How to Bet on the 2018 MLB Post-Season
Savor October: baseball’s post-season bastion.
Like March Madness for NCAA basketball and the January NFL playoff season leading up to the Super Bowl, baseball owns its own month. The post-season begins October 2 with the first wild-card game and runs through October 31, if the World Series plays the seven-game limit.
First, let’s explore some popular betting options.
- Over-Unders: Select above or below the projected run line of the game.
- Straight Bet: Pick the winner of the game.
- Runs Line: It resembles the football point spread. You can “give” 1 1-2 runs and play the favorite or “take” the 1 1-2 and select the underdog.
- First Five Innings: Just what it says. This bet only covers the first five innings of the game and is designed to highlight starting pitching.
- Bet the Series: If you have strong feelings about a team over a five or seven-game format, I like putting at least half the bankroll here and sprinkling proposition bets to go along with that.
Take what you want for recent history. We’ve seen the spectrum. For instance, while the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs won the last two world championships after garnering more than 100 regular-season wins, the Kansas City Royals (95) and San Francisco Giants (88) triumphed the previous two years. In 2014, the San Francisco Giants won the one-game “play in” and then went all the way.
Last year, home teams went 27-11. Bet the home teams, right? Well, in 2016, road teams won more. And in the last four years, a road team won the final World Series game.
Here’s what you CAN figure:
- Heading into the final regular-season week, guaranteed playoff teams were the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics in the American League. The Atlanta Braves were first in for the National League, with the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers the next likely. The L.A. Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies vied for the two remaining spots, and the Brewers and Cardinals faced off in the final week.
- The opening playoff round is a one-game elimination, followed by a best-of-five, a best-of-seven set and the best-of-seven World Series.
- Games in Yankee Stadium tend to be high scoring, as baseballs fly out of there like fast-food orders.
- Watch the bullpens. Managers often alter the rhythm of their closers during the post-season. Ninth-inning pitchers come in during the eighth, because that’s when the biggest threat may loom, but that pitcher may then mess up in the ninth inning. Overworked bullpens are a part of the post-season. If you see a closer pitch two innings one day (or in the neighborhood of 40 pitches), that team is a target to bet against the following day, even if the pitcher returns. Remember how hittable the usually reliable Aroldis Chapman was a couple years ago, because he was overused. And he’s never been the same.
Drop The Puck
Don’t forget, the NHL season opens October 3. Defense is often loose during the first part of the season and then gets tighter, if you are thinking over-unders.