What is a Baseball Run Line Bets?

The Run Line is a bet created solely for baseball and because scoring is sporadic and usually low in baseball games, the Run Line is a mix of a point spread bet and a moneyline bet. The point spread is typically only 1.5 runs (-1.5 for favorites, +1.5 for underdogs) and then the odds are applied to determine the payout. This combination is the Run Line.

Spreads higher or lower than 1.5 runs do happen on the Run Line. Just not very often. Scoring in baseball is odd. It’s obviously a low scoring game. Or, at least, can be. It’s not as low scoring as hockey or soccer but not as high as basketball or even football. And this is why the Run Line is so interesting and popular. It provides some better odds and payouts with a low point spread.

Let’s look at an example:

MoneylineRun Line
Tampa Bay Rays+110+1.5(-250)
Boston Red Sox-120-1.5(+240)

Here we can see the Boston Red Sox are established as the favorite on the moneyline at -120 (This means it would take a bet of $120 to win $100). And the Tampa Bay Rays are the underdog on the moneyline at +110 (A bet of $100 would win you $110). This means on the Run Line, a bet on Boston will be giving the 1.5 runs and a bet on Tampa Bay will be getting 1.5 runs. In order to win a bet on Boston, they would have to win by at least two runs.

To win a bet on Tampa Bay, they would have to lose by no more than one. Notice how the odds differ from the moneyline. The Rays plus the 1.5 is paying out at -250 (A bet of $250 wins $100) and the Red Sox minus the 1.5 is paying out at +240 (A bet of $100 wins $240). One and a half runs doesn’t seem like it would make much difference but it completely alters the odds.

And the odds can be altered even more on what is called the Alt Run Line. The same theory applies however, on the Alt Run Line, adds more to the point spread thereby changing the odds even more. If you like the payout -1.5 runs, -2.5 runs will payout even more.


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