The RUN-LINE in Baseball...When Is It a Good Bet ??...

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The RUN-LINE in Baseball...When Is It a Good Bet ??...

The truth is, prior to moving to Vegas, I had no clue about the Run-Line, in fact the only time that I ever heard of a point-spread in baseball in my early years, was when Clemens was -300 and rather than allow credit players to take a shot at me I would make him -2runs instead. Then eventually I came out to Vegas and since it was August, baseball was the sport of choice for the "sharps" who employed me and that was my very first encounter with the Run-Line...

Back then, we rarely ever layed it, and in fact I can probably count on 1hand the amount of times we took -1.5runs over my years as a runner as the main wager. Of course the Run-Line gave us the opportunity to scalp at times, but I am refering to using -1.5 as our main bet. Instead I found myself taking +1.5 many times and actually did well with it but then again, back then if the books had their way, from May to Sept, except for the NBA Playoffs, they would have prefered if I left town because in MLB, they stood absolutely no chance of beating us...

Eventually I became friends with many of the other runners, since I saw them more than I saw my own family back then and that was when I first started seeing the positive and negatives associated with Run-Lines...so many times the order would come in to lay -140 on a team and within 30min, it was -175 all across town and since there was no offshore, if you tried to hit your local with it later in the day when they started working...he would probably be using 9 or 11 on the game...I'm sure you remember when MLB lines were offered in that format....so as I sat there awaiting the next order to come in I would get a chance to speak with the others and found out that so many of them were using the RL as a way to avoid the vig when they wanted to get down for themselves...what you need to remember is that our job was to move the play for our boss first, and after that, we were free to do what we wanted for ourselves...

So you can imagine the dilema we each faced each day because we knew the sharp side, but unfortunately couldn't get the sharp number for ourselves...so many of these runners were using the RL as a way to do that and over the years, I saw so many times the look on their faces when the STEAM won by 1 and everyone back at the office was happy, except the people placing the winning wagers.

Eventually as you all know, I went off on my own and began capping my own plays which of course I owe to the education I got working under others and since I was calling the shots, I now had the Run-Line at my disposal and even though I do not use it as much as many capper I know, there still are times when I know its definately the right move to make, and also other times that I see and hear others taking it, and I just know its wrong....so I decided to do a little work...well actually I had one of the guys who helps me do this as a project...and here is what we have found as far as the Run-Line is concerned...

First we found that a single run will win the game 27.8% of the time....but of course that wasn't enough, so I had us all go back in and dig up some details and here is what we've got...

In the last 3yrs, 31.4% of ALL HOME WINS have come by only 1run....and 23.6 % of ALL ROAD WINS have come by 1run....the discrepency is obviously based on the fact that when the game is tied and the home team scores...the game is over, while on the flip-side, the road team can keep on scoring when tied...

From all of our research, another very important fact was discovered...unlike other sports, where home teams win at a much higher rate, in MLB, the HOME TEAM only wins the game about 54% of the time...in the NFL its around 58%, NBA around 60%, and NHL around 63%...so the reason that is so important when discussing the RL is because the oddsmaker will definately be taking that into consideration when making the price...

The other thing we found which was very important is the fact that the Total that is being offered on the game plays a huge role in the price, which is obvious because you should get better compensated when laying -1.5 on a Total of 7, than in one where the Total is 10.5, ...below I will break down the numbers we found for RUN-LINE Results over the past 3+ yrs...

TOTAL        RD TM WINS       HM TM WINS       % RD TM by 1       % HM TM by 1

  7                    41.8 %                    58.2 %                    31%                       38.5 %

  7.5                 43.6 %                    56.4 %                    24%                       36.7 %

  8                    48.5 %                    51.5 %                    28.2 %                   33.1 %

  8.5                 46.6 %                    53.4 %                    23.8 %                   30.5 %

  9                    45.5 %                    54.5 %                    22.2 %                    30.6 %

  9.5                 44.3 %                    55.7 %                    23.8 %                    30.8 %

  10                  49.4 %                    50.6 %                    26.2 %                    27.7 %

  10.5               43.4 %                    56.6 %                    20.3 %                    27.4 %

  11                  43.7 %                    56.3 %                    20.3 %                    31.5 %

These are the figures for RUN-LINES in MLB over the past 3+ yrs and because they have remained consistant, I feel we have enough of a sample to draw many different conclusions to help us best determine whether or not, when we break down the price being offered, and compare the likelyhood of a particular outcome....whether or not applying the RL will prove to show us a better return over time than going ahead and laying the ML and swallowing the vig....because if you remember and I feel that I should make a Blog Post about this topic...you can actually lay -200 and still have value...there is no law that value only exists in Dogs...that is another one of those bettors misconceptions that I am always refering to....

I hope that this helps you a bit through the next couple of months of the MLB Season and I am sure that this is a topic that can definately get a lot more coverage because as sports betting continued to grow and hit the mainstream like poker has...you will see a lot of people trying to take advantage of the RL without fully knowing the details and instead, only concerned with the pretty price its offering...and as that happens, remember, the oddsmakers will have to adjust to compensate....kind of like the pros at the poker tables had to do for all the new "dead money" that was entering tournaments...and as sharp and successful bettors...we will be able to take full advantage of it because unlike the masses, we have forced ourselves to learn whether or not value is actually present....Please feel free to add your thoughts to this post because maybe we can expand on this subject much more over the next few weeks, and I am also very eager to find out how many of you use the RUN-LINE....best of luck, Vegas-Runner...

  • Fascinating.  Thanks for all the work.  I never thought to break 1 run statistics down into home and away.  Since, however,  the only time we are concerned with 1 run is when laying 1 1/2 runs with the favorite, do you have any statistics for the percentage of times the home favorite wins by exactly 1 run out of all the times the home favorite wins, and the number of times the road favorite wins by 1 run out of all the times the road favorite wins?  

    We would need to take those statistics into consideration to determine the true value of the favorite laying 1 1/2 runs. Numbers which include the underdog would be less accurate for that purpose.

    Again, thanks.for all the work.

  • Thanks for everyone's work here.

  • BUMP, for the new forum members who may have not seen this yet.

  • Damn...I forgot just how much of my Private Notes that I decided to share with everyone...Best of Luck and I hope it is of help, VR

  • Whenever the Red Sox, Cubs, or Brewers are home.

  • at the end of my response vr i left a question on the board  that would further  break down the runline into what i thought would be a more final and imortanat stat.

    i was hoping u would be able to find the time to put together this one final stat. i didnt want to bother you after that with one request after anoher cause i know that ur living 3-4 lives at a time. so i just let it be. but i gotta tell ya ace its been burning a hole in my mind since day one. but since somebody brought this thread back up i thought i'd give it another shot.

    when the total is 9 1/2

    the rd team wins 44.3%

    the hm team wins 55.7%

    check

    and

    the rd team wins by 1 run 23.8%

    the hm team wins by 1 run 30.8%

    check

    and

    the rd team wins by 2 or more runs 20.5%

    the hm team wins by 2 or more runs 24.9%

    check

    and

    the rd favorite wins by 2 or more runs ?% of the time

    the hm favorite wins by 2 or more runs ?% of the time

    hey if u gots thats great, if not well cry'n towels down the hall

  • Excellent subject, very good presentation, and many great responses.

    The RL is one of my passions, and I implement it often because of a strategy of staying as close as possible to the positive side of a bet. Dogs at +1 1/2 plus get my attention, and a second look. If you are looking for some good RL plays, the following situations are where to find some.

    From studying streaks, and sweeps, I have found that when a team is swept on the road, and comes home they are good for a cover at -1 1/2 runs, and at times -2 1/2 runs in their next series. The most recent example was the Nationals beating the Diamondbacks 5-0 in game two of that series. The trick of course is finding the right game to bet on. The one that wins is usually the best pitching match up.

    This past Tuesday on the forum, I wrote a Pound Alert, and started a chase on the Cubs, ML, RL -1 1/2, and

    Alternate RL -2 1/2 after studying their tendencies at Wrigley Field so far season. It exceeded my expectations as the Cubs easily won 7-3, and did so again last night. The Cubs have been swept twice this season, and in their next series they have covered all three lines.

    The team that has impressed me the most this year is the Chicago White Sox. They have been a covering machine at home off of two straight losses, and returning home off a road trip. After losing three straight to the Rays on the road, they returned home, and covered all seven games of the home stand. These guys seem to really hate losing, and come out swinging after a loss.

    The RL is very profitable when breaking it down to favorable situations. The three examples from above are teams coming home off the road after being swept, how they play at home, and respond after losing at home. Of course, there are many more dynamics to explore, and consider.

    To a lesser extent the same is true on the road with the situations being reversed that make great dog plays. A recent example is the Cardinals again from last Tuesday. They were 5-1 going on the road off of a home series, now 6-1. They lost two of three to the Cubs, and playing the Phillies at over +180 dogs, and won 2-0. In June, after being swept at home by the Royals, the Cards traveled to Boston, and won as +163 dogs. The next day they were huge dogs with plenty of value. They won 9-3, at +245, +1 1/2 +120, a whopping -1 1/2 runs +320 on the Reverse  RL.

  • Now this is a conversation you don't get in a bar! Great insight freeneasy!

  • i think that a further observation needs to be taken along these lines and that observation is this; when breaking these results down a little further we are left with the percentages that the rd and hm teams win their games by 2 or more runs

    total..............rd tm wins by 2 or more

    1) 7..............11.80%

    2) 7 1/2.......19.60%

    3) 8..............20.30%

    4) 8 1/2.......22.80%

    5) 9..............23.30%

    6) 9 1/2.......20.50%

    7) 10...........23.20%

    8) 10 1/2....23.10%

    9) 11 ..........23.40%

    total..............hm tm wins by 2 or more

    1) 7..............20%.............+8.20%

    2) 7 1/2.......19.70%........+.10%

    3) 8..............18.40%........-1.90%

    4) 8 1/2........22.90%.......+.10%

    5) 9...............23.90%.......+.60%

    6)9 1/2.........24,90%.......+4.40%

    7) 10............22.90%........-.30%

    8) 10 1/2.....29.20%........+6.10%

    9) 11............24.80%........+1.40%

    when the total is 7 the road team wins by 2 runs or more runs11.80% and the home team wins by 2 runs or more 20% which is a significant increase of 8.20%.

    when the total is 9 1/2 the road team wins by 2 runs or more 20.50% and the home team wins by 2 runs or more 24.90% which is a significant increase of +4.40%

    when the total is10 1/2 the road team wins by 2 runs or more 23.10% and the home team wins by 2 runs or more 29.20% which is a significant increase of +6.10%

    the rest are basically on even terms

    basically i think the runline bet to avoid on the road teams is when the total is 7, 7 1/2, 8 and 9 1/2 as their all under 22% with the rest being over 22%

    the runline bet to avoid on the home team is when the total is 7 ( and if you do bet the runline with a total of 7 your bet should be on the home team, 20% as opposed to the road team at 11.80% ) 7 1/2 and 8 as these are all under 22% with the rest being over 22%

    ok ace all that out of the way heres the crux of the obsevation i want to make

    the figures presented, road wins of 1 or 2 runs and home wins of 1 or 2 runs are based on combining the wins of road dogs and favorites and home dogs and favorites.

    the basic or most common runline bet is on the favorite minus the 1 1/2  runs and to further give creedence or strength to the runline bet when the total is being factored in then this area also needs to be broken down into its own catagory iow's

    what percent do the road favorites win their games by 2 runs or more when the total is 7?

    what percent do the road favorites win their games by 2 runs or more when the total is 7 1/2? ect

    and

    what percent do the home favorites win their games by 2 runs or more when the total is 7?

    what percent do the home favorites win their games by 2 runs or more when the total is 7 1/2? ect

    with this type of stat  taken into consideration i think it can only add a much more powerful insight to the runline bet then when combining  the number of wins that both the underdog and the favorite collectively compile  when they win their games by 2 or more runs

  • I'm glad to hear you don't think it's a bad bet.  The only reason I asked you about this was because yesterday the King Maker had a play on The Blue Jays as a big dog.  I took a look at the lines and saw you could grab the Runline +1.5 at -130 and thought to myself wouldn't that be the much smarter bet.  I know it pays big if they win outrite, but what if they don't win.  While I didn't actually place the wager as I had enough action going for me, it would've been a winner had I placed it because as you know Toronto had a decent lead only to lose the game by 1 run in the bottom of the 9th.

  • B, I agree with you 100%...I have always felt that the +1.5 is a very good bet in certain spots and most bettors don't look for it because when they play a dog, they want it to pay nicely if it wins...for myself, I don't look at it like that at all and always try to look at every possible way I can to get the best of this market...when looking to take the +1.5, I will always make sure that I capp the total because just like you said, its a much better weapon when you expect less than 7 total runs to be scored in a game...

    The other reason that I feel recreational bettors stay away from taking the +1.5 is because of the price you have to pay for it many times when a team isn't a huge dog...but again, I wasn't taught to think that way while I was learning this game. I mean, I personally wagered obscene amounts of money on some pretty big chalk for many sharps back then, so for me...it was about value and the right side...the price they hang up does nothing to sway me or keep me from a play if I feel I am getting the best of it...even if I look at the board and I see a -260...trust me, thats not going to stop me from looking to see if its a winner...although now that I have the responsibility of so many other good people who are following along, who haven't been with me all these years....so I don't know if they are real far ahead enough to be able to handle those type of wagers...which is why they are so rare for me these days...

    But its like I always say...there is no such thing as a bad bet/sucker bet....only a bad bettor/sucker...because if you are sharp, you should usually find yourself in situations which aren't bad bets regardless of how the public perceives them...

    How ironic we got one of these tonight...lol...best of luck brotherm VR

  • VR, I'd like to hear your thoughts on taking the Runline +1.5.  If you play that on almost any game that goes beyond 9 innings, you're definitely going to be winning a lot.  So if you cap a game you think it will be a very low scoring affair and also a close game, wouldn't it be better to take the +1.5?

  • I agree with Dommy that if you are going to look to lay the RL, then you definately should look to do it on those games where the number isn't very high at all for maximum value...too many sports bettors are only willing to consider it when the ML is too high and the oddsmaker has already considered this so there will be much less value than if you were able to apply it to one of your capped games whose ML isn't very high...

    Games, when it comes to weighing value vs risk/reward I believe that it is going to depend on the sport...when we are speaking about those sports that have a "spread", then the value I seek will depend on the work I do on a game after I find that the number being offered differs from the number I have created for that same game...but when you talk about sports which offer a ML, then that changes things a lot...many cappers use different methods to create what they think the actual ML should be and then compare it to what is being offered and work from there...and I also employ sort of the same methods I think, and probably many of the same equations...but I truely think that it also comes down to what I always have called "feel"...and the very best sports bettors that I have ever known have an excellent sense of "feel" for a line and where the value lies as soon as they see it and then spend the rest of their day trying to find supporting data...VR

  • I do very well playing small home dogs and laying -1.5 +180 or more.....  Played Oak -1.5 +200 and won ez, I figure the risk of losing by 1 run is well worth the +180 or better odds......  gl

  • Thanks VR,

    Good Info !

    How  do You determine Value vs Risk,Price, & Payout?

    (especially  in lines like -200)

    Thanks Again