Pros and Cons of Betting on MLB Spring Training Games

As every MLB team’s spring training site comes to life now that we are well into February, every avid MLB bettor starts itching for some action at their favorite online sportsbook. The 2020 exhibition season opens up this Friday with the Texas Rangers on the road against the Kansas City Royals.

A full slate of games featuring all 30 teams is on the board for Saturday, Feb. 22. You can see the entire MLB Schedule and Today’s Games here.

Should You Bet on Spring Training Games?

Your favorite online sportsbook will be posting moneylines, totals and run lines for the games, so this begs the question of whether you should bet on any of them?

Most professional handicappers would say no.

Most professional bettors would probably agree unless they come across a soft line they cannot resist.

This does not mean you cannot find value in betting exhibition baseball in the Majors ahead of opening day. The early spring training games come with too many variables to accurately get a handle on either side of a bet.


RELATED: BETTING 2020 MLB HOME RUN FUTURES


Starting Pitchers Just Getting a Feel

Starters will be limited to just a few innings. The lineups will vary from game to game. Spring training games are closer to formal practice sessions than competitive contests.

When the games do not count in the standings, the team’s manager and most of its players could care less about the final score.

As the exhibition season continues, there will be more formal structure to the games. Teams may develop a greater sense of winning as they get closer and closer to opening day. By the time the end of March rolls around, you will begin to see separation between the teams that are legitimate contenders in their individual division race and the ones that are going to lose far more games than they will win.

No Predictability

Spring training is a great time of the year to handicap teams while resisting the temptation to actually bet on them.

 


HOW MLB SPRING TRAINING WORKS


 

A low level of predictability results in a low percentage bet.

Save your money for the games that count before placing real money bets on moneyline odds. Forget runs lines as even lower percentage wagers unless you have some reliable inside information on that day’s games.

If you are still chomping at the bit for some MLB betting action between now and the end of March, turn to the total line bet. The line setters and oddsmakers are still tasked with setting totals for exhibition games so there are bound to be some soft numbers on a regular basis.

Batters Ahead of Pitchers = Betting Totals

As mentioned, every MLB team will be dealing with some unknowns during these spring training games.

Certain pitchers may be on strict pitch counts in every exhibition start. This works in favor of the other team’s starting lineup. Another plus for higher scoring games is batters being ahead of pitchers this time of the year. It is much easier to find a groove hitting the ball than throwing it coming off such a long layoff.

The best pitchers are not concerned with throwing their best stuff. They are looking for a sense of consistency with all their throws. Big hitters know they can tee off on the pitches they like with no outside concerns about the game at hand.

With the early edge leaning towards batters over pitchers, the early betting edge is the OVER on MLB exhibition total lines.

About the Author

A big part of the services that my marketing company, Blue Pointe Advisors, LLC offers is written content for sports betting websites.  I have been working as a full-time sports betting writer for the past nine years following a previous career in the field of sales and marketing.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to write about my true passion in life; the world of sports. I also enjoy concentrating the bulk of my pieces towards the betting angle in sports. It is always a challenge to take past results and current form to try and correctly determine a future result. Sports brings out the unpredictability in what should be a fairly predictable outcome based on the stats, facts and recent trends in a particular matchup. The one thing that I have learned over the past decade or so is that when it comes to betting on sports there is no such thing as a lock.

The main objective with my writing style is to create insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player. While there are times when my predictions fall well short of the actual outcome, I still enjoy trying to come up with a logical explanation to support my views on every pick I make.

My love of sports started a long time ago when I was just a kid growing up just outside Philadelphia. While I was a big Phillies, Flyers and 76ers fan, my number one team was always the Eagles. My dad was a season ticket holder from 1961 to 2002 and I would honestly say that he missed less than a handful of games during quite a few pretty dismal seasons. I was fortunate enough to go to a number of Eagles’ games back in the day including the 1980 NFC Championship when Wilbert Montgomery ran roughshod over the bitter rival Dallas Cowboys to lead Philly to their first appearance in a Super Bowl. Flash forward 37 years later and am I still waiting patiently for my favorite team to bring home the Super Bowl title my dad never got to celebrate.