As the dog days of summer set in, the MLB regular season is over halfway finished. Lots of attention is centered around World Series odds, but there’s still money to be won on good ol’ live betting, either runline or straight up.
A club’s success – or lack thereof – often comes down to how well the offense performs with runners in scoring position (RISP). Our RISP baseball leaderboard offers a unique insight for baseball bettors who love the chance to jump on a good rally and win money.
But first, if you haven’t done so already, remember to check out our MLB futures, MLB win totals, odds to make the playoffs and more over at our MLB hub. If you’re new to betting on baseball, check out our How To Bet On Baseball page for some helpful tips and info.
What Does ‘Runners In Scoring Position’ Mean?
In baseball, whenever a runner reaches second base or beyond, he’s considered “in scoring position.” When a batter steps up to the plate with a runner on second base, third base or with the bases loaded, he is taking an at-bat with runners in scoring position (RISP).
RISP opportunities are a club’s best chance to score runs during a game. Typically, the best teams and the best players capitalize in these situations. But that’s not always the case, and there are exceptions that can actually offer bettors sneaky live-betting value.
Why Is Hitting With RISP Important For Handicapping/Live Betting?
When there are runners on base with a chance to score, a sportsbook might move the odds a smidge in the hitting team’s favor. There are a variety of factors that influence live-betting odds – including how bad the opposing team’s bullpen is, for example – but a big inning with runners on the bases typically offers a great opportunity to hammer the odds on the hitting team or fade a club that is awful at hitting with RISP.
MLB RISP Leaders: Best Teams
All stats come via Fangraphs as of August 28.
|Team||OPS w/ RISP|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||.838|
|Tampa Bay Rays||.813|
|Boston Red Sox||.812|
|St. Louis Cardinals||.768|
|San Francisco Giants||.760|
|New York Mets||.741|
|Chicago White Sox||.720|
|Los Angeles Angels||.713|
|San Diego Padres||.707|
|Toronto Blue Jays||.702|
|New York Yankees||.686|
|Kansas City Royals||.675|
It’s no surprise to see the Braves, Dodgers and Orioles, baseball’s best teams, at the top of the leaderboard. But since these squads will be heavily chalked in the games they play, there’s not much value to be found there. Let’s zoom in on some other teams.
St. Louis Cardinals (.768 OPS with RISP)
The Cards have underwhelmed in the standings this season, but they’ve proven their offense can be potent, especially with runners in scoring position. Their offense is good for the eleventh-best OPS with RISP, and the Cardinals are also a high-power team, producing the eighth-most home runs with RISP (43).
The problem for St. Louis is that it has a hard time getting itself into these situations. It ranks 20th in MLB with 1,222 plate appearances with RISP.
Brendan Donovan (1.005 OPS), Nolan Gorman (.955) and Lars Nootbaar (.913) are all very solid hitters with men on. If these three are set to bat in a tightly contested game, get your live-betting fingers ready for some lucrative action.
New York Yankees (.686 OPS with RISP)
We’ll touch on the Yankees quickly, who currently sit 11 games back of a Wild Card spot, and six games below .500. It's no secret that the Bronx Bombers have failed to lived up to their name at the plate this season, but settling in above just Kansas City and Oakland in this metric is an embarrassment for one of baseball's highest payrolls.
DJ LeMahieu (.619 OPS with RISP) and Anthony Rizzo (.669) are the least productive of the Yankees' regulars, but almost everyone on the roster has underperformed in these high-leverage situations. Gleyber Torres is the lone Yankee with an OPS above .800 with runners in scoring position.
MLB RISP Leaders: Best Players (Minimum 60 PAs)
|Player||OPS w/ RISP|
|Corey Seager (TEX)||1.363|
|Nolan Jones (COL)||1.315|
|Yordan Alvarez (HOU)||1.245|
|Matt Olson (ATL)||1.235|
|Mookie Betts (LAD)||1.157|
|Jonah Heim (TEX)||1.143|
|Matt McLain (CIN)||1.143|
MLB RISP Leaders: Worst Players (Minimum 60 PAs)
|Player||OPS w/ RISP|
|Henry Davis (PIT)||.460|
|Alec Burleson (STL)||.471|
|Brett Baty (NYM)||.471|
|Tony Kemp (OAK)||.479|
|Rodolfo Castro (PHI)||.481|
|Aledmys Diaz (OAK)||.481|
|Dominic Smith (WAS)||.487|
Who is the best RISP hitter in baseball?
Aaron Judge is arguably the best hitter with men aboard, putting up a 1.302 in RISP situations this season.
Which baseball team is the best with RISP?
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the best-hitting team with RISP (.830). The Milwaukee Brewers are the second-best team at capitalizing on RISP situations (.809).
What does RISP stand for in baseball?
In baseball, whenever a runner reaches second base or beyond, he’s considered “in scoring position.” When a batter steps up to the plate with a runner(s) on second base, third base, or with the bases loaded, he is taking an at-bat with runners in scoring position (RISP).