It’s a sport that can trace its roots back to 18th century England but, baseball as we know it in the modern day, enjoyed greater development in the United States. It’s now played all over the world but the US remains the hub of the sport with Major League Baseball (MLB) at its heart. The game is a complex one with many intricate rules. Nine men are involved on each side and, while one bats, the other takes to the field. The pitcher gets things underway by delivering the ball to the batter whose ultimate goal is to score runs. At the end of the game, the team with the highest number of runs will win. Clearly that’s a very simplified set of rules but it will help anyone who is new to baseball to understand the game. To delve deeper, it’s a good idea to simply watch some matches and see how the action unfolds.
The Big League
Major League Baseball (MLB) is the elite level of the sport and this is the division that fans and bettors alike tend to focus upon. Founded in 1903, MLB will generally showcase the best players and teams and, while the entry is restricted to franchises in North America, those sides battle it out for the ‘World Series.’
The current format of MLB allows for 30 teams with 29 sides from the United States joined by the Toronto Blue Jays from Canada. It’s a long and gruelling campaign which begins with a regular season where each team plays no fewer than 162 matches.
At the end of that sequence, the best performing franchises progress to the playoffs and, ultimately, the aim is to qualify for the season-ending World Series.
Casual observers may feel that there is no real interest in baseball among Australians but this isn’t necessarily true. The big divisions have a huge following across the globe and the Australian national team has actually enjoyed some success on a major stage.
Baseball at the Summer Olympics
Australia’s baseball side took the silver medal at the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens. This was a great achievement for the nation and it underlines that the sport does have a devoted following here.
Baseball has been played on a sporadic basis at the Olympics after first appearing as a demonstration sport in 1904. It returned to demonstrate its qualities on a number of follow up occasions but it wasn’t taken on as a full sport until the Barcelona games in 1992. Even then, the IOC didn’t seem convinced as baseball was dropped after Beijing in 2008 but it will return for Tokyo in 2021.
In its brief Olympic history, five gold medals have been contested up to this point with Cuba winning three of those titles. The remaining two golds have been shared by the United States and South Korea and these statistics underline the fact that baseball is very much a global sport.
Other Main Events
Baseball is played across the globe and it has a particularly strong following in Asia. South Korea won baseball’s first ever Olympic Gold Medal at Barcelona in 1992 and the elite level of competition here is the KBO League. Japan offers another stronghold for the sport and the Nippon Professional League is the major competition within the country.
As we have just seen, Cuba are the most successful nation as far as baseball at the Olympics is concerned. The sport is played solely on an amateur basis here and that goes some way towards explaining their success on the big stage. The Serie Nacional is the major domestic competition within Cuba.
International events also take place so, while the MLB provides that obvious focal point, there is much to enjoy from all parts of the globe.
Betting on and Watching Live Baseball
We mentioned at the start of this review that it’s a good idea to watch some baseball if you are new to the sport and you can do that here at Unibet. Live streaming is provided by Unibet TV which is available to all of our customers and there is no subscription required. As long as you have funds in your sportsbook account or, you have placed a cash wager within the preceding 24 hours, you can access the feed with no specific fees.
High quality graphics add to the experience and Unibet TV can be viewed via desktop, laptop or any mobile device. If betting in the live markets, remember that the stream also updates odds in real time which is a huge bonus for those looking to take the best odds at just the right moment.
In terms of available betting markets, there are many options to consider both ahead of and during the season. For a huge league such as MLB, the outright world series betting will appear well in advance of the first pitch and the market will remain in place until the winners have been decided.
Match betting begins when the campaigns get underway and there will be moneyline odds for all major competitions. Wins for either side are on the line while handicap betting offers an interesting twist where teams can be given a notional head start in return for enhanced odds.
Prop bets including total points and winning margin will appear to complete the package so, for the best in baseball betting combined with a great viewing experience, stick with us here at Unibet.