Baseball is just about a month away and you’re going to start seeing more baseball articles on the site. Those of you who have followed me for a while now know that baseball is my number one sport to cover. 61% in 2016, 58% in 2017, 60% in 2018, and of course the 74% MLB Postseason in 2018 and that's over 2,100 total plays. Here is a look of the MLB teams who covered the run line (-1.5 or +1.5) more than 50% of the time last season:
Red Sox 103-73
Reds 88-74 (67-95 W/L Record)
White Sox 84-78 (62-100 W/L Record)
Marlins 82-79 (63-98 W/L Record)
Tigers 82-80 (64-98 W/L Record)
Diamondbacks 82-80 (82-80 W/L Record)
So just under half of the teams in the league covered the run line in more than 50% of their games last season. The odds on run lines can vary but looking at these numbers, it can be profitable. However, typically when you bet the underdog at +1.5 you’re paying more juice than when you take a team to cover the -1.5. I’m guessing here, I haven’t fact checked it but I would say 8 of the 14 teams on this list covered the +1.5 more than the -1.5. I’m shocked that the Astros are so low on this list, I would have expected them to be in the Top 5, same with the Yankees but both teams had injuries last season. Just for fun, who do you think was the worst team against the spread last season? Baltimore Orioles.
With Opening Day still about a month away, let’s take a look at the teams who should have the best records against the run line in 2019:
Astros - So much depth and although it looks like they will lose Dallas Keuchel, they have a few top pitching prospects ready to step up and fill in. They also lost Marwin Gonzalez to Free Agency but that lineup is still stacked.
Yankees - they dealt with injuries last year and STILL won 100 games. This lineup is absolutely STACKED, the bullpen is STACKED, and the starting pitching will be good.
Braves - Young talent that is ready to take it to the next level. Albies and Acuna Jr. are going to continue getting better. This Braves lineup outscored their opponents by 102 runs last season and they added Josh Donaldson in the offseason. I’m skeptical if the pitching will be good enough to make a World Series push but they should produce against the run line all season long.
Cubs - Don’t forget the Cubs won 95 games last year, I know it was a quick one and done in Game 163 for them but this lineup is tough from top to bottom and I think their pitching is going to exceed a lot of “experts” expectations this season.
Red Sox - You might think this is a little low on the list for the defending World Champs and a team who won 108 games last season. BUT, they lost Joe Kelly and it’s looking like Craig Kimbrel is gone too. They will still win a lot of ball games but those 2 run leads are going to be sketchy with Matt Barnes as their closer. Yikes. Lineup is still stacked and starting rotation is in tact but the bullpen scares me big time, especially betting run lines.
Phillies - Bryce Harper is signing with the Phillies. The Phillies also added Jean Segura, Andrew McCutchen, & J.T. Realmuto this offseason. How will the pitching be though? Only 2 of their 5 starters had over a .500 record last season. I think they will be better this year.
Twins - The A.L. Central is going to be interesting this season and I’m telling you today 2/26 that the Twins are going to compete for it. The additions of Nelson Cruz and Marwin Gonzalez are going to go a long way for this team.
Mets - I get told every year that I’m higher on the Mets than I should be for a guy from Boston but every year, I love their pitching. Can they stay healthy? Can they stay healthy? Ask it again. If they can, this team is going to win 85-90 games.
White Sox - I have to put a bad team on my list with the results from last year. White Sox make sense with the A.L. Central opponents that should produce tightly played games all season.
Cardinals - They won 88 games last year and added Paul Goldschmidt this offseason. The pitching has potential and if it comes together like I think it can, the Cards should cover run lines all season.