Despite overall scoring having dropped to little more than 8 runs per game in MLB this season, betting trends on the run line odds have stayed very consistent with years gone by.
At the beginning of August, I authored a MLB handicapping article focusing on run line plays. I recapped the results for the year to date based on the margin of victory for every home and road team. The good news is, that despite scoring dropping to little more than 8 runs per game in MLB this season, the run line numbers have stayed very consistent with years gone by.
Here are the 2 basic things to note when placing MLB picks on run-line odds.
*Home teams have consistently won their games by 2 or more runs (66%) of the time in the last 6 years.
*Away teams have won their games by 2 or more runs an average of (74%) of the time in the last 6 years.
The difference in the percentages, home and away, is a result of the fact that road teams look to score “insurance runs” if leading by a single run in the top of the 9th inning. Correspondingly, many home teams play for a 1-run lead at the end of 8 with the confidence that their bullpen will shut down the opponent in the top of the 9th and they will not have to bat.
With those numbers in the background, I stated that the Dog Days of August are a time in which savvy run line players can make a fortune. The object is to look at super-surgers (those teams with playoff motivation) against towel-tossers (the teams who have little hope to make the promised playoff land). With the road team, having a historically higher percent chance to cover the run line on the road, it only makes sense to look to fade the towel-tossers when they are at home.
Using 5 of the worst teams in the National League as our sample, here is how that situation has played out.
*28-3 … Place MLB picks against Atlanta, Philly, Miami, Milwaukee and Colorado on the run line in games where they are a home underdog.
But wait! This situation was equally successful on the road.
*28-5 … Place MLB picks against the same 5 teams on the run line (Atlanta, Philly, Miami, Milwaukee and Colorado) when they are a road underdog.
*56-8 (87.5%) winners … simply by playing against 5 of the worst teams in the National League when they have taken the field in August of 2015 when they are installed as the underdog.