The 2021 Major League Baseball season is now nearly a month old. But we already know a lot about the teams. There have also been a few surprises. Baseball bettors now have some meaningful data to examine which should help up make some winning picks in the days, weeks, and (hopefully) months to come.
In the previous articles, we looked into moneyline and totals results for all teams.
Read the articles here:
2021 Regular Season Analytics for All Major League Baseball Teams (Moneyline Results)
Now, it's time to look at baseball run-lines (+/- 1.5) and see if there's anything to the early trends that have been established thus far. Fortunately, many websites exist which provide reliable analytics. Here's the latest data from a site called EV Analytics:
2021 MLB RUN-LINE RESULTS (through 26 Apr.)
Here are a five major takeaways from the data above. These numbers stand out and are clear indications that these teams have been outliers when it comes to run-line wagering, so far. However, also keep in mind we are still just one month into the season. Results could (and in many cases – will) change significantly:
(1) The Boston Red Sox have been the top run-line team in the majors this season. The Red Sox are one of two teams that were big disappointments the last few seasons but have emerged as surprise teams and outstanding bets on the run line, so far (the Seattle Mariners are the other). After 23 completed games, Boston has a a 14-9 record and a 3-game lead in the AL East. On the run line they've been even more impressive, going 16-7 to the number. That represents a +38.6 return-on-investment taking the Red Sox on the run-line.
(2) The Seattle Mariners have been the second-best run-line team in the majors this season. The Mariners are the other team that were disappointments the last few years but have emerged as a surprise team and outstanding bets on the run-line (only the streaking Boston Red Sox rank slightly higher). Seattle is 13-10 and in second-place in the AL West. But the real money betting Mariners' games has been taking them on the run-line. The M's have returned +31 percent to their backers this season, mostly when getting +1.5 runs since they've been dogs in so many of their games. Even when Seattle loses, they tend to keep things close, as illustrated by a 17-6 run-line record.
(3) The San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks have been the National League's top two run-line bets this season. Their numbers haven't been quite as impressive as Boston and Seattle, but San Francisco and Arizona have performed far above expectations, especially on the run-line. The Giants have shocked everyone in the majors the past week by jumping into a first-place tie with the LA Dodgers with a 15-8 record. But when getting +1.5 (in most games as an underdog), they've been even more impressive – posting a 14-9 record which represents a +25.5 percent ROI. Incredibly, within the same division Arizona may only be 11-11 and in fourth place, but they're also 15-7 to the run-line, good for a nearly a +17 percent return.
(4) The Washington Nationals have been the worst run-line team in the majors this season by a wide margin. After 19 completed regular season games, Washington has clearly been a disappointment. However, on the run-line they've been a disaster. No team in the majors is even close to the carnage of the Nationals on the run-line who have posted a dismal 5-14 record, Betting Washington in all their games this season would have netted a whopping -47.6 percent loss. That stinks.
(5) Other run-line bankroll killers so far include Minnesota, NY Mets, and NY Yankees. All three of these teams have lost their financial backers about 25 percent this season. Minnesota is 8-13, the NY Mets are 6-11, and the NY Yankees are 8-14. What's really surprising is the Mets and Yankees were expected to be among the top teams in their divisions. Even though pitching has been strong for both clubs, they've fallen far short of fan and oddsmaker projections (to be fair, the Mets do lead the NL East at the moment with a 9-8 W-L record). Meanwhile, the Yankees have been absolutely horrible and the Twins – who weren't expected to contend in the AL Central – have been even worse. These three teams should be avoided on the run line for the time being, especially since both New York teams tend to be favoured in their games and lay the -1.5 on the run line.