Take me out to the ball game
"Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd; Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don't care if I never get back"...
I get into a good mood whenever I hear this iconic baseball song from 1908. I love baseball. Not only as a very good betting market but its tactical beauty, the wide specter of individual skills, and its tradition.
The new MLB season started on Friday. In the My Way project, I expect baseball to rise significantly my betting capital, even if the net ROI per bet might stay between one and two percent.
Why? The beauty in MLB Betting is the huge number of matches. If an investor finds a profitable betting strategy, she can circulate the betting capital many, many times during one MLB season. Each team will play 162 matches already during the regular season. In each game, there are strong markets even about the outcome of both halves - with "run line" handicaps, money line, or over/under.
Another advantage with baseball as a betting market is, that bookmakers traditionally lay MLB bets with a very small overground. With an individual bookmaker, one can generally bet a 50% - 50% MLB sides with odds of 1.95x. That means a 98% payback to the bettor. But because it is easy to compare the odds of different operators with the Sportmarket software, and then almost automatically bet on the best market/line, a sportmarket customer can bet on baseball almost for free. Already a tiny edge over the average bettors turns into profits.
So where to find that edge?
Earlier, the away teams getting +1,5 handicaps on the run line were a good starting point group to search for good bets. But as usual, a good strategy gets spotted by intelligent bettors. Nowadays, in ca. 50.000 last MLB games, the away underdogs have returned a -3% ROI per bet when the -1½ favorites have lost only 2% per bet.
On the money line, the favorites in the same sample lost 1% per bet. That has surprised me through the years because for me, baseball looks so random, and I would have expected the underdogs to get lucky more often. But I do not argue with the significant statistical sample. I humbly bet more favorites -when the other factors support the stronger team.
"Let me root, root, root for the home team. If they don't win, it is a shame", goes the old baseball song. But is it a shame for a modern sharp bettor? Are there better yields for home teams than for away teams?
Slightly, yes. Betting Money Line on all home teams would have lost about 1,8% when visitors would have lost 2,4%. But when it comes to home favorites, it might be better to "root for the home team." Home favorites have lost only 1% per bet, and going against them has cost 3,6% per bet. So if the market has not learned anything about the last 50.000 baseball bets, it might be better to start searching the bets from the home favorites.
Similarly, there is a bias on the over/under-betting. Overs have lost -6% per bet, under only -2,3% (note that the takeout is higher on totals). So again, one loses by betting all the under, but it is easier to find good bets from under, and one must have more special reasons to bet over to overcome the 6% underlying challenge.
My most profitable strategies on my way during the decades of baseball betting have been on betting unders. I'll tell more about them in my upcoming My way -blogs.
Welcome to follow - or join - My Way!
What is "My Way"?
Three decades ago, at the start of my sports betting career, I turned a tiny starting capital and small savings from my horse racing journalist work into one million in ten years. Winter of 2022 I started to wonder if a similar capital growth could still be possible in the more effective sports betting markets.
I designated an account in Sportmarket earmarked only for this project. I deposited €800 + €800 in February 2022 and then €800 monthly. I started to bet in the same very defensive, risk-averse way as I did when I was young. I aim to find out if I can accumulate the capital to one million before the New Year Day 2033.
I write regular blogs on our web page www.esbc.fi, where I follow how this experiment/mission/challenge progresses. I call this mission MyWay.
Follow MyWay! It is not only my twists and turns in this mission, not only nostalgia from my first way towards my first million. You'll learn much about betting strategies, my way of thinking and working, risk management, war stories" and nostalgia. Occasionally you'll learn how to win +EV equity in upcoming sporting events for free.
Welcome to join me in MyWay!