MLB Betting: How to Wager on the First 5 Innings of a Game

MLB Betting: How to Wager on the First 5 Innings of a Game

Written by on July 14, 2021

In baseball betting, the first five innings betting has become incredibly popular as it allows bettors to focus just on the first half of a baseball game. And with the first five-inning bets, there are several things that must be considered for bettors to find value and maximize their chances of coming away with a win. Let’s take a look at our Major League Baseball betting update so you can keep wagering against their MLB odds.

Finding First Five Innings Value in A MLB Match

Consider the Starters

Starting pitching is the most important facet of the first five-inning wagers, as starters typically pitch for the majority if not the entirety of the first five innings of games. Because of that, bettors need to do their homework on the starting pitchers on each side, or the bullpens if a team has a bullpen day lined up for that game. And this requires more than a look at their record and their ERA on the season.

Bettors need to look at how a pitcher has performed over the course of a season and in recent games to determine if there is any value backing them or their opponent. Diving into whether or not a pitcher has put themselves into jams constantly, even if those jams didn’t result in runs, can be much more valuable than just looking at how many runs they have allowed. Handicapping starting pitching is about much more than raw numbers.

The Importance of Matchups

Another facet of first five innings betting that deserves attention are the matchups between the starting pitcher on each side and the batters they will face. If a pitcher is left-handed, figuring out how a lineup performs against lefties is vital. If they are right-handed, the same principle applies, as certain lineups have more success against lefties than they do righties and vice versa.

On a more granular level, bettors can look at how batters have performed historically against specific pitchers. Looking at the batting average and power numbers of each member of a lineup against a starting pitcher can shed light on opportunities for value betting in the first five innings. This is especially valuable for the second time through the batting order, where hitters have seen the pitcher in one at-bat already.

Small Sample Sizes

It is also important to remember that the first five innings bet takes place within a very small sample size, the first five innings of a baseball game. Long-term statistical information is important, but there is no guarantee that it will predict what happens over the course of half of a game. Because of that, there is occasionally value in going against long-term statistical trends in favor of stats over smaller sample size.

This is a phenomenon that is most impactful in the postseason in baseball, where a team can get hot and go on a run that they showed no signs of putting together during the regular season. Bettors who can see the signs of those kinds of runs developing have the best chance to win down the stretch of the Major League Baseball season. And bettors who can spot those runs coming all season long can do very well in the first five innings markets.