Baseball Betting Strategies: How to Handicap MLB Spring Training

Those sounds that all of us baseball fans love are finally here. The cracking of the bat and the pop of the glove signal that spring training is in full swing. It also means we are closer to the regular season, and if you are an avid sports bettor then you have to be excited because baseball betting can be very prosperous if you know what you are doing. If you just can’t wait for the regular season to get here, then handicapping spring training games is certainly an option. I’ll give you a few tips below on what to look for in the spring so that you can build up a nice bankroll before the more meaningful games come around.

Injury Reports for MLB Teams

Injuries are magnified in the preseason simply because managers don’t want to chance their studs getting hurt. While a minor league prospect may play through an injury simply because it’s his only chance of making the big leagues, a proven major-league player will likely sit with the same ailment. You must keep a close eye on news reports and local papers for each team to find out the significance of these injuries to key players and whether or not they will suit up each day. You will have an edge over your book the closer you pay attention to injuries in spring training.

Baseball Team Managers

Each manager has his own unique perspective on what he wants to get out of spring training. Some believe the outcomes are irrelevant and are more concerned with keeping players healthy to assure they are ready for the regular season. Others can’t control their competitive nature and, as a result, they will be trying to win every game by any means necessary. Spring training track records can tell you a little more about a manager. There’s a good chance that skippers who have been in the league for a long time are less concerned with outcomes, while new managers who are in their first or second year on the job are looking to win every time they hit the diamond.  Be sure to check up on interviews from managers in the media.

MLB Team Lineups and Pitching

By finding out which players are going to play in each game, you will give yourself the best chance to make an educated guess. This can be difficult because the quality and quantity of the information is nowhere near as good as it is during the regular season. From game to game, these lineups will change drastically as managers try to get as many at-bats as they can for their young players, while also trying to keep their veterans sharp. If you can know which players are going to play you will have a big advantage. Conversely, if you don’t know then you shouldn’t be wagering on the game at all. You can find radio broadcasts for every team in the league. Also be sure to check out team websites and fan forums. Lineups aren’t usually released until shortly before game-time in spring training.


While backing and fading pitchers is a great place to start in the regular season, it’s not very helpful in spring training. Most pitchers are simply looking to get ready for the regular season, so they are not as concerned with results. Don’t make the mistake of relying on pitchers to make your betting decisions. Starters won’t go deep into games early in spring training. Figuring out which relievers are likely going to see time in a given game can be helpful, because then you have a good idea of how strong a team’s staff is going to be for nine innings. A lot of pitchers don’t show off their entire arsenal in preseason, either. Greg Maddux was famous for not throwing a curveball until late in spring training every year.

Motivational Factors

Spring training tends to be an annoyance for veteran players, but young players who are fighting to make the roster will be a lot more motivated. If you can spot teams with more position battles than other teams, then it makes for a pretty solid investment. Finding out the mental make-up of a team is key. You can do this by sorting threw the media for interviews and such that will give you clues on how motivated players are going into a preseason game.

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