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How to Bet On MLB in 2023: NRFI, Props, and Other Best Ways to Wager

Mitchell South

by Mitchell South

Updated Mar 30, 2023 · 9:59 AM PDT

The dog days of summer might seem like a slow time of the year for sports bettors, but not when you’ve got a full slate of MLB betting action on tap.

With each team playing at least 162 regular season games, MLB betting presents a massive volume of wagering opportunities from April to October. Whether you’re wagering on your favorite hometown team or even a club you don’t usually root for, MLB betting makes for some of the most exciting action in the calendar year.

You might be wondering: how do I bet on the MLB? In truth, there are virtually limitless ways to bet on the MLB, but some wagers are admittedly better than others. These ways to wager can be applied at all of the best MLB betting sites available in your region.

Let’s go through some of the best ways to bet on the MLB through the 2023 season.

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How to Bet on MLB in 2023

Betting on the MLB in 2023 is a tremendous choice for sports bettors looking for small wins over the course of a season with a ton of action. Every MLB team plays 162 games in the regular season, giving you the chance to find significant value across the board.

Some of the most simple ways to bet on MLB in 2023 include the following betting markets:

  • Moneyline
  • Runline (Point Spread)
  • Over/Under (Totals)
  • Prop Bets
  • Parlays
  • MLB Futures

Of course, there are other ways to bet on MLB games outside these baseball betting basics. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more in-depth ways you can bet on the MLB in 2023.

NRFI and YRFI Betting

One of the most thrilling ways to bet on MLB action also happens to have a catchy acronym. The NRFI bet, which stands for “No Runs First Inning,” gives you the chance to pad your bankroll after just six outs to start a baseball game.

The flipside is known as the YRFI bet, “Yes Run First Inning.” The first inning is the highest-scoring inning almost every single MLB season, save for this example from 2019, when the third inning stole the crown for most runs. Exceptions aside, some bettors might view the NRFI bet as an underdog when compared to the YRFI bet based on the fact there’s usually so much scoring.

Tracking team trends is a great way to get a better understanding of how likely a NRFI or YRFI might be. These helpful stats from TeamRankings track first inning scored percentage and opponent first inning scored percentage for each team, which can help you get an inside edge on how often a specific team is scoring or allowing a run in the first inning.

Whether you’re a rookie sports bettor or a seasoned sharp, YRFI and NRFI betting makes for some electric action. We recommend using a juicy Barstool Sportsbook promo code for a NRFI bet if you’re eligible.

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HRE Betting

HRE betting in MLB baseball is a wager on whether the total number of hits, runs, and errors in a single game goes over or under a certain value. Most sportsbooks set a requirement that the game must go all 9 innings (8.5 if home team is ahead) for this bet to cash.

The average number of hits, runs, and errors in a game can depend on what team you’re wagering, so tracking team trends is another good strategy here. While this bet is more niche than your typical hits total or run total wager, it can provide some top-notch value for MLB bettors if you do your research.

Check out our baseball betting strategies guide for more tips and tricks on how to strategize your MLB wagers.

First Five Innings

The First Five Innings bet allows you to wager on a variety of different betting types within a five-inning timeframe. Some examples include:

  • First five innings moneyline
  • First five innings run line
  • First five innings totals
  • Will both teams score 1 or more runs in the first five innings?

The First Five Innings wager brings the excitement to a whole new level, as you can start winning bets at the halfway point of the game. This is especially helpful considering some MLB games can take hours to complete, and fans looking for a quicker betting experience will look to this wagering type for faster gratification.

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Some sportsbooks also offer First Three Innings and First Seven Innings markets, giving you a ton of flexibility in the amount of time you want to invest. If you’re looking for a betting market that requires less of a time investment, then this is the way to go.

MLB Prop Betting

There are two main categories when it comes to MLB prop betting: game props and player props. Each has their own set of advantages, but no matter which kind of prop bet you decide to make, this is one of the best wagers for staying locked in with all the action.

How to bet on MLB games is entirely up to you, but game props and player props are extremely engaging choices at your disposal. Baseball is considered a “slow” sport to watch by some, but there’s nothing slow about it when you’re locked in with prop bets.

Before diving into each type, we recommend you use a BetMGM promo code for MLB prop betting, as they have some of the best selection on the market.

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MLB Game Props

From a high level, MLB game props allow you to wager on results during the game separate from the final score. These markets are perfect for padding your bankroll if you believe a certain outcome is likely to occur based on team trends or other research you’ve done.

Some examples of MLB game props include:

  • Winning margin (Texas Rangers win by 1 run, Miami Marlins win by 3 runs, etc.)
  • Will the team that scores first also win the game?
  • Will both teams score 4 or more runs?
  • Will the final score be odd or even?

As you can see, MLB game props give you a ton of wagering options outside the final score of the game. MLB player props take the engagement even further by breaking down outcomes you can wager on to specific players.

MLB Player Props

Making MLB player prop bets is a popular way to wager in 2023, and it will remain that way for quite some time. MLB player props are great for including in a parlay where the performance of an individual player would have a significant impact on the outcome of the game.

For example, if you bet a strikeout prop on Shane McClanahan throwing over seven strikeouts, you could tie that into a parlay where the Tampa Bay Rays win the game. Any game where McClanahan throws over seven strikeouts likely results in a Rays win, making it worth the risk to tie it into a parlay.

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan delivering a pitch

Here are a few more examples of MLB player props:

  • Cody Bellinger under 0.5 total bases
  • Corey Seagar over 1.5 bases
  • Giancarlo Stanton over 1.5 hits

Again, MLB player props are a superb way to stay engaged with all the MLB action going on over a 162-game season. This is by far one of the most enjoyable ways to bet on MLB games in 2023.

Other Ways to Bet on MLB

The ways to bet on MLB baseball in 2023 mentioned above are a bit more nuanced, however, they do provide a higher level of excitement compared to more traditional wagers. However, simplicity isn’t always a bad thing, so here are a few more basic ways to bet on MLB games this year:

  • Futures
  • MLB Underdogs
  • MLB Parlays
  • Moneyline, Runline, and Totals

If you’re looking for the latest odds on your favorite MLB clubs, be sure to investigate our MLB odds page for all the latest lines. And for a better idea on how your futures bets might play out, check out the MLB World Series odds tracker. Finally, if you’re wondering how the public is viewing the MLB betting market, make sure you check out our MLB public betting trends page.

Metrics to Know For Betting On MLB in 2023

Last but not least, lets quickly run through some advanced metrics you should be aware of before putting any money down on MLB games in 2023.

Pythagorean MLB Wins

What it is: Pythagorean winning percentage attempts to determine the number of games a team should have won based on total runs scored vs. total runs allowed.

Formula: Per MLB.com, the formula is (runs scored ^ 2) / [(runs scored ^ 2) + (runs allowed ^ 2)], and it attempts to predict a team’s performance in future games.

Uses in betting: Futures bets, moneyline wagers.

wRC (Weighted Runs Created) and wRC+

What it is: The Weighted Runs Created (wRC) and Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) metrics are used to determine an individual player’s offensive value and that’s player’s offensive value adjusted for external factors like the ballpark they’re playing in.

Formula: Per MLB.com, the wRC+ formula is league runs per PA) + (league runs per PA – ballpark factor x league runs per PA) / league wRC per plate appearance, not including pitchers)) x 100.

Uses in betting: Player props, futures bets, HRE betting, game props.

FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and xFIP

What it is: Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) and Expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP) is a more advanced way of looking at ERA. FIP focuses on outcomes the pitcher has control over i.e., strikeouts, unintentional walks, hit-by-pitches, and home runs.

The only difference with xFIP is that is uses a home-run projection for a pitcher as opposed to the actual number of home runs allowed.

Formula: Per MLB.com, the formula for FIP is ((HR x 13) + (3 x (BB + HBP)) – (2 x K)) / IP + FIP constant. The formula for xFIP is ((Fly balls / league average rate of HR per fly ball x 13) + (3 x (BB + HBP)) – (2 x K)) / IP + FIP constant.

Uses in betting: Strikeout player props, futures betting, HRE betting, game props.

These are just some of the ways these MLB metrics could be used to improve your wagers during the 2023 MLB season. For more ways to get the best bang for your buck on MLB betting in 2023, give our Caesars Sportsbook promo code page a quick scan.

Otherwise, enjoy the rest of the MLB betting action this summer. There’s certainly no shortage of opportunity when you’re wagering on America’s favorite pastime.

MLB Betting FAQs

Still wondering how to bet on the MLB in 2023? Take a look at these answers to FAQs surrounding how to bet on the MLB.

What is the best way to bet on MLB in 2023?

The best way to bet on MLB in 2023 can be as simple or in-depth as you'd like. Basic options like moneyline and runline are always a great choice, but trendy betting markets like NRFI also present strong opportunities. Always wager responsibly when betting on MLB.

What strategies can sharp bettors use to maximize their profits when betting on the First Five Innings market in MLB games?

Some strategies sharp bettors can use to maximize First Five Inning MLB betting profits include deep research on starting pitchers, investigating players with strong OBP and SLG stats in the batting order, and taking a close look at recent trends.

In the 2023 MLB season, which player prop bets are most likely to offer value and potential for profit, and how can bettors identify these opportunities?

When betting on the MLB in 2023, the player prop bets offering the most value and potential profits include season-long props, winning margin, and NRFI or YRFI wagers.

How can advanced analytics help sharp bettors find the best opportunities in MLB Player Props for the 2023 season?

Advanced analytics play a huge part in helping sharp bettors find the best opportunities in MLB player props for the 2023 season. Analytics like Pythagorean MLB wins, wRC, and FIP set the sharp bettors apart from the rookies.

What are some unique ways to approach betting on MLB in 2023, such as combining NRFI and YRFI betting with traditional markets, to create profitable betting strategies?

There are many unique ways to approach betting on MLB games in 2023. Combining NRFI or YRFI into a parlay with other traditional betting market is a popular way to find value when betting on the MLB.

How can bettors use historical data and trends to identify the most profitable opportunities in NRFI and YRFI betting for the 2023 MLB season?

Using a combination of historical data and trends in combination with current MLB public betting trends is a great way to identify the most profitable NRFI and YRFI opportunities for MLB betting in 2023.

What are some key factors to consider when analyzing starting pitchers for First Five Innings bets, and how can this information be used to create a successful betting strategy?

Looking at key pitching stat lines like ERA, WHIP, and total innings pitched is crucial to MLB First Five Inning wagering. Doing deep research is crucial to successfully betting on MLB in 2023.

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