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Where To Bet MLB Runlines


Picking winners in baseball can be easy and because of that we often see huge money lines on one side or the other. A great starter and a great offense against a bad team can be highly predictable. Favorites might be -150 to -200 so in order to make things more interesting you can bet the the runline.

The runline is similar to a point spread in football or basketball, but it is usually static at 1.5 runs. We’ll get into the reasoning for this later in the article.

Betting runlines can be confusing so in this article we’re going to explain what exactly they are as well as how to bet them, where to bet them and how to win betting runlines. There is a lot to unpack here so let’s get right into it.

Where To Bet MLB Runlines:

America: Bovada has runlines on every game throughout the season and they are always posted early in the day.

Canada: A great place for all MLB betting in Canada is Sports Interaction.

Everywhere Else: Bet365 Sportsbook always has runlines on each day’s MLB games.

What are MLB Runlines?

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Similar to a point spread in the NFL or NBA, the runline is the amount a runs a team will be favored by in the game. While those sports have different lines for every game, the MLB runline is static. Why? Baseball is far more unpredictable and anything can happen on a night-to-night basis. There are just too many variables from the starters to the bullpen and sportsbook have decided to keep the line the same for every game.

The runline is typically +1.5 for the underdog and -1.5 for the favorite. That means that whatever the result, the result needs to be two runs or more if you bet the favorite and less than two runs for the underdog. This is trickier than you’d expect.

However, the sportsbooks do make adjustments on a game to game basis for the odds. A good example would be a game from this past summer when the Red Sox were a -111 favorite at Kansas City. Despite this odds, the Royals were +1.5 (-165) in the runline. This means you would have to bet $165 to win $100. This implies that they are an underdog, but only slightly and there is a good chance this game could be close.

Common MLB Runlines Questions:

How predictable is runline betting?

Very unpredictable.

I pulled up data from the past ten seasons on MLB Runline results and the very best team was the Kansas City Royals at 952-860 which comes out to just 52.5%. The worst team was the St. Louis Cardinals at 880-964 which comes out to 47.7%.

On a yearly basis, things can be a bit better. Last year’s Yankees seemingly blew everyone out in their wins and finished at 98-77 with a 56% cover percentage. While the Giants were just 71-91 for a 43.8% cover percentage.

Going for or against a single team on a nightly basis just isn’t profitable though, you need to take this one game at a time.

Q: Can you live bet run lines in MLB?

Yes you can. Any online sportsbook that offers live betting will have the ability to offer MLB run lines throughout the game. Don’t think you can just bet the Jays -1.5 in the 6th inning when they are up 9-0 though. The MLB runlines in live betting are dynamic lines. The lines and odds will change as the game changes and anything that happens in the game will affect the lines.

What are Alternative MLB Runlines?

Alternative Run Lines in MLB are when you can adjust the line on a team for better or worse odds.

I’m just going to pick a game at random here to show you. Indians are -1.5 at -125 odds against the Pirates at +1.5, with +105 odds.

So that means if you bet the Indians at -1.5, you need the Indians to win by at least 2 to win.

Let’s say you feel extremely confident in the Indians. You can change the run line meaning they have to win by more, but the payout is higher.

Here are the alternate run lines and odds for the Indians in this game:

Indians -2.5: +120.
Indians -3.5: +175
Indians -4.5: +265
Indians -5.5: +340

What if you think the Pirates not only shouldn’t be underdogs, but will hammer the Indians? Then you can do the same on their side of things and get a big price. You could bet:

Pirates -1.5: +300
Pirates -2.5: +425
Pirates -3.5: +600
Pirates -4.5: +750

You can also bet at really ridiculous odds on the other side of things. For example if you thought the Indians might lose but only by 4, you could bet the Indians to win at +4.5. Odds for that are -2000. Not worth it BTW.

What is an Alternative 3-Way Run Line?

This one factors in the push. So you will have 3 options; Indians +1. Tie: +1. Pirates -1. If the difference is 1 run, then the tie +1 comes into play and that would be a win.

How To Bet MLB Runlines:

Bovada: From the sportsbook, select “Baseball” from the menu, then “MLB”. The day’s games should be listed here with the runlines right there on the page.

Sports Interaction:: From the left side of the website find “Baseball” and click that. Underneath there you should find “MLB” and the day’s games will be listed within.

Bet365 Sportsbook: Right from the homepage find “Baseball” then you will see a list of the day’s games with posted runlines.

MLB Runlines Betting Strategy:

Data is your friend. The ideal match-up is something like Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher in the game, against a weak offense and a bad pitcher that his team should hit. When Kershaw is on the mound his team can be a -300 favorite, but the runline stays at 1.5 with a (-130)ish line on it.

A great example would be a Indians vs. Orioles games from June of last season. The Indians had Corey Kluber on the mound who was one of last season’s best pitchers against Dylan Bundy who was in the midst of a rough summer. Cleveland was a -165 favorite and the runline was just -1.5 (-107) and the Indians won 12-0.

Elite starers are your friend. Bad pitchers are your friend. Study the match-ups and look for higher moneylines where the runline is a better value.

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