Fantasy baseball betting has a long tradition in the US, starting in the 1970s. It became even more popular in the 80s and 90s. And now with the rise of the internet and mobile technologies, it has grown even more in popularity.
Tracking things like player and team statistics has become much easier for fantasy baseball bettors thanks to the internet. Ultimately, this has resulted in a complex and highly competitive betting environment. However, here at BestUSSportsBetting.com, we’ll break it down for you so that you can join in in this lucrative and exciting sports past time. Read on for more on fantasy baseball, how to bet on it, and a basic strategy to get you started.
What you’ll find in this fantasy baseball betting guide:
Top Fantasy Baseball Betting Sites
Below we’ve rounded up some of the best fantasy baseball sites offering great lines for both the novice American bettor and the pro.
The goal of fantasy baseball is to put together the best Major League Baseball (MLB) team using real professional baseball players. Furthermore, you want to score more points than your competitors which are based on the real-world performance of your selected players. Below we break down for you how fantasy baseball works.
- You’ll need to pick your MLB players.
- When going into a fantasy baseball draft, your team has a salary cap and each player has a value. Obviously, the better the player, the more expensive they are. You are only allowed to spend a certain amount to buy your players.
- The pool of players you can pick from for that specific match depends on the MLB athletes expected to play on a given day. Line-ups change as and when they are announced.
- Make sure your roster has two pitchers, one catcher, a first, second and third base, one short stop, and three outfield players.
- Points are scored and lost depending on the real actions which are specific to their position. For example, a hitter earns points for singles, doubles, triples, and home-runs. Alternatively, they lose points for trying to steal. A pitcher will gain points for innings, strike outs, wins, and complete games. While they lose points for being hit against.
You don’t have to worry about scoring yourself. It’s done automatically and can be tracked in-play on your chosen fantasy baseball betting site. Lately, most sites offer mobile web versions, so you can check up on the action on-the-go.
Types of Leagues and Rosters
While a league of eight, 10, or 12 teams is common in fantasy baseball betting, a league can contain up to 20 teams. Usually, fantasy baseball, much like other fantasy sports, is broken up into leagues, divided by their scoring methods. These are:
- Head-to-Head Categorical
The most common league in fantasy baseball is Categorical. Here, performances are divided into categories rather than individual statistical points. Another name for it is a rotisserie or roto league.
In term of the roster, these can also vary depending on the league you’re betting in. Usually, in a roster, there are:
- Nine pitchers
- Two catchers
- First baseman
- Second baseman
- A shortstop
- Third baseman
- A middle infielder
- A corner infielder
- Five outfielders in total
- A designated hitter/utility player
- There’s also a reserve list of three to five players in case there are any injuries.
This is a basic strategy to get you started on your journey into fantasy baseball. Firstly, you’ll want to have a great line-up. The key to owning a successful fantasy baseball team depends on your players.
A hitter will be your key to scoring big. It requires big bats or clever ones in the very least. When looking at a hitter, consider these three options:
- The amount of discipline they show at the plate: look at their Stolen Base Ratio (SBR). If it’s less than 60%, they’re not only making bad decisions, they’re less likely to see fewer stealing opportunities.
- How much power the hitter has: a growing home run total over past seasons are a great indicator.
- How fast they are: speed is a big factor in fantasy baseball.
Finally, hitters to look out for are those that walk often, strike out rarely, and can run.
See our guides on fantasy sports:
Mainly, there are three factors to look at when picking a pitcher in fantasy baseball betting:
- Starting role or relief role.
- Their capacity to earn pure strikeouts.
- Low number of long balls allowed.
Something else to consider when picking a pitcher is if they young high-skill pitchers in new starting roles. Look out for:
- Those with at least a 0.66 ratio of strikeouts to innings pitched.
- At least a 2-to-1 ratio of strikeouts to walks.
- Less than one home run per nine innings pitched.
Ignore stats like:
- Last season’s W/L numbers: bad pitchers can have a high number of wins in the right system and a good pitcher can be limited by his surrounding roster’s abilities.
- Hits allowed: these don’t translate well in a fantasy betting setting because of factors like ballpark size, overall team defense, and field condition.
Once you’ve got the basics down, there are a few fantasy baseball betting platforms that accept American bettors. Make sure you read up on the different players and join a mock baseball draft league. They have tons of variations that will help you practice different situations. And remember to have fun.