Opening Day will be upon us soon and that means the 2021 MLB season is here. Are you ready for a full 162-game season?
The beauty of betting on baseball is the sheer number of games in a season. There are over 2,000 games which opens up a world of opportunity when you factor in alternative lines, specials, and prop bets.
Here’s how you should be getting ready for the 2021 MLB season.
Understanding Rules Changes for the 2021 MLB Season
One thing that will impact your betting on baseball this season are a handful of rules changes. One involves the designated hitter.
If you remember, last season MLB used the designated hitter in both the American and National Leagues. In 2021, the league will go back to its pre-pandemic rules. The DH will be used in the American League but not in the National League.
In interleague play, the DH will hit in American League ballparks and the pitcher will hit in National League ballparks.
The other changes affect the duration of games. All doubleheaders will now be seven-inning games. Any game that goes to extra innings will start with a runner on second base in each half-inning.
If you like the Dodgers to repeat, you might want to get your futures bet in soon. You can still find L.A. at +350 to win this year’s World Series, but that number will likely drop as the Dodgers open the season and start piling up wins.
There hasn’t been a repeat World Series champion since the Yankees won three straight from 1998 to 2000. Last year was a weird one with just a 60-game regular season. Plus, the Dodgers added another Cy Young winning pitcher to baseball’s best rotation. If there is a chance for a repeat winner, 2021 just might be it.
Bettors should also take a look at MLB win totals. There are a handful of bets that make sense including both the New York Mets and Chicago White Sox Over 90.5 wins.
The Mets acquired Francisco Lindor to a lineup that includes 2019 NL Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso. In addition, they added P Carlos Carrasco and they will eventually get Noah Syndergaard back in the rotation to go with two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom.
The White Sox may have the best lineup in all of baseball with veterans like Jose Abreu and young stars like Luis Robert, an AL MVP favorite.
Betting the 2021 MLB Season
With futures bets out of the way, you are ready to focus on play during the season. There are a number of things you can do to boost your winning percentage in 2021.
Baseball is one of the best situations for bettors to go against the public. Focus on finding the most disproportionate games of each day and think like a bookie. Remember, they always win.
Along the same line, you want to stay away from big favorites. Popular teams – like the Yankees or Dodgers – will often be overpriced. As good as a bet might seem, consistently backing large favorites is a recipe for disaster.
Continually betting on big favorites results in low payouts. Over time, you end up in the red.
One of the best things you can do as an MLB bettor is to take advantage of a plus-money underdog. In order to make money betting football and basketball for example, bettors have to win 52.4 percent of the time (assuming -110 vig).
If bettors take advantage of plus-money dogs, they can win at a sub-50 percent pace and still make money. Betting on undervalued underdogs at +120, +150, or +170 results in larger payouts.
Bettors can break this down even further and focus on divisional underdogs. Remember, in a 162-game season, divisional teams play each other 19 times. That breeds some familiarity.
The divisional underdog in MLB games seems to perform better when they are on the road and in games where the total is set at 8.5. The high total means more runs are expected, which aids the underdog.
Don’t Forget the Basics
Don’t forget basic baseball betting rules when betting baseball in 2021, like understanding the weather. Cold temperatures and wind can be big factors in determining a game’s outcome.
Always shop for the best line. Finding a better price consistently can add to your bankroll throughout the course of a season.
Finally, keep it simple. Manage your bankroll and stay away from parlays and teasers. Stay consistent with your bets. Every play is the same no matter how big your winning or losing streak.