It’s hard to get out of the comfort zone of making traditional MLB bets, but an alternative gaining popularity over the years is fantasy baseball wagering. For years, bettors have shied away from getting involved in fantasy baseball wagering for several reasons — mainly because of the commitment it requires to manage a team. However, websites like FanDuel and DraftKings have taken away the long-term commitment and offer bettors the option of playing in weekly contests with the chance to cash in on some big prizes.

Best Online Fantasy MLB Leagues

Signing up for either of the websites is quick and painless. All that’s required is a registered email and a strong password to secure your account. From there you can make your first deposit and start playing on a weekly basis against strangers or create a comprehensive league and invite all your friends to play against.

Both FanDuel and DraftKings accept all forms of payment, including Visa and MasterCard. They’re also PayPal friendly companies.

Other websites that offer free services include Yahoo! Sports and ESPN — both which have been around for years and have built reputations for having strong fantasy league formats. Fantrax — a league that continues to grow in popularity — is another fantasy baseball option, however it charges to use its services. 

Tracking your team’s progress and setting lineups on a daily basis is simple using any of the league’s smartphone applications. 

How To Win Fantasy MLB

Betting on baseball has never been easier, whether it’s a money line, over/under or prop wager. But even traditional bettors are trying their hand at playing fantasy baseball.

The best way to get your feet wet is join a public league and get accustomed to the settings, different draft types and scoring formats.

FanDuel and DraftKings make it easy for sceptical bettors to play weekly contests without committing long term. However, dedicated fantasy managers make the fantasy baseball season a full-time job.

First, figure out what type of scoring system you want to get involved in. A head-to-head point-based league requires less time to decipher how the scoring works. Then there’s a rotisserie-based league, which is most common in many fantasy baseball competitions. 

There are multiple draft types to consider before joining a fantasy baseball league. A standard snake draft is the most common but more complex managers are opting for an auction draft where users start with a salary cap and bid on players — a process that can be more time consuming and require much more homework.

Have a game plan going into the draft. You’ll usually have a good idea of who will fall in your lap based on where you’re selecting in the opening round. While having the No. 1 over pick can be rewarding, it also requires making a tough decision on whether to draft the best pitcher or top slugger.

You can never go wrong by picking a pitcher in the first round and what better hurler than Los Angles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who is consistently among the NL leaders in wins and strikeouts. If you’re opting to take the best hitter, look no further than Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout — a consistent .300 hitter who can hammer 30-plus home run per season.

Saves is a key stat to focus on during a draft. While it’s easy to stock up on players that will get you home runs or wins, building a strong bullpen can be the deciding factor for a fantasy baseball championship. 

Orioles stopper Zach Britton may be the best closer in the MLB after going 47-for-47 in save situations.

Fantasy baseball will never trump traditional MLB wagering, however it continues to make strides and break barriers that old-school bettors could never get around.