Little known fact: Over 29% of all MLB games are decided by a single run! All too often, when we see a team’s moneyline record, it doesn’t necessarily correspond with its record on the run-line, and the differences have the tendency of being quite drastic. Join us today, as we dissect how some of the best teams have done in baseball on the run-line thus far in the 2013 MLB betting campaign.
(Run-Line records and amount of profit based upon a $100 bet listed in parentheses)
Kansas City Royals (8-1, +$765) – This three-game set against the Twins really helped out the Royals this season, as they won all three games as favorites by multiple runs. The team has also already played three one-run games this season, losing two of the three, but that doesn’t matter to us at this point. Kansas City is 6-3 to start off the season, but it hasn’t played a series against what will be a winning team this season in all likelihood. As long as the team keeps finding ways to lose by one run or win though, we’re going to be happy run-line bettors, as the Royals are still going to be underdogs more often than they are favorites.
Oakland Athletics (8-2, +$744) – This is one of those rare cases where the team is doing every bit as well on the run-line as it is doing on the moneyline this season. Of course, what we also have to recognize is the fact that the Athletics are the best ‘over’ team in baseball as well at 9-1, and this is a huge part of the reason why they are the second best run-line team in the game as well. As Oakland wins more games, it will be favored more and more, and we just don’t see how this club is going to continue to average 6.60 runs per game as it has thus far this season. Once that starts to regulate itself, we’ll see a lot more one-run A’s games that bring this percentage down.
Atlanta Braves (6-3, +$540) – And of course, here’s the perk of being favored all the time. The Braves do have two games this season in which they have won the game outright by a single run but have failed to cover the -1.5 run line, but they have been big underdogs at that -1.5 price all season long. Winning six games has netted 9.40 units for those victories, and each of the three losses came at the expense of just 1.00 units. Having a team that has posted a 1.89 ERA through nine games really helps, but what scares us is that the offense only ranks 11th in the league. Eventually, the pitching will regulate itself, and when that happens, the Braves might become a significantly worse run-line team in a hurry.
St. Louis Cardinals (7-2, +$397) – We really have to be careful with the Cards this season. They have been short underdogs quite a bit this year, and that’s why, in spite of the fact that they are just 5-4 with the 10th best money record in the game, they have a 7-2 record and the fourth best profit for run-lines this season. It also helps that the Cardinals just played six games on the West Coast to start the season, as we know that they are going to have a lot greater tendency to lose one-run games out there as they did once against the Giants, as they will playing at home against some of the others in the NL Central.
Los Angeles Angels (5-4, +$36) – We must admit that the Angels aren’t the fifth best run-line team in baseball. In actuality, they are only the 13th ranked run-line team in the game. However, we wanted to use this first edition of our top run-line teams and make a point. The Halos are just 2-7 on the moneyline this season, and they have lost $602 for their bettors. How then, is it possible that they have a profit on the run-line? The second, third, and fourth games of the season that were all lost, were all done so in one-run games. In each of those outings against the Cincinnati Reds (twice) and the Texas Rangers, the Angels were big favorites at +1.5 prices. That’s the value of that spread, folks, and that’s why LA, in spite of that 2-7 SU record, could turn out to be one of the more profitable teams in the game.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.