Tips for Betting the MLB Playoffs

Here are some tips for betting the MLB playoffs.

Key Points

– Betting the MLB playoffs is different than betting the regular season.

– Be aware of teams’ postseason strategy when betting the MLB playoffs.

Tips for Betting the MLB Playoffs

The most seasoned baseball bettors will tell you – betting the MLB playoffs is a completely different animal than the regular season. 

During the regular season, you get an individual dinner every night. During the playoffs, it’s more of a buffet. You have to plan each plate, otherwise you’ll get filled up eating too many carbs. 

While you can plan that individual dinner each night in the regular season, you will need to rethink your buffet eating strategy. During the regular season, bettors can identify trends and take advantage of those trends. 

In the postseason, those factors that contribute to the trends will change. That means bettors need a different strategy. Here’s a look at betting the MLB playoffs and gain a profit this October.


Do the Homework

This goes without saying. If you aren’t going to take the time to do the research, don’t waste your time betting the MLB playoffs. There are tons of resources online. Bettors can dig into the statistics, analytics, and much more.

All 30 MLB teams’ complete regular-season and historical postseason game logs (if any) can be found online. Bettors can compare team records, individual stats, you name it. Bettors will not lack for information.

The key is to learn how to use that information to make strong betting choices. It all starts with doing the homework.

Betting the MLB Playoffs – Track Playoff Line Movement

Sports bettors should watch for sudden changes in the odds during MLB postseason games. The public is more active during playoff games, which can cause significant and abrupt movements in game betting lines. 

Again, this information is readily available online. Look at the line history feature at your top baseball sportsbook. You can also use features that track the line history of several online sportsbooks at once. You may also look at how betting baseball road teams at online sportsbooks has done in the past.

You can see how the odds for a particular game have evolved since the opening. It’s important to look at the pitching matchup – more on that later – as it is one aspect of the postseason that can really alter a line. 

Playoff teams will frequently change their starting pitchers right up until game time in an effort to gain every possible advantage they can. This is especially true in an elimination game. A pitching change will often cause a line movement.

Momentum Shifts

Momentum is huge when betting the MLB playoffs. Over the years, there have been several “teams of destiny,” for lack of a better term. 

In Major League Baseball history, seven teams that entered the MLB postseason as wild cards have gone on to win the World Series title. The majority of those victories on the run to the World Series came against teams with outstanding regular season records and favorable futures odds. 

The old Florida Marlins were one of those teams of destiny. Entering both the 1997 and 2008 MLB playoffs as a wild card, the Marlins and stars like Josh Beckett and Edgar Renteria went on to do the unthinkable. They won a World Series as a wild card … twice!

Success in the MLB playoffs and the World Series can be influenced by a number of factors. Pitching consistency, offensive output, remaining healthy, and hitting a hot streak when it matters most are keys. Creating a winning MLB playoff betting strategy requires an understanding of how these elements change or carry over from the regular season. Momentum can play a huge role.

Playoff Baseball Strategy

As mentioned, the MLB playoffs are a different animal. When October rolls around, MLB teams change their tactics. One of the big changes involves pitching.

MLB teams go through the regular season with a five-man starting pitching rotation. That means pitchers will start once every five to six days. In the postseason, teams will eliminate at least one starter and oftentimes two.

They will attack the MLB playoffs with a three- or four-man rotation. The other one or two starters go to the bullpen. Managers are very quick to go to the bullpen when a starter gets in trouble. A starter that typically goes deep into games might find himself on the bench after three or four innings. In a regular season game, the manager would let the starter work out of jams.

The extra starter (or two), depending upon how good they are, can give teams several innings of long relief, bolstering a bullpen. A team that has a questionable bullpen should raise some questions for bettors. Pitching is the biggest factor in winning in the MLB playoffs.

These strategic moves are also important considerations when betting not only individual games, but also MLB player props. A pitcher’s strikeout total, for example, will be greatly affected if he only pitcher four innings when he averaged nearly seven during the regular season.

Shop for the Best Lines & Odds

This is another tip that should be universal. If you want to win more bets in any sport, get the best numbers. Whether you’re betting the MLB playoffs or World Cup soccer, the best pricing is often the difference between profits and losses.

It might not seem like a big deal, but over the course of several games getting an extra five or ten cents on the moneyline will add up. If you can get Atlanta for +135 instead of +130, wouldn’t you? 

Bettors can also think about buying a baseball postseason pick package. Getting help from experts never hurts.

Do your homework, watch the line movement, be aware of momentum, really dig into pitching matchups and strategy, and shop for the best lines and odds on the bets you like. That way, you can have the most success possible when betting the MLB playoffs.