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MLB - Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional sport that is played in the United States of America. The game of Baseball is played all over the world and for some time was an Olympic Sport. Baseball is America’s National Sport and has been played professionally since 1876. The game has a rich history, with many adoring characters, both players and managers.

The MLB Competition is made up of two leagues, the National League (NL) and America League (AL), both have slightly different rules when it comes to pitchers batting or Designated Hitters (DH) batting for the pitcher (AL). 30 total teams (15 in each league made up of 3 x 5 team divisions in each league) all play 162 regular season games. Opening day for baseball is usually always in the 1st week of April and the last regular season games are played in the first week of October, before the playoffs begin.

The MLB teams compete for what is known as the World Series, which is the final Series of the year between the Winning Team from the NL and AL leagues meeting in the final series. The World Series is played over 7 games with the winner being the first team to 4 wins. The World Series destination is selected during the regular season at the Annual All Star Game, where a selected combined AL team plays a selected combined NL team (as voted on by the fans) with the winner determining “Home Field Advantage” (or 4 homes games during the 7 game series).

The MLB also oversees Minor League Baseball which as of 2022 is made up of four classes: Triple-A (AAA), Double-A (AA), High-A+ (A+) and Single-A (A). With the AAA teams holding rosters of 40-man teams is a pathway through “to the bigs”. 

Commissioners Trophy

The 30 Flags represent the teams from the American and National Leagues

History of the Game

Baseball is traditionally considered the national pastime of the United States. It was once thought to have been invented in 1839 by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, N.Y., but it is more likely that baseball developed from an 18th-century English game called rounders that was modified by Alexander Cartwright.

The game of baseball in the United States started like most sports as an Amateur game. The first national governing body was the National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP) which was also known as the National Association (NA), was an amateur league that existed during the 1860’s. 

Professional Baseball and the MLB use the year 1869 when the first professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, were established.

The early years of Baseball saw many leagues and clubs come and go, it wasn’t until  1876, which is often referred to as the beginning point for professional baseball when the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, which would later been known as the National League (NL) held its first game between Athletic and Boston, with the Bostons winning 6-5. Interestingly this was the only game of the day as all other games were rained out.

During this period the American Association formed as a rival league, which saw the winning team from the NL play against the winning team of the American Association, which was the first attempt at a World Series. After the two leagues merged and then later in 1899 dropped some four teams, was the American Leagues (AL) formed in 1901.

The official first World Series is recoginzed in 1903 where the AL Champions – Boston Americans played the NL Champion Pittsburgh Pirates, in a best of nine series. Boston prevailed the winners five games to three, winning the last four to take the title.

  • Rookie of the Year 
  • Gold Glove
  • Silver Slugger
  • World Series MVP
  • Hank Aaron Award
  • Roberto Clemente Award
  • All-Star Game MVP
  • CY Young Award – As voted by the AP for best pitcher in each league.

With 4860 games in the year (regular season), made up of 162 games played by each club, you can be sure there is a substantial amount of betting occurring during the season. The interesting position with Baseball is the general line for most games is set at 1.5 runs.

There really is two ways (main ways) to look at baseball –
1. Pitching (or defence and yes fielding does play a factor too), and
2. Hitting (or offence)

We recommend you build your very own pitchers stable, both the very best and of course the worst. Then build your offence with clubs that score lots of runs (and check both home and away as they do vary), you’ll also want to know which teams struggle to score runs. From here now you should have a basic recipe to build outcomes. The challenge is you wont always get Best Pitchers vs Worst Offences. Or Worst Pitchers vs Best Offences, so you’ll need to create a staking program, or generally build a weighted program, that if done correctly will assist you in knowing when to up the stakes, or keep the stakes at your pre determined season level.

Sports Betting on baseball is continuing to evolve and you can find all kinds of markets open from SportsBooks. While there are usually 50 to sometimes 100+ markets in baseball, here’s a few markets we like to look at and why – 

– First 5 Innings
This is an interesting market due to the fact that most pitchers if they are having a good day out will have made it to or close to the magic 100 pitches, which is a general red line for baseball starters these days. There are always exceptions of course, and pitchers having a strong outing will often go past the 5 innings mark, and some will make it (though not many in the season) all the way thru 9th Inning, this is rare and usually only if they are low on pitches, chasing a record, or chasing a complete of perfect game. What’s interesting about “The 1st 5 innings” is that this is a game within the game, where you are looking at the two sides how they line up against each others pitchers.

Understanding starting pitchers and keeping a close eye on the rotations, does prove beneficial. A good example of this might be to very strong pitchers with low era’s, trending towards a low scoring game through the 1st 5.

– Total Over / Under Runs (Match)
If you think when two teams match up and they both have strong offences, the perfect storms do hit when pitching outcomes see weaker pitchers in the rotations, vs strong batting lineups, or teams that have trouble with pitching though the middle (innings 5-7 and sometimes 8) against strong batting teams. The opposing side is also interesting option, with strong pitching and weak batting, the under option becomes viable.

– Hits Over / Under (Match)
Similar to the Total Over / Under Runs is hits. You can swing this both ways again based on pitching match-ups, and or offence vs defence outcomes.

NOTE – You really have to be watching a lot of baseball and taking the right notes, because if you are just looking at the results on a scoreboard, it wont tell you the whole story. The best advice we can give is try and get a head start, based on pre-season, where you can at least start to build your offensive and defensive stables. Keep an eye on streaks, and go with the streaks as well. The interesting position in baseball is the very best teams will win 100 of the 162 games, meaning they lost 62 games in the year, and the very worst teams will still likely win 60-70 games, so head to head betting overall, can prove extremely challenging, especially if you are taking the reduced odds. Better look for other outcomes, and also work towards a conservative coupling strategy.

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