Baseball is a global sport with Major League Baseball (MLB) having a following all over the world including Asia. MLB games are used for legal gambling in China known as Chinese Sports Lottery. It was in the past covered by Singapore’s live betting source SG Pools / Live Wire. The professional baseball leagues in Japan, Korea and Taiwan have seen many top players move to the United States to play baseball in the word’s top league MLB. It should come as no surprise resident of Asia bet on baseball.
The betting aspect can be done online using legitimate foreign companies. If the country you live is listed on the left side menu of this website, I advise clicking that link. This is where you can learn about the best online bookies specific to your location and the methods they offer for funding your account and getting paid after you win. All the sites found on those pages offer some level of baseball betting. The sites below are however the most enjoyable for betting baseball overall.
www.10bet.com makes our recommended list because they are the one of the few online bookies that offers betting on top Asian baseball leagues. In addition to MLB baseball, you can bet Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) from Japan and KBO League from South Korea. Their website is available in English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and other languages.
Kang Jung-ho, Chan Ho Park, Shin-Soo Choo, and Hyun-jin Ryu are some of the over dozen past and present Koreans that played in KBO League before starting their MLB careers. Former Japanese NPB players that moved to the MLB, past and present, are many. Ichiro Suzuki, Hideo Nomo, Hideki Matsui, Koji Uehara, Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka, Hiroki Kuroda and Hisashi Iwakuma perhaps top the list as the most famous. Again, if you wish to bet on the local Asian leagues, 10bet is one of the few sites offering those plus MLB baseball.
www.bet365.com is a site for betting MLB and minor league US baseball. They provide high quality live streams licensed by Major League Baseball right on their website for almost every game. In play betting is available right next to the stream on dozens of in-match markets. While they do support many languages, Chinese is the only Asian one supported. Players from Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries can still use their website but they will need to do so in English or another language offered.
How to Bet Baseball
Some online bookies such as Bet365 offer many dozens of ways to bet a baseball match. I will discuss some of those later. First I cover the most popular ways baseball is bet. The following markets are found at almost all online bookies.
- Moneyline Betting (home/away) – is a wager on which team will win the game. As one team / pitcher is more likely to win than the other, the odds differ for each team.
- Runline Betting (handicap) – adds a handicap to the match, which is most commonly 1.5 runs. If a team is -1.5 runs they need to win by 2 or more to be the winner for betting purposes. If a team is +1.5 runs they are the winner for betting purposes if they win outright or lose by exactly 1 run. The odds will of course be different for each option, with big odds on the team -1.5 and small odds on the team +1.5.
- Total Runs (over/under) – involves the bookmaker setting a total, for example 8.5 runs. Players then have an option to bet over his posted total, or under his posted total.
There are several things to be aware of regarding the above markets. In all three any extra innings involved to break a tie count for betting purposes. The official score at the end of the game is used. Also, pitching matchups are key to handicapping. When placing a bet you will see the starting pitchers listed. At almost every betting site the odds you are given are conditioned upon both those pitchers making the first pitch of the game for their team. If that doesn’t happen the bet is void.
Some sites do offer the option to make baseball wagers action bets. This means if which pitcher starts changes, the bet is NOT void, but is adjusted. The bookie reissues the bet at the opening odds for the new pitching matchup. It is highly advised not to select this option. It is best to go with listed pitchers and let your bet be voided if one doesn’t start. Otherwise, you end up with a wager at odds you didn’t get to see and evaluate in advanced.
It is important I note different sites have different rules for games that are called early or suspended. Due to rain delays, it is possible a game might be put on hold and then rescheduled to start the following day. At some sites this voids the bet. At others the action continues to the next day. At some sites if over 5 innings have been played total bets are void, while bets on the moneyline are settled based on the score in the last completed inning before stoppage. This all averages out in the long run, but be aware of it. If you do any arbing, issues with action bets vs. listed pitcher, and/or different rules for suspended or called games, can come back and hurt. Each site lists their policies on such in their betting rules.
Baseball is a Statistical Sport
Odds makers and professional bettors are both very confident in their ability to calculate the probability specific outcomes occur in baseball. It is a very statistical sport. For those capable of learning in English language, it is possible for players of average starting knowledge to become good at handicapping themselves with a little effort and study involved. Start by ordering whichever is the latest version of the book Betting Baseball that is authored or co-authored by Michael Murray (see here). As you start getting deeper you will soon develop a desire to learn a lot about sabermetrics. For that start here by reading that article, the links contained, and other pages from the same website.
Of course, for most gamblers, betting baseball is a source of entertainment. It might be backing a favorite team, or just betting on gut feel, personal observation, or an unsophisticated means of handicapping the match. Even if you are a recreation bettor, be aware that baseball is a sport others handicap at a very advanced level. Several online bookies are so confident about their abilities to set correct odds and manage their risks, they offer extremely tiny margins to bait professionals into betting at their site. It is like a game, where they are willing to operate on a fractional edge because they believe they can still win. Recreational bettors can take advantage of sites offering low margins too.
While not focused on the Asian market, and only available in English, players from Asia can still use sites like www.betonline.ag and www.5dimes.eu. Both accept NETELLER deposits, as well as bitcoin. They pay via the same methods as well. These are a couple of examples of sites that operate on very thin margins. This translates to these sites on average having better baseball odds than their competitors. They also have additional markets available for betting, which brings me to my final topic.
Other Ways to Bet Baseball
Popular Asian bookies such as Dafabet, 188Bet, M88, etc. tend to focus primarily on football (soccer). For baseball such sites tend to offer only moneyline, runline and total betting. This is generally for full game, 1st 5 innings, and live in-play betting. When looking to other sites such as 10Bet, Bet365, BetOnline and 5Dimes there are many other markets available.
At 10bet you can find 1st inning odds/even, total runs in first 3 innings, total runs in first 7 innings, total team runs, team total odds/even, first to score, last to score, winning margin, and odd/even for full game. The majority of the same can also be found at Bet365.
Bet365 is king when it comes to 1st inning betting. For handicappers these are great markets because you expect the starting pitchers will play all of the first inning and you know which batters they will face. Their site offers betting on 1st inning total hits, and first inning total runs, with separate markets for the same on each half inning (top of 1st / bottom of 1st). You can also bet who will win the first inning, yes or no if a run will be scored, which team will have more hits, who scores first, and more.
Bet365 betting options go well beyond that. First 3 and First 7 inning lines can be found for moneylines and over/under. Who will be ahead after every inning can be bet too. First team to score, last team to score, alternate lines, and seriously a couple dozen more markets are available. There is also a ton available for live in-play betting at their site.
As already mentioned, BetOnline and 5Dimes offer super low margins (on average better odds) on main baseball markets. These sites also have a lot of markets, but their additional ones offered differ from what Bet365 has. They both offer over/under on runs+hits+errors (R+H+E) which is a favorite of many professional gamblers. You can also find alternate runlines providing options for betting either team at your choice of +1.5 / -1.5 / +2.5 / -2.5 / +1 or -1, with different odds of course for each. These sites also have player props such as over or under X# of RBI’s for a specific player too. Team totals are also offered. If you want to bet outright who will with the American League, National League, or World Series, 5Dimes tends to have far better odds than any other site on those.
In conclusion, while certain sites are easier to use for resident of some Asian counties, you’ll miss out a lot if using only those sites. The baseball markets available for betting are as many as any other sport. A lot of Asian players never come to realize this. This is because most Asian focused information portals only advertise Asian bookies that focus on football (soccer). Such sites do have baseball odds, but the number of wagering options are not so good. For a far better baseball betting experience, check out the sites I mention in this article. I’m a baseball bettor that lives in Asia and can say sincerely the sites covered here are the ones best for this niche.