker games, the Division Series and the other League Championship Series, alternating with FOX.
The MLB Network also airs regular-season games. Teams also sell the local broadcast rights to various stations. Newly renamed Bally Sports Detroit owns the broadcast rights for the Detroit Tigers for the 2021 season.
MLB games are also streamed live on the internet. You can get TV and radio streams for every game with a subscription to MLB.tv via MLB.com. Radio-only subscriptions are also available through MLB.com’s Gameday Audio.
The Detroit Tigers are Michigan’s MLB team. They compete in the American League Central Division and play home games at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit.
The Tigers are one of eight American League charter franchises, and the club dates back to the 1890s. Detroit has won 11 American League pennants and four World Series titles (1935, 1945, 1968 and 1984).
The last time Detroit won the World Series was in 1984, when the team was led by ace Jack Morris and closer Willie Hernández. Morris threw a no-hitter in the fourth game of the season and helped the Tigers post a 35-5 record in their first 40 games.
The team eventually set a franchise record with 104 regular-season wins, and Hernández won both the Cy Young and American League MVP awards.
The Tigers swept the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series and beat the San Diego Padres in five games to win the World Series behind the bats of World Series MVP Alan Trammell and Kirk Gibson.
Using real-life information to build your MLB betting strategy will help you win more consistently. Also, try to:
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
Most Michigan sportsbooks set the cutoff time for placing pregame MLB bets to right before the first pitch is thrown. Pay attention to first-pitch scheduling only as a guideline, and remember that Michigan sports betting apps will also offer live wagering during MLB games.
Most MLB futures are about picking who will win the World Series, each MLB division and the American or National Leagues. The odds are adjusted as the season goes on, so if you have a winner, the earlier you can get the bet down, the better the odds usually are. Some MLB futures also involve over/under bets on team win totals.
Underdogs win any given game in any sport. This can be especially true for baseball, in which more than 160 games are played in a typical season. It’s rare a team will win every game in a series, so it’s likely an underdog will win at least one out of a few games against a favorite.
The better pitcher usually wins for his team, but not always. As in any sport, favorites can win or lose any game. In baseball, underdogs have a better chance to win because of the number of games played against a tea in succession.
Sportsbooks such as DraftKings and FanDuel provide mobile apps for bettors to wager on MLB games. Michigan sportsbook apps are great for many reasons, most notably not having to wait in line. Retail sportsbooks require bettors to place bets at a desk, whereas mobile betting lets bettors place bets instantly. This allows for easier live betting, in which odds can change by the minute.
Mobile betting also provides odds, stats and play-by-play coverage in one location. The most important benefit for mobile betting is you can instantly receive your winnings, regardless of where you are within state lines. You don’t need to be in a casino or wait in line to collect, as payouts are immediately deposited into your account.
That +1.5 is simply the runline. If a team has +1.5 in front of their name, that means sportsbooks expect them to cover a 1.5-run spread. In layman’s terms, this means that the team given +1.5 can either lose by one run and still cover your bet.
Most Michigan sportsbooks let you book moneyline bets on MLB games with “listed” or “action” options. The “action” option keeps your bet valid, even if either of the listed starting pitchers don’t go.
The “listed” option voids your bet if either of the listed starters is a late scratch.