Runline Odds for Baseball Explained

What do you get when you combine a baseball point spread with a baseball moneyline?

(Jeopardy music plays)

If you said runline, you’re correct. And now you have the Jeopardy music stuck in your head. You’re welcome.

What is the Runline?

A runline bet is a 1.5-run spread attached to a baseball game. This unique form of baseball betting can be profitable for sports bettors who have done their homework on stats, trends and pitching performances. While a team may be a heavy favorite on the moneyline, that team will own reduced odds when pegged as a 1.5-run favorite. Conversely, teams that are listed as the underdog on the moneyline will see their odds boosted on the runline, emerging sometimes as favorites.

While MLB moneyline and totals betting remain the wagering options of choice for many sports bettors, runline betting offers a layer of complexity to the baseball wagering experience. This is particularly true late in the season when a wealth of individual player and team stats, and betting trends are available for analysis.

The Runline vs The Moneyline

Let’s use everyone’s favorite example of New York and Boston because those teams are always on TV.

New York -200 Boston +170

In this example, the Yankees are listed as a strong -200 moneyline favorite, meaning a bet on New York to win, by any margin, will cost $200 to win $100. On the other hand, a $100 bet on the Red Sox to win outright will pay $170.

However, in an MLB runline bet on the same hypothetical game, the Yankees are slim +110 underdogs to win by 1.5 runs or more, while the Red Sox are a -140 favorite to either win the game or not lose by more than one run.

New York -1.5 +110 Boston +1.5 -140

This means that a $100 runline bet on the Yankees would win $110, while it would cost $140 to win $100 on a bet on the Red Sox to not lose by more than one run.

A Dramatic Difference in Odds

The dramatic difference in odds and payouts may be attractive to sports bettors who have studied recent matchups between the two clubs. Using the Odds Shark Team Reports and MLB Database, you should also take into account the stat splits and recent performances of pitchers using our Pitcher Logs and Pitcher Money Won/Lost analysis. With the major odds difference, you could see more profit if you place a runline bet instead of a moneyline bet on tonight’s game – which is probably Yankees vs Red Sox. Cue the Jeopardy music.