Major League Baseball (MLB) is the highest level of baseball that you can play in the world. The professional baseball league is comprised of 30 baseball teams (29 in the USA & 1 in Canada). The American League and National League used to operate as separate entities until the year 2000 when the two leagues merged to form MLB. Currently there are a total of 14 teams in the American League and 16 teams in the National League, but that’s going to change by the 2013 MLB season.
MLB American League Teams
• AL East – New York Yankees – Boston Red Sox – Toronto Blue Jays – Tampa Bay Rays – Baltimore Orioles
• AL Central – Detroit Tigers – Chicago White Sox – Cleveland Indians – Kansas City Royals – Minnesota Twins
• AL West – Seattle Mariners – Texas Rangers – Oakland Athletics – LA Angels
MLB National League Teams
• NL East – Washington Nationals – New York Mets – Atlanta Braves – Philadelphia Phillies – Miami Marlins
• NL Central – St. Louis Cardinals – Cincinnati Reds – Milwaukee Brewers – Pittsburgh Pirates – Chicago Cubs – (Houston Astros)
• NL West – LA Dodgers – Arizona Diamondbacks – Colorado Rockies – San Francisco Giants – San Diego Padres
At the start of the 2013 MLB season there is going to be a minor realignment in the divisions. The Houston Astros are going to be moved to the AL West Division, which will make each division even in terms of the number of teams. This move has been waiting to happen for awhile now and it was finally finalized in 2011. Teams will be able to play a more balanced schedule and each of the MLB divisions will have an even number of 5 teams apiece, which makes it as fair as possible with the current structure.
MLB Spring Training
Spring training starts in February for most teams although most fans are unaware of that. Spring training games don’t begin until closer to the start of the regular season. The main concern of every team during spring training is evaluating talent and ensuring their star players aren’t lose to a silly injury before the start of the season. You can bet on spring training games, but we advise our visitors to wait until the regular season, which offers months of betting action.
MLB Regular Season
The MLB regular season starts at the beginning of April and lasts until the beginning of October. Every team in MLB plays a total of 162 games during the regular season, which is way more games than other professional sports. During the season teams will typically play games 6 out of 7 days a week. As the season progresses many teams will struggle will depth issues, injuries and plenty of other concerns that affect baseball handicappers.
In order to limit how much a team needs to travel during the regular season most teams play a series of 3 games against another team either at home or on the road. Some series are 2-4 games and in some cases 1-5 games, but most series are 3 games and you can even bet on series bets instead of single games if you prefer that type of betting. At the end of the long and gruelling MLB regular season five teams from each of the two leagues make it to the MLB playoffs, which we’ll explain below.
The MLB playoffs format has just changed this year, so you may be wondering why there is an extra single elimination round in the playoffs at the end of this season. With the new MLB playoff format a total of 10 teams will make the playoffs with 5 from each of the two leagues advancing. The six division winners receive the top 3 seeds in each league and now two wild card teams from the AL plus NL will also advance to the postseason.
Each of the division winners automatically receives a bid in the 2nd round of the MLB playoffs. The division winners receive the #1, #2 and #3 seed in the NL plus AL. To determine the seeding the teams’ overall records are used. Two other teams from each of the leagues will receive a wild card spot in the playoffs (#4 & #5 Seed) starting this year (2012). The two wild card teams in each of the leagues will play a single elimination game to determine who moves onto the 2nd round.
In the 2nd round of the playoffs the #1 seed plays the #4 seed and the #2 seed plays the #3 seed. During the 2nd round of the MLB playoffs the series is a best of 5 games. The AL Championship and NL Championship (3rd Round) is a best of 7 games series between the winners of the Divisional Series. The AL and NL Champions will meet in the final round of the MLB playoffs known as the World Series, which is also a best of 7 series.
MLB World Series
The World Series attracts millions of viewers from countries all over the world and is one of the most popular events in the world. Home field advantage for the 1st 3 playoff rounds is determined by seeding, but in the World Series home field advantage is determined by the league that won the All-Star Game that year. One good thing about this rule is that the All-Star Game is typically very competitive compared to other popular US sports.
The MLB season is extremely long and that’s why many handicappers have started to bet on baseball. Baseball may not be the most entertaining sport to watch in the world, but there are lots of betting opportunities. As you can see the MLB season lasts from April until the end of October typically, which means you have months to make money betting on baseball. You need to be consistent and make sure you limit your plays everyday to ensure a bad streak doesn’t wipe out your entire bankroll.