Baseball Sports Betting Sites & Reviews


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Baseball Betting

Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the US, and few other countries, most notably, Japan. Baseball is often regarded as the national sport of the US and not without a reason. The viewership of the World Series reached over 40 million towards the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, but the figures slowly started decreasing, but in 2016 the number of viewers grew above 20 million once again, which is definitely a good sign. 

History of Baseball

The history of baseball, just as the history of most of the other sports, began in England, in the 18th century, despite the fact that the English no longer play such a game. The game was brought to America by immigrants and the US soon became baseball’s homeland. Some reports suggest that baseball and cricket share the same ancestor.

The first recorded mention of the game in America is in a 1791 bylaw passed in Pittsfield, in Massachusetts which forbids people to play the game in the area of the new meeting house. This indicates that the game was already popular.

In the 1830s many variants of bat-and-ball games similar to modern day baseball were played throughout the US and Canada. Alexander Cartwright is usually regarded as the father of modern baseball. Cartwright was a member of the Knickerbocker club of NYC and he envisaged the set of rules which was used for the codification of game. This first set of rules is also known as Knickerbocker rules. The first official game of baseball was played on the 19th of June 1846 in New Jersey.  

Pretty soon, only a decade after the first official match was played, the US press used the phrase ‘national sport’ when referring to baseball. The game was particularly popular in the New York metropolitan area and New Yorkers still take great pride in their baseball teams – the Mets and the Yankees. In 1869 the first fully professional team was formed and two years later America got its first professional baseball league.

In the early years of the twentieth century more specific rules regarding the ball size, shape and materials used were introduced and some changes that affected the gameplay were also enforced. After the WWII new changes were introduced, aimed to make the game more attractive and dynamic. Canada, Cuba and other countries of Central America such as Mexico followed the US and organised their own leagues. In the twentieth century and especially after the WWII, baseball spread throughout the world. 

Baseball Betting Options

Most punters place wagers on the team that they think is going to win a certain match. This is known as match betting. One of the teams is usually a favourite and bookies think that it has bigger chances to win the game. For standard match betting, which is known as money line in the US, the bookies offer odds that reflect the respective teams quality, so the odds for the favourite are a lot lower than the odds for the underdog to win.

Handicap or spread betting (US term) is slightly different. Here one of the teams, the underdog is given an advantage, i.e. it is supposed that it leads at the beginning. For example, it can be assumed that the team which is weaker on paper leads 1.5 points, in that case the favourite will have to win by at least two points, and if you placed a handicap bet on the underdogs and they lose by one point, your bet would still win. Handicap betting is very popular, because it gives punters two equal options.

Betting on the total number of runs of both teams is also an option and this is also known as over/under. A certain value is given, for example 8.5 and you need to guess whether there will 9 or more runs, or 8 or fewer. The margin value will be based on the expectations and the statistics of the two teams, but some bookmakers may offer different margins, in which case the respective selections would be at different odds.

You may also bet on the number of runs that will be recorded by one of the teams. The principle is the same, if the limit is 4.5, then over is a bet that the team will score 5 or more runs and under that they will score 4 or fewer.

There is also future betting, or outright betting, where you place a wager on the outcome of a tournament or a league as a whole. For example, before the beginning of the baseball season you may bet on the team that you think is going to win the World Series.

Multiple selections can be combined in one bet slip, as long as they don’t apply to the same match and the outcome of one selection in no way influences the outcome of another.

Most Popular Leagues

When it comes to competitions, Major League Baseball with its National League and American League and the amazing finish that is the World Series is by far the most popular baseball league, both in terms of viewership and betting revenue.

Other baseball competitions are also popular amongst punters, baseball fans from other countries tend to place bets on their national leagues. A number of European countries have their own baseball leagues (Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Switzerland and other), whereas the Japanese baseball league is extremely popular, even outside Japan. 

Betting Rules

If a game is tied at the end of the regular period, extra innings are played. In most cases, extra innings are taken into consideration, as bookies don’t generally offer tie as a match betting option. So, if you bet that team X will win, and they manage to do so, but after the end of the extra winnings, then your bet will win.

When it comes to abandoned matches, if at least 5 innings are played then the bet stands, unless the game was tied at the moment when it was abandoned, in which case the bet is void.

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