Previously we discussed how you have to win over 52% of your bets if you are betting straight bets (point spread bets). This is because you have to overcome the 10% house edge when betting $110 to win $100.
This is not the case when betting a moneyline if you can figure out a way to win with underdogs. Well, you're in luck. There is a proven way to win MLB games betting underdogs and all you have to do is find the games that qualify and make the bets.
Underdogs in baseball only win almost 44% of the time. From the outside looking in, that doesn't look so good. Especially when compared to having a hard time winning the needed 52%+ on straight bets in a sport like NFL football. That's where the moneyline comes in. With a moneyline bet the underdog doesn't have to win 52%. It doesn't even have to win 50% because you'll be getting positive odds instead of negative ones.
If underdogs win 44% of the time and you were to bet every game at an average of +130, you'd only make a very small profit. That would be 4 wins at +130 and 5 losses at -100 for each 9 games bet, or $520 in wins and $500 in losses. A $20 profit with $1,170 risked. And that's if you could get every game at +130 or have them all average out to be +130, which you can't. There's too many games where underdogs are less than +130.
But what if you could narrow down that group a little more into a sub group that wins at a higher than 44% or 4 out of 9 rate? Now you could start making some decent money.
When a team is an underdog, they are obviously supposed to lose. But many teams are closely matched and one team could be just a slight underdog, while others are facing a real uphill battle playing a team or a pitcher that isn't likely to lose. You'll get big odds on that game, but it's not likely the underdog will win.
Also, in a long season, teams have good runs and bad runs. It's the nature of a 162 game year. A star player could be injured, the bullpen could be overworked during a stretch, the team could be coming off a long stretch of games with very few off days. Streaks are real in the MLB and you don't want to get caught going against them.
And, another thing that is pretty consistent in MLB is that really good pitchers win and win often. The chances of beating a 7-1 pitcher are far, far less than beating a 2-6 pitcher. Betting against the top pitchers in the game is a really bad idea.
Above we decided that big underdogs are not a great bet. So we are going to remove all underdogs at +150 or higher. Never bet them. It's just too risky and they don't win often enough.
To avoid betting against hot teams and on cold teams, remove any game where the underdog has lost more than 2 games in a row or the favorite has won more than 2 games in a row. A 3 game streak is not a guarantee that it will continue that way, but it's a start and we want to avoid it.
And finally, stay away from betting on the top notch pitchers in the league. If the team you are betting on had one, they wouldn't be the underdog. Top pitchers are almost never the underdog. Remove all games that include a top 13 pitcher in each league. Top ranked pitchers can be found at lots of different websites, but you don't want to just rely on ERA or Wins and Losses. The USA Today website has a great ranking system, including an example of the final 2016 ranking in the National League. You can use their drop down boxes to review previous years and American League pitchers.
As a side note, watch for pitchers that were injured and have come back and are back in great form. They may not make the top 13 because of their total wins or innings pitched. This is kind of a manual review, but you can look for pitchers with very low ERA's or very high winning percentages that missed a fair amount of starts. Avoid these pitchers as well.
If you follow these guidelines you should find a handful of games every day on the major-league schedule, with the exception of traditional travel days where there are less games, like Mondays.
Shop multiple sports books if you can. One sports book might have an underdog at +115, while another might have the same underdog at +120. You obviously would prefer the +120.
Never risk more than 1% - 2.5% of your total bankroll on an individual game. You have to have enough to cover a short bad run. You only have to win about 47% of your bets with this system. Almost 44% will come naturally just betting underdogs, so you only have to make a little more that 3%.
Always bet the same amount on each game. Don't increase your bet because you lost your last one. Don't decrease your bet because it's cloudy at the game. If you have a $2,000 bankroll for the season and you are choosing to bet 2% per game, then bet $40 on every game you bet. If you have a $5,000 bankroll for the season, then it's $100 on every game. Do not deviate from your chosen amount during the year.