5 Tips for Betting Baseball’s Final 4
With the World Series around the corner, sportswriter Dave Bontempo shares how to wager on the Final 4 contenders: the Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays, LA Dodgers and Atlanta Braves.
There are several ways you can enjoy the Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers in the MLB playoffs.
Baseball’s Final Four launched their Best of 7 sprint to the World Series this week. Barring weather or Covid considerations, series participants should being crowned by this weekend.
Be an informed bettor. These tips can help get you there:
- The actual matchup. It’ll list the opposing pitchers and the moneyline odds. Straightforward.
- The runs line. This is baseball’s equivalent of the spread in other sports. The runs line begins at 1.5 runs. If you like the favorite, that team must win by at least two runs in order for you to collect. If you like the underdog, you’re being given a run at the start of the game. If the team loses by one run, your bet wins.
- These odds change. If a team jumps out to a lead in the first inning, that doesn’t mean bettors can’t get in. The runs line will adjust, along with the prices, based on each out and each batter who reaches base. This is particularly significant for the margin of victory and for the total number of runs scored in a game.
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- The innings bets. These are the projected winners of the game, both after five innings and seven innings. This is an important consideration, because it weighs the impact of a starting pitcher. A team may rally against a bullpen after it fell behind against the starting pitcher. These bets provide a result after innings five and seven, besides the actual game result. Play both of these props and you’re guaranteed three outcomes worth of action on one game.
- The “crazy” stuff. This is for advanced impulse bettors. Many sites will offer you the chance to bet on whether there’ll be a run scored in a particular half-inning—say, the top of the third. You’re projecting whether you think the bottom, top or middle of the batting order will come up at that time.
Timing is everything, especially regarding in-game betting. The Astros trailed the Rays 3-0 going to the bottom of the second inning Monday. The prop available at most books was Houston +3.5 runs at a bad price of -135.
After Houston got out of the second inning, the 3.5 prop disappeared. It was replaced by Houston +2.5 and + 110, the reason being there was one less at bat for Tampa Bay. When Tampa Bay triumphed 4-2, the in-game bet of Houston + 2.5 was a winner.
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