Pennsylvania’s first licensed sportsbook launched after the 2018 Major League Baseball season ended. That means when the 2019 MLB season started on March 20, it marked the first time anyone inside PA could legally bet on baseball.
It’s a long season. Each of the 30 MLB teams each play 162 games. That means there will be thousands of opportunities to bet on baseball this year.
Baseball itself is an intricate and nuanced game with myriad decisions affecting each facet of every inning. However, betting on MLB action doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, PA sportsbooks offer a variety of simple and easy ways even casual fans of the game can bet on it.
Where to bet on MLB in PA
Here’s a look at the PA sports betting market, where you can now place these bets, and where you soon should be able to:
|Casino||PGCB Approval Date||Retail Sportsbook Launch||Online Sportsbook Launch|
|Hollywood Casino||Oct. 3||Nov. 17||May or June|
|Parx Casino Sportsbook||Oct. 3||Jan. 10||May or June|
|South Philadelphia Turf Club||Oct. 3||Jan. 17||N/A|
|Rivers Casino||Oct. 31||Dec. 15||May or June|
|SugarHouse Casino||Oct. 31||Dec. 15||May 28 (Testing)|
|Harrah's Philadelphia||Oct. 31||Jan. 24||May or June|
|Valley Forge Casino||Dec. 19||March 13||May or June|
|Presque Isle Downs||Feb. 6||Launching June 1||Summer 2019|
|Valley Forge Turf Club||March 6||March 12||N/A|
|Mount Airy Casino||Pending approval||N/A||N/A|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Pending approval||N/A||N/A|
Below we break down all the basic baseball bets you’ll find at PA sportsbooks. Read on and you’ll be placing wagers on the national pastime in no time.
PA sportsbooks offer three basic baseball bet types on each game, so let’s start there:
Baseball moneylines are pretty much the same as moneylines in other sports. Moneylines represent the most simple way you can bet on a baseball game. You just pick the team you think will win and lay down a bet.
PA sportsbooks will post moneyline odds on every team in every game based on that team’s chances of winning. This is represented by a positive (+) number for the underdog and a negative (-) number for the favorite.
As long as the team you picked wins the game outright the sportsbook will pay you out according to the odds it had posted when you placed the bet.
For example, the New York Mets were set to play the Philadelphia Phillies in Philadelphia on April 16. The visitors were at +104 and the home team at -125 at Parx Sportsbook prior to the first pitch.
That means a $100 bet on the Mets would pay $104, plus your bet back if they win. Plus, you would have to bet $125 on the Phillies to win $100 plus your $125 bet back if they win.
MLB run lines
Baseball run lines are a lot like point spread bets in football with a few key differences. Just like a point spread, when you bet the run line it must be factored into a game’s final score when determining a betting winner.
Basic run lines are almost always 1.5, but PA sportsbooks will offer a variety of alternative run lines up to 2.5 for most games.
With a basic 1.5 run line, you bet on the favorite to win by 2 runs or more, or the underdog to win outright or lose by only a single run.
Betting with run lines changes the moneyline odds. The bigger the run line, the bigger the change.
For example, the Phillies are a clear moneyline favorite against the visiting Mets as outlines above. However, bet the Phillies with a -1.5 run line at Parx Sportsbook and you’ll find the odds have moved to +160. Give away even more runs betting the Phillies with a -2.5 run line at Parx and you should be able to place the bet at +255.
Run line betting can be a way to get a better price on a moneyline favorite. However, it’s important to remember the run line must be factored into the final score.
As you can see, you’ll get a much better price on the Phillies to win betting the run line, but they must cover the line for that bet to pay off.
Totals in baseball games are the same as they are in any other sport. You just bet on whether the final run total in a game will be over or under a number set by oddsmakers.
For most MLB games, PA sportsbooks will offer a variety of different totals paying out at moneyline odds that vary considerably.
Beyond the basics
Going beyond the basics just a little, there are several baseball bets that are almost as easy to figure out:
An MLB parlay is a single bet combining two or more basic MLB bets. Parlays pay better than the individual bets would, but you need to win them all for the parlay to pay.
Most PA sportsbooks will list a variety of single-game parlays, allowing you to see the odds on things like the combination of the home team and the over, or the away team and the under.
PA sportsbooks also offer moneyline odds on who will win each MLB division, league, and ultimately the World Series. PA sportsbooks adjust the odds for each team as the season moves ahead.
MLB first fives
Because most starting pitchers are projected to average about five innings per start, most PA sportsbooks will allow you to place basic baseball bets on just the first five innings of a game.
Starting pitchers have more of an impact on most games than any other player. MLB first fives offer a way to bet on the starter as much as you are his team in any given game.
MLB grand salami
The MLB grand salami is a proposition bet featuring a totals line on all MLB games on a single day. You simply bet on whether the total runs scored by all teams on that day will be over or under a number set by oddsmakers.
MLB game props
Most PA sportsbooks will also offer a variety of MLB game props. This allows you to bet on things like the first team to score. Or, you can bet on whether the game will go to extra innings.
You can also book basic bets on each inning for most MLB games at PA sportsbooks.
MLB player props
Player props allow you to bet on a variety of different player-related things. Like whether a specific player will hit a home run in the game. Or, how many strikeouts the starters will throw.