Tracing the origins of baseball is no easy feat. While it’s certain that the game evolved from the sports of cricket and rounders, two games brought to North America by British settlers, and first rose to prominence following the American Civil War, just who derived baseball’s format and playing rules is uncertain. The long-held myth is that Civil War soldier Abner Doubleday was the founder of baseball, but there’s no proof of that, nor any evidence that Doubleday ever made this claim.
The first formal rules were established by the New York Knickerbocker club and the first game played under these rules was contested in 1846. The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first pro team in 1869 but a year later, they relocated to Boston and were renamed the Boston Red Stockings. In 1871, the first professional league, the National Association of Ball Players, was formed.
Five years later, with the National Association struggling for survival, the National League, one of today’s two current Major Leagues, began play, ruling over professional baseball with an iron fist for the next quarter century. Other leagues attempted to rival the National League, but all all failed miserably until 1900, when Ban Johnson formed the American League.
The American League not only held its own against the National League, it was quite sucessful in poaching some of the NL’s top players, and in 1903, a truce was called and the two leagues signed a working agreement that led to the start of the World Series that fall.
Best Baseball Betting Lines
Check below to source all of the latest MLB betting lines. Pay close attention to how how much a team is favored so you’ll be able to make the best betting decision.
Perhaps the greatest change in the game of baseball came in 1920, when doctoring of the baseball by pitchers – scuffing, spitting on, or using a substance on the ball to make it dip – was outlawed.
With that move, the axis of power in the game shifted from the pitcher’s mound to the batter’s box. New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth clouted 54 home runs during the 1920 season and owners of Major League Baseball teams became aware of a truism that remains in the game today: home runs sell tickets.
While there’s a minority of purists who still admire a pitcher’s duel, the vast majority of fans want to see offence and baseball has never forgotten this fact. In 1968, when Denny McLain of the Detroit Tigers won 31 games and Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals fashioned a 1.12 earned run average, while big league teams combined to bat .184, MLB responded by lowering the pitcher’s mound from 15 to 10 inches and shrinking the strike zone.
Virtually every rule change made in the game is designed to put more numbers on the scoreboard. Rapid expansion also served to spread thin the calibre of quality pitching, and the strike zone seems to get smaller all the time.
This is important information to take into account when betting on Major League Baseball.
What Are The Baseball Standings
Online Tips For Baseball Bettors
Major League baseball offers four types of wagers to the bettor. The moneyline is a straight bet on the outcome of the game, with a price attached to each team. The favourite is indicated via a minus number and the undergod with a plus number, meaning a winning favourite will pay out less than a winning underdog.
In the total, also known as the over/under, you are wagering on how many runs will be scored by both teams during a game. A number is set as the bar and you choose whether the teams will finish above or below that barrier.
Another option is playing the runline. The runline is set at 1.5 – plus for the favourite and minus for the underdog – and you bet on whether the favourite can win by two or more runs. If you think the underdog can stay within a run or even outright win the game, you bet on them.
Then there are what are known as futures. Here you can place a wager on almost anything – how many strikeouts Dallas Keuchel might run up in a game or a season, how many home runs Chris Davis will clout, or how many hits Mike Trout might collect. You can also lay a bet down on who you think will win the World Series before a game is even played.
The beauty of betting on baseball is that there are plenty of games every day, so there’s always action available. With the Houston Astros moving to the American League in 2012, it balanced each Major League to 15 teams, making inter-league almost an every day occurrence.
That’s essential to keep in mind because when those inter-league games are played in American League parks, both teams utilize the designated hitter. But in National League parks, the pitchers must bat, and with one less potent bat in each lineup, the final scoreline figures to be lower.