Betting on the runline in baseball can be risky, which is why SBR handicapper Dave Lawrence has decided to highlight the 4 teams which were the best bets of this style during the first half of 2014.
The Major League Baseball season has hit the All-Star break, which means it’s time for review. Runline betting is often considered risky because you have to lay an extra run to get the job done if you’re betting the favorite or take an extra run and give up the odds if you’re betting the dog. However, the following four teams were great baseball picks in the first half when it comes to runlines, so keep them in mind for the second half.
New York Mets
Runline Record: 57-38
The Mets were written off as a team that was supposed to be rebuilding in 2014 but they’ve in fact held their own. Their sitting at 45-50, which is respectable considering they were supposed to be one of the worst teams in the league. They’ve been uber-competitive in their games and since they’ve been an underdog on most nights, they’re getting the +1.5 on the runlines as potential sports picks. They’ve played 33 one-run games, which is the main source of their runline wins but they’ve also won a number of their games by two or more thanks to their pitching staff, which is ranked 10th in the Majors with a 3.50 ERA.
Runline Record: 54-41
Speaking of team ERA, that’s one of the main reasons why the Mariners are on this list. This team has surprised from all angles as they were thought to be rebuilding. As a matter of fact, the signing of Robinson Cano was mocked in many circles as people just assumed they were overpaying for a player who would never duplicate his previous success.
As it turns out, the Mariners have put things together pretty quickly. Their team ERA is third-best in the big leagues (3.16) and they’ve played in 25 one-run games. That’s what gets them in second on this list.
Kansas City Royals
Runline Record: 53-41
The Royals entered the 2014 with high expectations after finishing up 2013 strong. They’ve delivered as they sit in second place in the American League Central at the All-Star break. They’ve been a solid runline play based on their pitching more than anything else. Their hitting has left much to be desired as they’re last in the AL in walks and home runs by a big margin. However, their pitching has delivered with a team ERA of 3.78 and the starters are at 3.57. The bullpen has been particularly lights out with closer Greg Holland heading to his second straight All-Star game. Pitching is why they’re in third place as far as runlines go.
Los Angeles Angels
Runline Record: 53-41
The Angels have been a stellar runline play as only 11 of their 57 wins have come by exactly one run. That means that if they’re winning games, which they’ve done quite a bit this season, there’s an 81% chance they’re going to win by two or more. If you’re a runline bettor, you have to be happy with those MLB odds.
The main reason the Angeles are so strong in this category is because their offense has been prolific. They lead the MLB in runs scored and RBI’s, and lead the AL in total bases.