There is no debating that baseball is the most popular sport in the United States. It is a matter of course that most of the country sides with the home team. However, that does not mean that sports betting does not generate substantial interest abroad. In fact, many people choose to wager on Major League Baseball (MLB) games due to the incredible popularity of the sport in the rest of the world. What is more is that the majority of sportsbooks offer MLB odds, so it is very easy to place bets on the upcoming games. In this article, we will discuss what is a hit in baseball betting?
The Importance Of Strikes And Home Runs
Most Major League Baseball games end in a tie or in a victory by the home team. This is probably because scoring is extremely low in comparison to other sports. There are only four base-runners per game on average, and only two to three runs are scored per game. The reason behind this is the prevalence of pitching and defense. Pitchers can throw a baseball really hard, so the occasional home run is usually enough for the opponent to win. This scenario is the exception rather than the rule, as only a handful of American sports can claim that their games are low-scoring affairs.
This makes offensive statistics such as batting averages very unreliable. A player’s batting average does not accurately indicate how many runs he will score over the course of a season. What is more, the low numbers cause batting averages to become overvalued. For example, even though Joey Votto only has 239 at-bats in 2019, his batting average is.400, which is twice as much as that of the next best player in the Major Leagues. The reason behind this is that Votto only has 39 runs batted in, and even if he gets on base a lot, his slugging percentage is basically zero.
There are two offensive statistics that can accurately predict the number of runs a player will score: Strikes and Home Runs. A strike is anything less than a full count, and a home run is an out-of-the-ballpark hit. The latter is worth three runs because it scores the batter and also gives his team an extra base. This is not limited to home runs, either. In fact, any hit that scores a run or puts another one in scoring position is considered a “hit” in baseball betting. This includes doubles, triples, and walks. A walk is considered a hit because even if it does not score any runs, it often sets up a man for an easy scoring opportunity when the pitcher throws the ball.
This simple formula can assist you in creating a strategy for betting baseball games:
- Take the under – Never bet on the favorite, mainly because they are likely to win. However, if you are feeling adventurous, you can try backing the under in MLB betting. Even a slight underdog can prove to be profitable if you put some careful planning into your wagering. For example, if you read the news articles on a daily basis, you might notice that the favorite is usually favored by three to four points. Since you are on the betting side, you have a better opportunity to catch this small spread, making it worth the effort of trying out this strategy. When backed by an informed consumer, slight underdogs can win sometimes. Just make sure that you keep your wagers reasonable. Three or four runs per game is plenty for a side bet, especially since the spread is always open for you in the case of an underdog.
- Pick the over – The favorite is always the safer option. However, if the opposite side has a lot of strikes, you can try backing the over, as long as the total amount of runs is not expected to be high. An over is any count that does not end in a full score. For example, an inning ending in a no-hit performance or a perfect game are treated as overs. Any walk-off hit is also considered an over, as there is no guarantee that the hit will result in a run.
- Play the game on the over/under – This is one of the simpler strategies to follow, as you are just playing on the totals rather than trying to pick individual games. If you feel that the total number of runs will be above or below a certain amount, you should make a wager on the game with the total number of runs listed. An over/under is any game where you must choose either the over or the under, and in some cases, the game may end in a tie. This is usually applied to World Series games and other championship series, where a winner is determined by the total number of runs scored in games that end in a tie. For example, the 2019 World Series was an over/under game, where the over was 5.5 runs and the under was 5.0. Since the runs total was close to the over, it ended up being a profitable wager for those who followed this strategy.
- Play redraft – This is another alternative that you can consider, and it is particularly suitable for people who like to play only one or two games per week. With this strategy, you will be taking part in a weekly redraft tournament. The basic idea behind this is to have fun and also win some money. Some sportsbooks even offer weekly redraft tournaments where you can win real money.
- Consider teasers – Some sportsbooks offer teaser bets where you can win smaller amounts of money, but you will also earn a lot of extra credit if you are able to pick the final outcome of the game or tournament correctly. A teaser is any bet where the payoff is not immediately apparent. So, for example, if you think that a certain team is going to beat another one by a large amount, you can place a teaser wager on them. As long as you are right, you will earn a large win, even if the game is only worth two or three runs. It is important to note that these types of bets are not suitable for everyone, as some people have a bad experience with teaser bets and avoid them like the plague.
- Follow the money – This is one of the more sophisticated strategies that are worth considering. Similar to the previous tip, it involves looking for games where the spread is not very attractive and using this to create a betting line. However, as opposed to using the over/under as a guide, you will use hits as a tool to find games where the spread is low. In other words, you will be looking for games where the home team is a favorite and there are not a lot of offensive stats available to make comparisons. In addition to this, you will be keeping a lookout for potential “value” plays, where even an underdog can win. In most cases, these are the types of games that you should avoid, as your odds will be poor in this kind of situation, especially if there is a large spread. However, in some cases, an underdog can prove very profitable and is usually a good play if the spread is very low and there is no clear favorite.
- Follow the leaders – This is yet another strategy that you can use to find games with low spreads and almost no action. It is very similar to the “follow the money” strategy, but instead of looking for teasers and redraft games, you will be going after the money line, where all the action can be found. Essentially, the idea behind this is to find the least competitive games and use them to create an edge for yourself. This is an extremely low-risk and low-reward strategy, but it can be extremely profitable if applied right.
Why Do Baseball Scores Remain Low?
The mere fact that baseball is the most popular sport in the country and around the world does not mean that it is easy to make a profit from sports betting. As we mentioned above, there is not a whole lot of scoring in baseball, and this makes it extremely difficult to apply traditional strategies. Some people choose to lay off on the games because they think that it is very hard to beat the spread. However, as we mentioned above, this can be extremely profitable in the right scenario. The key is to find these situations and take advantage of them.