In MLB, games can be very open and go either way. This is especially the case since there are so many games with every team playing 162 games and that is just in the regular season and not the playoffs. Take a look at the 2018 season where the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. They led the Majors in wins with 108, but still had 52 losses. Conversely, the Baltimore Orioles had the worst record in the Majors, but they still had 47 wins. This gives bettors many options, as good teams lose and bad teams win.
When looking at MLB, momentum is a key factor when looking to bet the moneyline. No other sport puts more emphasis on winning and losing streaks than baseball. For example, a team may be better on paper but can lose to an inferior team that is hot at that time. In baseball, even the worst teams have winning streaks throughout the season. The variables in MLB betting is a little different than in other sports. For example, early in the 2018 NFL season the Washington Redskins are off to a great start and are at home facing the New York Giants, who got off to a bad start.
The moneyline will reflect this with more inflated odds with the Redskins posted at -500 as the major favorite while the Giants are at +350 as the big-time underdog.
When it comes to MLB let’s say the Mets, who are in the basement or the NL East, are taking on the St. Louis Cardinals, who are in first place in the NL Central. In St. Louis, the Cardinals are the favorite at -160 with the Mets at +120, which is vastly different than the odds for the NFL game we looked at.
Many factors go into the odds and even a bad Mets team can have a good pitcher and the Cardinals could be slumping at the time. This is a two-edged sword, as the MLB odds margin has a low risk moneyline wager, for the most part, giving more chances for the underdog to win the game and therefore more of a chance to win the overall MLB parlay bet.
MLB Betting Stats
In the last five seasons, MLB underdogs have a winning rate of 42%, which is the highest of any sport. In the same time period underdogs have a winning rate of 40% in the NHL, 32% in the NFL, and 30% in the NBA.
For baseball, the main reasons the underdogs win more often is the pitching rotations where even bad, overall, teams can have aces, which they send out every five games or so.
This is why looking at stats is key when handicapping MLB games and this is especially the case for parlay bets since the payout is significantly higher than a straight one-game bet. While it can look tantalizing to have 2-4 slight underdogs in a moneyline MLB parlay wager it is not the best strategy in the long term. However, it is a good idea to bet on moneylines in a parlay bet that are more favorable and in adding in an Over/Under bet.
It is harder to see consistent winning results when simply making straight-up bets in a parlay due to the nature of MLB oddsmaking. This is even the case when taking all slight favorites, straight up, in a parlay wager.