The best guide for run line betting in professional baseball
Betting on professional baseball is one of the most exciting activities that you can do. The sport in itself is thrilling but when you bet on the games, the viewing experience becomes even better. The run line is one of the most crucial parts of the baseball betting scene which we will get into.
When it comes to professional baseball, the MLB is arguably the best league to bet on because it has the best players in the world but you can still have different choices as well.
Leagues like Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, the Colombian Professional Baseball League, and many more are seen as top-tier competitions too. If you want to bet on baseball, you will have a plethora of options to choose from. While you bet on those leagues, you will most likely encounter the baseball betting run line, this will be a crucial part of your experience which is why we need to dive further into the mechanics.
What is MLB run line betting?
Point spreads are a fundamental part of the sports betting market. Baseball had point spreads in the past but they are not referred to like that anymore. They are now classified as the runline which is a bet that requires a team to win or lose by a certain margin.
For example, if the Los Angeles Dodgers have -1.5 odds, they will be the favourite to win by a margin of more than 1.5 points. If they only win by one point, the bet on the Dodgers will be four nought because that is classified as a loss. The Dodgers have to win by more than 1.5 points because that was the runline.
You should not be confused with runline and moneyline because the latter is more focused on the result rather than the point differentials. If a moneyline bet is on a certain team, the only factors that will be recognised are either the win or the loss. You should also consider that the moneyline will be more focused on the value of what you can win on the bet rather than what can happen in the event with the added context of the runline numbers.
Since baseball is not a high-scoring sport like basketball or American football, the runline works differently from the point spreads of those sports. The variety is much smaller in runline because of the low-scoring games that you can see in any professional baseball game. The runlines that you will typically see will be either 1.0 or 1.5 runs and if the number is larger, you can expect that one team is heavily favoured over the other.
Research before you make your runline bets
When you make your bets, you should always look at the context behind the numbers that you are betting on. You will most likely see the usual 1.0 or 1.5 runs but those numbers can mislead you at times. There are matchups that look close but when you look at their recent games and head-to-head matchups, you should favour a certain team over the other.
Think of a game between the 2021 versions of the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers. The MLB run line betting platforms would've said that it was a close matchup with a runline of around 1.5 but that should not be the case when you look into the context. The Rays were a much better team during that season and the Rangers were one of the worst teams in the league.
Don’t let yourself be convinced that the numbers tell the whole story, you should watch the games while also reading about how a team plays. Some players can have breakout performances but they can also have lacklustre games where they don’t perform well as expected.
You should look at the teams and players who are performing because they will have their tendencies with their batting, pitching, running, and many more. Those are the factors that you should look for because that will be the key to betting success rather than just solely relying on the numbers to carry you to victory. You need to strike the right balance so there won’t be an issue moving forward.
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Find the players who can make an impact on the MLB runline odds
You will most likely learn about certain players during your time researching the MLB because they will be crucial in determining the result of any game. There are many amazing players out there in the MLB and you can take advantage of their skills by betting on their team. In the early 2020s, there have been some special players who can be considered as the prototypes for your runline betting in the long term.
Here are some of those players who can be considered game-changers.
• Shohei Ohtani - The 2021 American League MVP is one of the most talented players in baseball history. He is dubbed a ‘double threat’ because he can play as both a pitcher and a batter at an elite level. He is the prototype for the double threat moving forward.
• Clayton Kershaw - As one of the premier pitchers over the 2010s and early-2020s, Kershaw is one of the best prototypes that you can look into. When you see a professional player like Kershaw, you should expect that they will perform to the best of their ability to carry the team towards victory.
• Fernando Tatís Jr. - Powerful batters are important to your runline betting because they will be the ones who will help you move forward with your bets. Make sure that you have powerful batters like Tatís because he can serve as the foundation for a bet.
Do not forget to check the news before betting
When you are making runline bets, you should always be aware of the latest happenings in the baseball world. You should be on top of the recent reports because the MLB run line odds can change with the news. This can range from a certain team making big trades with another team or major injuries. The latter is a huge and inevitable issue that happens in baseball, especially, when it comes to long-term injuries concerning the elbow.
Here are some examples of some news changing how certain teams perform.
Major injuries that were huge factors in runline betting
• Mike Trout - When the Los Angeles Angels were finally primed to make the playoffs, their superstar Trout suffered a calf strain that took him out for the rest of the 2021 season. This has been a long-running issue for the Angels because Trout is one of the best baseball players of the past few decades as evidenced by his three MVP honours. However, he always suffers injuries that play a factor in the Angels’ performances on the field and in the runline betting market.
• Dustin Pedroia - As a two-time World Series champion with the Boston Red Sox, Pedroia is a star who retired way too soon. He was a superstar second baseman which led him to win four Gold Glove awards and the AL MVP back in 2008. However, he was derailed by a knee injury in the 2017 season which ultimately derailed his career. The Red Sox was still successful but Pedroia’s exit was a significant shift in the runline betting for the 2017 season.
• David Wright - During his 15-year career, Wright was a solid player for the New York Mets. The team was happy with him as a focal point in the lineup which was headlined by his two Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. However, the latter half of his career was plagued by spinal stenosis which was the reason behind his retirement. The Mets were dealt a big blow with Wright’s exit and it was reflected in the runline betting markets back in the 2015 season and the following years.
Trades that played a huge role in runline betting
• Mookie Betts to the LA Dodgers - While there were many pieces in the trade, Betts moving to the Dodgers after a World Series win just two years prior with the Red Sox was huge. This was immediately effective because Betts managed to help the Dodgers in the runline betting market. He led the Dodgers to a World Series title in his first year with the club in 2020.
• Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros - After 12 years with the Detroit Tigers, Verlander was traded to Houston during the 2017 trade deadline. The Astros changed their fortunes forever with this deal because Verlander became a crucial cog in the system. This affected the Astros’ performance all around including the runline.
• Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees - In 2017, the Miami Marlins made a questionable move by trading Stanton. He has since become the Yankees' biggest star and he has been the main reason why they have been strong in the runline.
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Checking teams’ momentum is crucial to runline betting success
As you can see in different sports, momentum is a huge factor in betting. If a team is thriving as of late, you should expect them to be strong in the runline. When there is a winning streak, you can expect that the runline will favour the team that has good momentum. This is an important concept for you to grasp because if you know this, you will most likely win your bets.
Think of a team like the Dodgers going on a huge winning streak, it is challenging to bet against the runline. If they have a +2.5 runline, you can legitimately bet on that because you know that they have been winning their games.
However, you should not only look at their winning streak because you should also know how and why they have been winning their games. Look into what has made them successful as of late so you can grasp the winning factors.
Apart from winning streaks, some teams can suffer consecutive losses which will also play a huge role in the runline. There will be lesser-performing teams that will have a huge deficiency in the runline but you should never ignore the possibility to pull off surprises that will pay off huge for bettors.
What are the alternate run line odds?
You might be already aware of the traditional runline but you should also look at the alternate versions. The usual runline will allow bettors to reduce how high they are on the favourite but on the other hand, the first kind of alternate runline odds will involve teams winning by a larger margin than before. This will happen because certain teams will have an overwhelming advantage like the 2021 iterations of the Rays and Tigers example that we talked about before.
There is a second type of runline which involves flipping the traditional runline leading to the underdog getting the advantage. If you see a -1.5 underdog, they will be considered in this alternate runline. This type will be best used when dealing with teams that have been overlooked. You will have to do your research before making your bets because they are the key to winning your wagers.
Take calculated big swings
When you are making your bets, you should know when to make the big swings. However, you should not make them without thinking about the context because that will prove to be your downfall. You should calculate your moves properly and then you will profit from the rewards.
This can be done by researching the teams that are playing because they can turn out to be underdogs that can pull off surprises. The favourites can also be playing badly in recent games and their odds of winning can be a misleading notion because they haven’t considered a bad recent run of form.
There are a few teams that can be considered contenders in any league like the MLB or NPB. You should always know that those teams are not infallible because they can lose too. The MLB season itself involves teams playing 162 games a year which means that it’s inevitable that underdogs can win. When you consider this, you should know when to take the big swings because you have all of the information available in your hands.
Watch the games intently
While this might seem like a simple tip, watching games can help you learn more deeply about the sport. The matchups are important because you will know how their playstyles clash and how it affects your bets. You can’t see that in just the stats because you are just reading the numerical values of what happened. Even if you read game reports, it is hard to see the intensity that teams love to play with.
Absorbing the information that you see in the games is important for you to win your runline bets.
Maximise the baseball experience
When you make your bet on Sportsbet.io, you will have many betting markets available to you. Runline betting is one of the focal points of the baseball betting world and it has been awesome to see it fully develop. Since you’re already on this platform, you should have fun with your wagers.
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Words: Cholo Martin
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