The Major League Baseball season is nearly a fourth of the way complete, and many of the year's biggest storylines have already taken shape. The Chicago Cubs are flirting with greatness-they have a +109 run differential and are on pace to produce 110 wins on the year-while pitchers like Jake Arrieta, Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale continue dominate and to flirt with history on a nightly basis.
For bettors, however, the most important storylines during the first part of the 2016 season revolve around betting trends and the teams that continue to make a profit. Let's focus on run line trends and take a closer look at the best and most profitable run line underdogs this season.
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Best Run Line Underdogs
Cover rate: 88 percent
Margin of victory: + 3.2
Seattle has been a monster as a run line underdog through the first part of the season. The team is currently sitting in first place in the AL West and has a +43 run differential with an 18-7 record on the road. Seattle isn't a necessarily a powerhouse, and the team hasn't even cracked the Top 5 in AL futures odds. However, they are good enough to be one of the best bets in baseball so far. The team isn't just covering run line spreads; they are actually winning those games as well with a 13-5 SU record. If you are looking for a run line underdog bet, give the Mariners a look as they have a five-game road trip against San Diego and Texas coming up in June.
Cover rate: 73 percent
Houston is currently sitting on the second-worst SU record in the AL with a 17-28 mark. The team, however, has been tearing up its underdog run line bets to the tune of a 73-percent win rate. The club isn't winning these games as it has a 7-8 SU record, but the team is doing just enough to keep the matchups close and cover those + 1.5 run line spreads. The Astros have a five-game road trip against the Los Angeles Angles coming up at the end of the month.
Tampa Bay Rays
Cover rate: 70 percent
Tampa Bay isn't on many people's radars at the moment as the team is sitting in last place in the AL East with a sub-.500 record. What the Rays do have is a +12 run differential and an amazing 70 percent cover rate as a run line underdog. Tampa Bay is set to close off the month of May with an extended road trips against Kansas City, Minnesota and Arizona, which should provide bettors with plenty of opportunities to find a solid run line underdog spot on Tampa Bay.
Conclusion: of the top three run line teams in baseball, Seattle feels like the strongest team for bettors to follow. The Marines are the only club of the three with a winning record; they are currently eight games above .500 and have the second-best run differential in the AL. Seattle isn't expected to be a serious World Series contender, which is why they are probably being overlooked and underrated by fans, pundits and bettors, so now seems like an excellent time to take advantage of the team and look to make a profit.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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