The dangers & risks of betting on MLB baseball

Apr 3, 2024

The 2024 Major League Baseball season is officially underway. All 30 teams participated in Opening Day last Thursday, which marked the beginning of the 162-game marathon of a season. It’s a long year for the players, but it can also be a difficult period for sports bettors who bet on baseball. MLB is one of the most difficult sports to bet on for several different reasons, which is why it can also be dangerous and risky to do so.

Why is betting on MLB baseball so hard?

Variance of outcomes

Just like any sporting event, there is a favorite and an underdog in a baseball game. However, just because a team is a favorite does not mean they are guaranteed to win. In the last five years, the favorites have won in just 57.5% of games (Boydsbets). While it’s more than half of the games, the issue is the juice on the bet. For example, a favorite on a moneyline bet can range anywhere from -110 to even -500. So although favorites won nearly 60% of the time, it was quite unprofitable betting on favorites. If you bet $100 on every favorite in the last five seasons, you would be down roughly $7,000 (Boydsbets). 

Secondly, since there are eight position players, one starting pitcher, a bench unit, and a group of relievers, there are a lot of other factors that can affect the outcome of the game. On any given day, one team can play better than the other and surprise bettors across the country who thought that the other, much better team (on paper) was a lock.

Abundance of stats and information

Research is a critical part of any baseball bet. However, there can at times be too much information and stats to research before a game. Important information includes the starting pitchers, starting lineups, and the location of the game. But those factors are just the tip of the iceberg. 

Other stats to keep in mind include the weather, the bullpen talent, whether the game is inside or outside, the amount of rest each team is on, hitter stats against a lefty or righty pitcher, and more. In summary, there are a lot of things to consider before placing a bet on baseball, any of which may have a significant impact on the outcome on that given day. In part, this why many bettors say that MLB is the most difficult league to bet on regularly. 

Volume of games

The MLB season can be summarized in one word - grueling. Opening Day - usually near the end of March - marks the start of a 162-game season that features teams traveling across the country playing almost every day for six months. The regular season usually ends in late September or early October, and if a team is lucky enough to be playing for a World Series title, their season likely won’t end until late October.

Between all 30 teams, there are 2,430 baseball games played in the regular season. Since each team plays around six times a week, that means there are plenty of games each day. It’s not uncommon for a team to play on 10 straight days, or league-wide for there to be 15 total games on the slate multiple days in a row. The plethora of games on a daily basis can make betting on baseball even more difficult, with hundreds (if not thousands) of betting options available every single day. . 

Lineups change constantly

Unlike a lot of other sports, the starting lineup in baseball can change daily. In football or basketball, the starting lineup usually consists of the top players from the team. However, in baseball that’s not always the case. 

A manager will shift the starting lineup around depending on several factors, like which players are swinging a hot bat or the type of pitcher they are facing. A starting lineup against a right-handed pitcher one day might be completely different from a lineup facing a lefty pitcher the next. Therefore, it’s critical for bettors to stay on top of team news every day to have a good sense of who will be playing, and whom they’ll be playing against. 

Why baseball betting can be dangerous

As mentioned, there are 2,430 MLB games over the course of the regular season alone. That means there are theoretically millions of betting options available throughout the year, which naturally makes it one of the most dangerous sports to bet on for the potential of developing an addiction to gambling. When there are seemingly never-ending opportunities to bet – whether that’s to try to win more, or to try to win back money that was lost – the volume of games can act as a slippery slope toward unhealthy behaviors and potentially problem-gambling issues. 

Additionally, a decent-sized portion of MLB season falls during the “dog days of summer” when very few other professional sports are in season. The NFL, NBA and NHL are in their offseasons, so some daily bettors view baseball as their only option for creating the “rush” of having a financial rooting interest in what they’d otherwise see as somewhat meaningless regular-season games. Baseball is already a very difficult sport to bet on, so if you’re gambling on it just because it’s the only sport being played at the time, you’re making it even more difficult on yourself to break even, never mind make a profit. 

One of the most important Responsible Gaming tips is to never chase your losses. If you lose one bet (or multiple), don’t place more just to try to win your losses back and break even. That is the fastest way for your losses to multiply quickly, and suddenly you’ve lost much more than you anticipated or thought possible.

It’s important to be smart with your bankroll (your betting budget), especially during baseball season which is six months long. For many, that’s the biggest challenge with betting on baseball - not getting sucked into betting more just because there are a lot of games each day. If you lose one bet, don’t look to a later game to try and salvage the day. It’s a marathon and not a sprint, so don’t chase your losses in baseball (or any other sport). Many gambling addicts have shared stories about how chasing their losses led to their betting habits spiraling out of control and ultimately resulted in a gambling disorder. 

Help and resources for Gambling Addiction 

The baseball season is long and difficult, so it’s important to know that there are resources available in case you or someone you know may be suffering from a gambling addiction. Birches Health is an online care provider that offers confidential counseling and treatment options that fit your schedule. The Birches care team is a specially trained group of professionals with years of experience helping those with gambling addiction and other behavioral health issues. 

If you or someone you know may benefit from learning more about Birches Health, please call (833) 483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com to speak with a care specialist today. 

Sources:

Baseball Betting Strategies: Best MLB Underdog Systems to Win Profits

Managing Gambling Addiction Relapses

Apr 12, 2024

Jonathan

U.S. Sports Betting Statistics April 2024: Legalization, growth & addiction rising

Apr 12, 2024

Jonathan

My Mom Has a Gambling Addiction: What to Do

Apr 8, 2024

Jonathan

Understanding In-Network and Out-of-Network Providers for Behavioral Addictions

Apr 1, 2024

Jonathan

Has America become a “society of gamblers”?

Mar 28, 2024

Jonathan

How Can I Stop My Child From Gambling

Mar 27, 2024

Jonathan

Birches Health Partners with BettorEdge

Mar 20, 2024

Jonathan

Birches Health Announces Partnership with SaharaBets

Mar 19, 2024

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction Rates Hit All-Time High in U.S.

Mar 13, 2024

Jonathan

Signs of Teen Gambling

Mar 13, 2024

Jonathan

Free Gambling Addiction Treatment

Feb 29, 2024

Jonathan

SNL Sports Betting sketch spotlights real Gambling Addiction issues 

Feb 26, 2024

Jonathan

New U.S. Gambling Stats: Record figures as Addiction also grows

Feb 22, 2024

Jonathan

What will be the social costs of increased gambling? Who will pay them?

Feb 19, 2024

Jonathan

Is it Legal to Bet on the Daytona 500?

Feb 16, 2024

Jonathan

Media Takes Note of America's Increase in Problem Gambling

Feb 15, 2024

Jonathan

What are the Psychological Effects of Gambling?

Jan 31, 2024

Jonathan

Is Day Trading Gambling?

Feb 11, 2024

Jonathan

What are the Different Types of Gamblers?

Feb 12, 2024

Jonathan

Understanding Behavior Disorders

Jan 23, 2024

Jonathan

The Gambling Addiction Recovery, Investment, And Treatment (GRIT) Act

Jan 14, 2024

Jonathan

What is the Cycle of Addiction and How to Break It

Jan 9, 2024

Jonathan

I Lost All My Money Gambling. What Now?

Dec 29, 2023

Jonathan

Your 2024 New Year's Resolution: Stop Sports Betting and Online Gambling

Dec 24, 2023

Elliott

Why Do Addicts Relapse?

Dec 20, 2023

Jonathan

Is Gambling a Sin?

Dec 18, 2023

Jonathan

Staging a Gambling Intervention for a Loved One

Dec 13, 2023

Jonthan

Signs of Gambling Addiction in a Spouse

Nov 30, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling and Divorce: Statistics and Information

Nov 26, 2023

Jonathan

What is DFS Gambling?

Nov 19, 2023

Jonathan

Addiction Specialist: Helping You Overcome Addiction

Nov 18, 2023

Jonathan

Exploring the Different Types of Gambling

Nov 8, 2023

Jonathan

Technology Addiction: Signs and Treatment

Oct 30, 2023

Jonathan

Is Options Trading Gambling?

Oct 23, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction and Treatment

Oct 16, 2023

Jonathan

Sex Addiction Treatment and Therapy Options

Oct 14, 2023

Jonathan

Signs of Gambling Addiction

Oct 7, 2023

Jonathan

Is the Stock Market Gambling?

Sep 25, 2023

Jonathan

Tips for Finding a Gambling Rehab Center

Sep 24, 2023

Jonathan

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Pathological Gambling

Sep 23, 2023

Jonathan

What Causes Porn Addiction?

Sep 18, 2023

Jonathan

Video Game Addiction

Sep 16, 2023

Jonathan

Porn Addiction Signs & Symptoms

Sep 11, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms & Signs

Aug 29, 2023

Jonathan

How to Stop Online Gambling

Aug 27, 2023

Jonathan

Does Medicare Cover Gambling Rehab?

Aug 19, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling and Dopamine

Aug 12, 2023

Jonathan

Porn Addiction Counseling

Aug 7, 2023

Jonathan

Is Fantasy Football Gambling?

Jul 24, 2023

Jonathan

Signs of a Day Trading Problem

Jul 19, 2023

Jonathan

Why is Gambling Addictive?

Jul 18, 2023

Jonathan

The Arizona Lottery and Gambling

Jul 16, 2023

Jonathan

Is Poker Gambling?

Jul 15, 2023

Jonathan

Is Crypto Gambling?

Jul 14, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling and Sports Betting Among College Students

Jul 8, 2023

Jonathan

Updates made to gambling disorder across the DSM-III, DSM-IV, DSM-5

Updates Made to Gambling Disorder Clinical Criteria Between DSM-III, DSM-IV, and DSM-5

Jul 8, 2023

Cara Anderson

Combatting Gambling and Alcohol Addiction

Jun 30, 2023

Jonathan

Medication for Gambling Addiction

Jun 27, 2023

Jonathan

The Seven Types of Gamblers: Are You One of Them?

Jun 25, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

10 Questions to Ask If You Think Your Loved One Has a Gambling Problem

Jun 24, 2023

Cara Anderson

Las Vegas - often called the gambling capital of the world

Exploring the History of Gambling in the US

Jun 17, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Gambling Treatment in Arizona

Jun 15, 2023

Jonathan

Voluntary Self Exclusion to Stop Online Gambling

Jun 15, 2023

Cara Anderson

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Gambling Treatment?

Jun 13, 2023

Jonathan

Gambling Addiction Hotline

Jun 5, 2023

Jonathan

How to Stop Gambling

Jun 1, 2023

Jonathan

Can Gambling Addiction Be Cured?

May 31, 2023

Jonathan

problem gambler worried about addiction

Why Is Gambling So Addictive?

May 30, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Medication that can cause gambling

Abilify and Compulsive Gambling

May 26, 2023

Cara Anderson

A man who has regained control of his life by stopping gambling and online sports betting

How to Stop Gambling: Strategies for Regaining Control

May 21, 2023

Cara Anderson

This man stopped gambling by recognizing his online sports betting problem

How to Stop Gambling and Save Money

May 18, 2023

Cara Anderson

People celebrating being free of a gambling addiction

How to Help Someone with a Gambling Addiction

May 16, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

The Growing Phenomenon of Cryptocurrency Addiction: What Traders Need to Know About Crypto Addiction

Cryptocurrency Addiction

May 9, 2023

Tobias Jackson

The stock market graph of a day trader who has a day trading addiction

How Day Trading Can Create a Dangerous Addiction

May 4, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Younger individuals gathered around a computer talking about a gambling addiction meme

How Addictive Memes Have Fueled Problem Gamblers

May 2, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Man in the middle of taking a Do I have a Gambling Problem Quiz

Clinical Screening Tools and Quizzes to Answer the Question: "Do I have a Gambling Problem?"

May 1, 2023

Tobias Jackson

Insurance paperwork that Birches clients do not need to go through as Birches Health handles all administrative and payment matters for them!

Insurance Coverage for Gambling Addiction in 2023

Apr 29, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Couple hugging as the man has a gambling addiction and the woman, his loved one, is able to support him through it.

Helping a Loved One with a Gambling Addiction

Apr 27, 2023

Cara Anderson

Man actualizing self care and manifesting his recovery journey from problem gambling and gambling addiction

Self Care for Problem Gamblers

Apr 26, 2023

Cara Anderson

Bad effects of glamorization of gambling in the media in films, tv shows, and podcasts

Glamorized Gambling and What To Be Aware Of

Apr 24, 2023

Elliott Rapaport

Therapist offering a problem gambler gambling addiction counseling and treatment

What is Problem Gambling?

Apr 20, 2023

Elliott Rapaport