MLB Betting Advice: Hot and Cold Teams for Runline Wagering
by Ricky Dimon - 5/21/2014
Almost two months into the season, is it time to start separating the contenders from the pretenders? While the Major League Baseball standings are
beginning to sort themselves out in a somewhat expected fashion, the same cannot be said for the betting market. Teams like Colorado, Seattle, and even the
Chicago Cubs have been rewarding their backers. Defending champion Boston, on the other hand, is still not paying dividends.
All odds provided by Sportsbook.ag
Seattle Mariners - Seattle took care of the Rangers on Tuesday, making its runline record 4-0 in the team's last four and 6-1 in its last seven. Interestingly, the Mariners have covered the runline in losses a whopping three times in the past week (since last Tuesday). Their record in one-run games, though, is not entirely terrible (5-7). Team anchors Felix Hernandez (5-1, 2.94 ERA) and Robinson Cano (.322, 25 RBIs) are doing what they need to do.
Chicago Cubs - Don't look now, but the lovable losers are starting to play some baseball. How good are they? So good that they are still the worst team in all of Major League Baseball and the worst team in the National League with two games to spare. But don't laugh too hard; the Cubs have won three in a row (3-0 runline), and they are 5-2 in their last seven against the runline (4-3 overall). Chicago even handed the Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka his first loss on Tuesday.
Chicago White Sox - It's rarely a good time to be a fan of Chicago baseball, and even right now is no real exception (the Cubs are 16-27, the White Sox are 23-24). But throwing your money around at them is not a bad idea these days. The Sox covered the runline in consecutive 7-6 wins at Kansas City on Monday and Tuesday, and their runline record is now 5-1 in their last six outings. Breakout rookie Jose Abreu (15 HR) is a +400 favorite to lead the bigs in dingers this season.
Boston Red Sox - The Red Sox are 3-7 against the runline since we last checked in, dropping them to 17-27 for the season in that department. Boston is in an especially dismal slump right now, with an 0-5 record both overall and against the runline in its last five games. The team's runline record is 3-10 in its last 13 despite being a marginally more respectable 5-8 overall in those 13. Hitting has been an issue (the team's .243 average puts it 23rd in the majors), but the arms are now at the forefront of struggles. Boston has allowed 19 runs in its past three games.
Milwaukee Brewers - The Brewers have been the best team in baseball for much of the season, but now they own the fourth-best record in the majors and are in the bottom half of the runline department at 22-24. The Brew Crew has lost four in a row overall (0-4 runline), and their runline record in the last 13 games is a horrendous 2-11. Three times in the current stretch Milwaukee has found the win column but failed to cover the -1.5 spread. The team is 10-4 in one-run contests, tied for the best such record in all of baseball with Baltimore. The Brewers, who are no better than 23rd in the bigs in runs scored, batting average, or on-base percentage, have crossed the plate a total of five times in their last four.
New York Yankees - You know something is up when the Yankees cannot even beat the Cubs with Tanaka on the mound. They actually have not been that bad of late, but recent returns certainly have not been good; the Bronx Bombers are 0-3 in their last three against the runline and 2-6 in their last eight. Interestingly, they covered twice in losses on May 10 and May 11 at Milwaukee, then failed to cover twice in wins at the Mets last Thursday and vs. the Pirates on Sunday. New York is just now starting out on a nine-game road trip, which may not really mean much (it is a similar 11-11 at home and 12-10 on the road). The Yankees, a half-game back of AL East-leading Baltimore and three games clear of Boston, are +200 favorites to win the division.
Colorado Rockies - Colorado is a decent 6-4 against the runline since we last checked in, easily good enough to remain atop the chart (30-16). The Rockies have covered the runline twice in losses since May 9; by contrast, they have not failed to cover a runline in a win since May 4. Not too surprisingly, Colorado is once again benefiting from its mile-high city and leads the majors in runs scored, batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, doubles, and home runs. The Rockies (Chacin) are -125 home favorites over San Francisco (Cain) on Wednesday.
Texas Rangers - Tampa Bay is still clinging to the worst runline record in the business, but we talked about the stingless Rays in the last installment of this piece. Texas is giving them a run for their money, with a 16-29 runline record compared to Tampa's 15-30 mark. The Rangers are 1-5 in their last six overall and 1-5 against the runline in that same span. Interestingly, the last time they lost a game but covered a runline was way back on April 5 against none other than the Rays. Texas, which trails first-place Oakland by eight games in the AL West, has been shut out twice in its last six games and has scored more than two runs only twice in its last six.
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