MLB First 5 Innings Betting Report
If you’re familiar with MLB betting, then you’re also all too familiar with seeing a team you bet on cruise for the first six or seven innings of a game, only to watch helplessly as the bullpen comes in and begins to self-destruct, taking your winning wager down with it.
This happens every day for MLB bettors, and is one of the primary reasons why betting on baseball is seemingly more difficult than other sports.
But what if you wanted to bet on baseball without the traumatic experience of Fernando Rodney sending your four-team parlay into the upper deck?
(This may have happened a few times to the author of this article.)
For many bettors, the answer is betting on the first five innings of a baseball game instead of the full nine innings, theoretically allowing bettors to avoid bullpens entirely and bet on just half the game when whomever was starting the game, should still be in said game.
In betting circles, this methodology of betting is more commonly referred to as “F5 betting” for short.
Think of betting the first five innings of a MLB game in the same manner you may bet on the first-half of a NBA or NFL game.
How Does First Five Innings Betting Work?
The first five innings betting methodology could not be any easier to figure out.
Instead of betting on the end result of a full-game, you’re betting on the end result of a games standing after the first five-innings of the game have been recorded.
F5 betting works identically to full-game betting every other way.
Just like with full-game betting, F5 betting will allow you to bet on the moneyline, total and a run-line.
Only instead of the standard +/-1.5 run-line you would be accustomed to seeing on a full-game wager, the run-line for a F5 innings bet is always going to be set at +/-0.5 runs.
The value of a first five innings bet will generally not be as good as the value you would get on a full-game wager because there’s less-risk involved when you eliminate the bullpen, however properly utilizing this methodology of betting can lead to many profitable days and weeks in the given season.
Why Should You Bet On the First Five Innings Instead of the Full Game?
Like with any betting methodology, there are pros and cons to betting the first five innings of a baseball game.
Typically though, the most common reason to bet on half the game as opposed to the entire game, is that this tends to benefit the teams that have a decisive edge with starting pitching, even more so when their strong starting pitching is paired with a shaky bullpen.
In theory, a team with a quality starter on the mound should still have that starter on the mound heading into the beginning of the 6th inning.
Obviously if this is not the case, one can presume that if you were backing the pitcher that’s no longer in the game come the 6th inning that the F5 innings bet you made probably didn’t pan out well either. But this is typically why people elect to bet on just an abbreviated portion of the game.
Teams with weaker bullpens than others are also a good indicator of how you should approach betting on the game.
As the season progresses, you will easily begin to identify the teams that have good bullpens and bad ones. The teams with bad bullpen play are the ones you will want to be extra-cautious with in betting over the course of a full-game.
Using F5 Innings Data to Aid Live-Betting
As you peel back more and more layers of the onion, you may begin to notice trends in the data.
We touched upon how bad bullpen play can not only single-handedly destroy your bet, but can also dictate the type of MLB wager you elect to go with. However, what if we took that data to an additional step and started to use this to make sensible live bets?
For example, if we knew that the San Francisco Giants bullpen has been a leaky faucet when trying to finish out games, and the Giants happened to be carrying a lead into the latter parts of the game against the Dodgers, we could then assume that the bullpen will leave the door open for a comeback victory and make a live bet on the Dodgers at a number that is likely going to be better than the opening line.
If a game were sitting under the original total and you knew it was about to become a bullpen battle where each teams pen had given up its share of runs during the season, you could use live betting to get a total that’s much lower than the original and hope the data backs you up.
These are just a few small examples of how you can use all this data to your benefit.
Or you can also just cash winning F5 innings tickets all season too, that also works out well.
How the F5 Innings Tables Work
The data in these tables will be based entirely on the results from the first five innings of each matchup during the 2020 MLB Season.
The sportsbook we will use for these reports for consistency’s sake will be DraftKings Sportsbook. There may be instances where the profit made through FanDuel would differ from another sportsbook, but to not add confusion to these tables we will only use the one source.
All profits will be based on a hypothetical bettor only betting in units of $100. This remains the case whether or not the juice on a F5 moneyline or total is higher than the standard -110. This is why you may see a team with a great win-loss record in the standings for the below statistics, but they may have been heavily favored in many of their wins, lowering their end profit.
Lastly and most importantly – just because a team has covered the F5 innings bet in ten straight games doesn’t mean the 11th game will be the same way. You will still need to do your homework and handicap each game on its own accord for this to have its biggest impact.
Many factors can and should be considered before making a bet on any sport, but especially baseball and especially during a frenetic shortened season. Good luck and happy betting!
Editor’s Note: After MLB passed a new rule effective for the 2020 MLB Season to shorten doubleheader games to 7 innings each, some doubleheader matchups will not be lined for F5 innings betting. Most doubleheaders do have odds offered with F5 innings betting, but there are instances where teams will only have full-game odds in these matchups. As a result, the standings may not reflect the full 60-game MLB Schedule for the 2020 MLB Season.
Tables Last Updated 9/4/20, 10:00AM ET
First Five Innings Overall Standings
|Team||F5 Record||Home Record||Road Record||Profit ($100)|
MLB F5 Innings OVER Standings
|Team||F5 Over Record||Home Over Record||Road Over Record||Profit ($100)|
MLB F5 Innings UNDER Standings
|Team||F5 Under Record||Home Under Record||Road Under Record||Profit ($100)|