MLB prop betting is a fun way to wager on baseball games beyond the moneyline, run line, and total.
What are MLB prop bets?
MLB prop bets are wagers on events occurring during a game rather than focusing on the end result. You can bet on individual player performance and various statistics (both team-and-player related) not directly related to the outcome of a game.
The three major categories of MLB prop bets are player props, team props, and game props.
MLB player props
Player props allow bettors to wager on a player’s performance during a single game and are the most popular. Player props relate to a player’s in-game achievements or statistics. Generally, bettors wager on whether a player will end up Over or Under (O/U) on an isolated statistic and sometimes Yes/No on whether a particular event occurs.
The odds sportsbooks attach to player props vary widely and are connected to each player’s statistical profile and resume. You’ll get shorter odds on a starting stud with a proven performance history than an unknown commodity in a minor league call-up.
Suppose your player prop bet is on a star (think Jacob deGrom or someone with a similar reputation). In that case, your odds might not differ too widely from a moneyline bet (between -110 to +200, for example). The odds attached to any player prop vary wildly depending on the player’s quality and the opponent’s strength.
Closely read the terms and conditions of the player prop you’re selecting before finalizing to ensure you know the exact rules of the wager.
Let’s delve into the types of MLB player props that sportsbooks commonly offer below.
Pitcher prop bets center around pitching statistics. Depending on the prop, this might mean how many outs a pitcher records, the number of strikeouts they throw, whether they record a win, their earned runs, or their hits allowed. In the example below, deGrom has an Over/Under of 8.5 strikeouts. Bettors can wager on whether he will throw nine or more with the Over or eight or less with the Under.
|Over 8.5 Strikeouts
|Under 8.5 Strikeouts
The odds associated with the Over/Under are what's called the vig, or the juice, and is the cost of placing the bet. For this market, the sportsbooks set the vig at -110 for both sides, meaning a bettor would have to wager $110 to win $100.
Batting props are straightforward. They are prop bets connected to what a particular player does at bat within the confines of one game.
Batting props allow you to bet on what a player achieves with a bat, be it hits, home runs, singles, RBIs, or more. Sportsbooks will generally assign a number to hits or home runs (as in +/- 1 home runs, for example) to a player and then allow bettors to pick the Over or the Under. In the example below, a betting site is offering odds on Aaron Judge to hit a home run. This is a yes-only prop, meaning there is only one result to bet on, and the odds are being offered at +190, meaning a $100 bet profits $190. If Judge hits a home run, this bet would cash.
|To Hit A Home Run
More player props
Other offensive props function much the same as pitcher props and batting props. They link to other standard baseball statistics that don’t neatly fall within pitcher or batting props, such as total bases, runs, or stolen bases, as in the example below for Jon Berti.
|Over 0.5 Stolen Bases
|Under 0.5 Stolen Bases
In this example, oddsmakers have heavily favored the Under for Berti's stolen bases and have priced it at a steep -500.
MLB team props
Team prop bets work almost the same as player props but relate to what the team as a collective achieves within a game, not just a single player.
For example, team props would allow you to bet on the total number of runs a team scores within a single game (i.e., the Dodgers scoring Over or Under 7.5). If you bet the Over, your bet wins if the Dodgers registered eight or more runs. Of course, team props can also link to other typical game statistics you’ll see during the average baseball game.
|Los Angeles Dodgers
|Over 7.5 Runs Scored
|Under 7.5 Runs Scored
MLB game props
A game prop covers events occurring within the entire game, not just connected to a single player or a single team.
For example, a game prop would allow you to bet on the cumulative number of home runs within a game hit by either team.
In general, a game props link to a statistical total or whether a specific event will happen.
In the example below, oddsmakers are offering a market for total hits in a game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Guardians. The total combined hits by both teams is set at 17.5, and bettors can bet the Over or the Under on that market.
| Baltimore Orioles
|Total Hits Over 17.5
|Total Hits Under 17.5
MLB Prop betting tips
Player props don’t always get the same shine as the run line or the moneyline, but that doesn’t mean you can’t locate a ton of value on them. Here are a few prop-betting tips and strategies to keep in mind when you’re making your MLB prop picks.
Track certain players or teams and get to know them
Baseball’s scope and scale are overwhelming. There are so many games yearly and even more players. If you’re looking to mine value in the long term for player or game props, it’s wise to begin by tracking one or two teams and nine to 10 players on each of those teams and slowly scaling up from there.
If you start small and delve deeply into a few specific players and teams, you’ll learn the ropes and recognize when there’s value for the taking. When actioning your unique research and perspective, it’s often better to start small and work your way up to a broader body of betting-specific knowledge.
Covers MLB players pages offer a variety of statistics and recent performance for player prop markets, allowing you to get to know player strengths, weaknesses, and what oddsmakers generally think of them on average.
Prop bets are a place to leverage your particular baseball knowledge
Sportsbooks are well-oiled machines. Oddsmakers have a gift for the art and science of probability. However, they're only human and subject to the same 168 hours a week as everyone else. They can’t scrutinize every line with the same specificity and expertise.
What does this mean as it relates to prop bets? Well, because sportsbooks don’t invest the same amount of time into generating lines for each prop bet as they do conventional, higher volume lines such as the run line or the total, there’s value to be found.
Prop bet odds won’t be as sharp or finely tuned as regular lines. Often, lines are generated based on basic readings of statistical profiles. As such, if you do your in-depth research on a player or aspect of team performance, it’s much easier to find value than it is for a bet linked to the outcome of a game.
Know that a player is going to be nursing a new injury bound to hamper performance, and your sportsbook’s line isn’t reflecting the information? Leap on this opportunity to gain an edge on your sportsbook.
Line shopping is critical to gaining an edge
While line shopping is always a boon to any bettor’s bottom line, getting the best odds for player and game props is especially valuable.
Sportsbooks operate from varying sources of information when it comes to particular players. Oddsmakers across sportsbooks will inevitably have different opinions on their performance. Further, while you can count on sportsbooks to quickly integrate new information like weather conditions into odds speedily, the same is not necessarily true for player props.
MLB prop bets FAQs
Prop Bets (Proposition Bets) are wagers on occurrences occurring within a game, such as player performance, team performance, or other events. Prop bets do not correspond to regular lines such as the moneyline, run line, or totals.
MLB prop bets come out on varying schedules depending on your sportsbook. They will be out at least four hours before a game begins.
Reading MLB odds for player prop bets is no different than reading conventional sports odds. All odds on player prop bets reflect oddsmakers’ assigned probability to the event in addition to the payout the bettor will receive in the event their bet is successful.