Baseball is one of the oldest and most popular sports when it comes to betting (fantasy baseball was first reported in 1960, two years before fantasy football). This page will break down our new player props tool, what player prop bets are, and light strategy on prop betting. Use this page to maximize your potential earnings with MLB prop betting this season.
MLB props tool: Find the best odds
The player props search tool was built to make everyone’s life easier, and we didn’t try to hide its purpose in the name. The Lines provides a one-stop shop that gathers odds from dozens of sportsbooks and puts them all in one place. Besides reducing time from your search by putting DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM, and others right in front of you; the search tool also shows you all the prop bets for an individual player.
Advice we repeat frequently at The Lines is to shop around when placing bets; just because FanDuel Sportsbook offers certain odds doesn’t mean another sportsbook won’t offer better odds. For example, Fox Bet may offer the over/under on Fernando Tati Jr.’s projected home runs this season at 23.5. However, DraftKings Sportsbook may offer the same prop at over/under 22.5. That one-home run discrepancy might not seem like much, but it’s solid insurance against a bad beat and maximizes your win probability.
Similarly, two sportsbooks may offer the same prop, but at different odds. For example, Bryce Harper’s season-long odds to win the MVP lands at +1400 at BetMGM Sportsbook. However, SugarHouse Sportsbook (NJ) lists his MVP odds at +1700. A $100 bet at BetMGM would pay out $1400 (plus the initial $100 bet), but the same $100 wager placed at SugarHouse would pay out $700– a $300 difference (plus the initial $100 bet).
The player props search tool is made to maximize winnings and minimize time flipping through windows and tabs.
ALSO READ: MLB betting preview for today
Best sportsbooks to bet MLB props
As long as you live in a state where sports betting is legal, you have nearly unlimited options to bet on the MLB the season. It’s important to stick to domestic sportsbooks, as offshore books are illegal in the United States. The major domestic books that you should consider are DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and William Hill.
DraftKings Sportsbook is an official partner of ESPN, Turner Media, and extended their exclusive deal with the MLB in August 2020 (originally established in 2012). For new users, DK offers a 20% bonus on first deposit up to $1000.
FanDuel Sportsbook is an authorized partner of the MLB as of August 2019. New users at FanDuel get a $1000 risk-free bet after placing their first real-money bet. This means that, up to $1000, if your first bet on the site loses, they will refund your bet amount to your account to try again (offer valid through December 31, 2021).
The third and final gaming company to be an authorized partner of the MLB is BetMGM, who is also partners with the Red Sox, Dodgers, Tigers, and Nationals. They offer a $500 risk free bet for new users– if your first bet with the company loses, BetMGM will refund the bet amount in free bet credit.
What are MLB props?
The MLB is one of the oldest and most popular leagues to bet, especially when it comes to prop bets. Common game props include hits, ERA, strikeouts, and walks. Less common props include WHIP, innings pitched, or which team scores the first run. The options are limitless in a sport dominated by metrics and stats.
Some prop bets classify as “team/game props” while others are classified as “player props.” Team or game props and player props can have many of the same metrics (runs scored, strikeouts, etc.), but team props refer to the entire team while player props refer to the player.
Some metrics that refer to only teams include first team to score (regardless of player), runs scored in the third inning, and whether the total runs scored between both teams will be an odd number or an even one.
Are MLB futures different from MLB props?
Futures bets are prop bets that take place over a duration longer than a game. Common futures bets include odds to win individual awards (MVP, AL Cy Young, etc.), season stats (hits, home runs, stolen bases, etc.), or winners of certain playoff series (Wild Card game, NL Championship, etc.). All of the aforementioned bets are considered futures bets.
Futures bets take place over varying durations– a season, a month, or a series. They can also take place over the duration of the regular season or postseason, or before or after the All Star break.
Prop bets, on the other hand, refer to individual game performances. They may include strikeouts, WAR, errors, etc., but they take place over the course of a single game. Both futures bets and prop bets include team/game props and player props.
MLB futures 2021
MLB prop betting strategy
Load management is a term that’s been introduced to the NBA more recently, but it’s been a staple in baseball strategy since its inception. For example, if the Cleveland Indians are closing in on the postseason and their position is guaranteed, they may sit Shane Bieber more often than usual to preserve his arm and keep him ready for heavy usage in the playoffs. Other starters on the Indians like Triston McKenzie or even reserves like Adam Plutko could see an increase in innings pitched and present interesting candidates for prop bets.
Player matchups are extremely important to keep in mind, both inside and outside numbers. The St. Louis Cardinals as a team were third in batting average in the MLB last against right handed pitchers, but fourth-worst in batting average against left handed pitchers. If Milwaukee’s Josh Hader were to take the mound against St. Louis, his strikeout and ERA props would be intriguing to look at, since he is one of the best left handed pitchers in the league. The same can go for the inverse– say if Hader were facing the Pirates, opposing batting average props might be beneficial for bettors.
The last piece of advice is the most important– shop around for different lines. Sticking to one sportsbook might be easy and comfortable, but other books may offer better odds. As mentioned earlier, just because DraftKings Sportsbook offers Clayton Kershaw’s strikeout total at 7.5 for one game doesn’t mean FanDuel won’t offer the same at 8.5, giving under bettors a cushion. This can also help out when deciding to bet over or under: if DraftKings sportsbook offers Kershaw at, say, 5.5 strikeouts, and all the other books offer 8.5 or 9.5, hitting the over at DK might be beneficial.
Shopping around for different lines can be time consuming, but not if you use our player props search tool! It eliminates all time wasted clicking through tabs and lays everything out for you instantly.