Can Betting the Baseball Run Lines Work for Me

Approximately 30% of baseball games are decided by one run during the 162 game season. This means around 70% of all games are settled by 2 or more runs. The past 5 years results of each team`s one run games were between 27% to 32% with an average of 30%. Out of 162 games played, each team had a one run game around 48 times (plus or minus 4 games). Each team will play a one run game about 8 to 10 times per month. Betting the baseball run line is a good option if you follow this betting trend.

A good handicapping tool

Tracking this powerful statistic is readily available online through MLB sites or ESPN baseball standings. When you visit the divisional standings of each team, you will see won and lost records at home and away. The expanded standing category lists one run games and extra innings games they have played up to date.

You will see winning percentage, day and night records, grass and turf record and one run game records. By using simple math and division calculations, you can figure the  percentage of one run games each team has played.

Here are sample team calculations and percentages to use for a handicapping tool.

  • Cleveland Indians — W/L 65-52 = 32 divided by 117 games (17-15 one run games) = 27%
  • Houston Astros — W/L 73-46 = 28 divided by 119 games (17-11) = 23%
  • Philadelphia Phillies — W/L 43-75 = 118 games divided by 45 (16-29) = 38%

How do these calculations show a percentage play using the run line. Teams will play in a one run game between 27% and 32% of the time over the 162 game schedule. With about 42 sample games are left in the season. You can see some teams are way below the average 30% and one team is way above the 30% average.

Betting the run line percentages

Those teams playing way below 30% average will play more one run games to get back closer to the average.The team I would not bet on the run line is the Astros. The Astros have 28 one run games for the season. Teams will play an average of 48 one run games a year (plus or minus 4 games). The Astros are due for about 20 one run games to finish the season in the example above.

The Astros will play in one run games about 20 times over the remaining 43 games. Not a good percentage play if you are laying the -1.5 runs. The Cleveland Indians are in the 27% spot and close to 30% average.

Other examples are the NY Yankees, who are playing around 29% to 32% one run games for the season, will probably play around 12 one run games out of the 40 games left. That means 28 games out of the 40 games will be won by 2 or more runs — a 70% edge if you pick the winning team and lay the 1.5 runs.

Reverse or alternate run lines

The alternate run lines can be very profitable by laying -1.5 runs on each team and look for a 2 plus run final score from either team. It does not matter who wins since you collect the run line at plus and lose the other run line with no vig — example of -1.5 at +140 winner minus the 100 losing vig equals a $40 profit.

Profits will go higher if the underdog alternate run line is the winner. The one team higher than all the others is the Philadelphia Phillies at 38% one run games for the season. These kinds of overlays give you a decided advantage. The Phillies have played in 45 one run games (16-29) with 40 games left. They are way above average for one run games (30%) and probably will play a lot of 2 plus run games over the next 40 games.

The Phillies or their opponents will win by 2 plus run games about 30 to 35 times out of 40 games left. Unless the Phillies are way above season average, you can safely bet the -1.5 run line with or against the Phillies. You can bet both -1.5 run lines on each team and win if not a 1 run game.

Bad betting habits are a losing proposition. They stick to your mental thought process and stay around to obscure your clear thinking. Keeping costly habits in perspective saves money. Your MLB, NFL, NBA and other sports betting picks should be based on betting trends, basic betting rules and not guessing with your money at stake.

“Old habits die hard” the saying goes — and how true with baseball betting systems.

Bad baseball habits that most amateur bettors use over and over makes it impossible to win on a consistent basis. They work sometimes in your favor but are not a standard handicapping tool. Stop betting too many favorites. Getting stuck on the favorites is a typical bad betting habit. Betting MLB picks at -180 or -200 will deplete your bankroll over the long run. Eliminating this habit will save you a lot of juice on the moneyline.

Losing baseball teams do win around 40% of their games over the long season. Top team favorites win about 60% of their games. Making money betting favorites happens in the short run when teams win 5 or 6 games in a row but losing betting trends can follow if you assume too much. Online database systems are a good tracking tool for following baseball betting trends.

Baseball is a game of streaks. The worst teams in the league do win 3 or 4 games in a row as a nice dog. One of the biggest habitual mistakes is playing the “due factor”. This habitual tendency is to bet against the winning streak to continue. Staying on a winning streak is the best way to insure profits. Bad teams can win 10 out of 12 games before they level off and their record stays below .500 %. There are betting trends to follow for your MLB picks. There are more betting trends in MLB than other sports because of the long season.

When top teams lose 3 in a row, do not assume they are due to win their next game.

The common costly habit of betting the favorite starting pitching too many times will fluctuate back and forth. Losses but cost you the moneyline juice on the favorite. The exception is learning to bet the dog with good starting pitching. Betting the +1.5 runs with a close pitching match-up if you feel the one run game. The starting favorite pitcher usually goes 6 innings so you need to factor in the bullpen. Great pitching can dominate but still lose a close 2 to 1 game.

The costly habit bettors follow is the reputation of an aging starting pitcher who lost some velocity on his fastball. You need to eliminate last years performance and focus on his current form. If you have a big favorite who is struggling over his past few starts, pass on his next start. Another costly mistake is the attraction the public feels for the high scoring team with a potent lineup. A lot of public bettors assume that scoring runs from star hitters equals wins.

People love homers and runs batted in but it does work both ways. How many times do high scoring teams put up 8 runs and lose. The betting public will bet the big name sluggers and inflate the moneyline. Smart bettors look for this type of value and bet the dog for a nice inflated line in their favor. Getting as high as +200 (2 to 1) can be a value play. Good pitching beats good hitting and great lineups do get beat by effective pitching and sound defense.

Profit from baseball schedule

One more costly habit to avoid is neglecting the home/away series that all teams go through within their division. Search back to the last series and those previous results will be helpful for the same teams playing each other again. If either team lost in a sweep (happens a lot), they will pay it back with a sweep of their own. Home and away series of 3 to 4 games is unique to baseball and exposes a pattern of play. Be aware of what happened in earlier match-ups. Baseball patterns are very real and are the best  handicapping tools to utilize.

Bad betting habits are a losing proposition. They stick to your mental thought process and stay around to obscure your clear thinking. Keeping costly habits in perspective saves money. Your MLB, NFL, NBA and other sports betting picks should be based on betting trends, basic betting rules and not guessing with your money at stake.

Baseball has some betting patterns which develop over a long season. There are more winning and losing streaks every month by most teams. Weekend sweeps are very common when pitching rotation is in place. Baseball betting strategy has different angles based on dominant pitching (can be a big advantage) and a hot hitting line-up. Relief pitching and other patterns of play that produce winning streaks from 4 to 10 games on average do happen.

MLB patterns of play

A distinctive strategy revolves around the +1.5 run line on the dog and –1.5 run line on favorite. Some bettors look beyond the money line and ask themselves if a match-up is going to be a one run game. The plus money odds laying the -1.5 runs should part of your MLB picks. A distinct betting option that pays more than you risk.

Run lines and reverse run lines are a major part of MLB betting trends. Keep track of the one run game statistic and bet the run line when percentages are in your favor. If a team plays 2 or 3 one run games in a row, then a 2 plus run game is due. You have to decide on favorite run line or dog run line. You can bet both ways (say favorite at +140 and dog at +180) and win the plus juice no matter who wins. Remember, a 2 plus run game happens 70% on average over the 162 game season.