MLB Betting: The Top Five Most Valuable Run Line Bets From the First Half of the Season

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Michael Savio
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  • The Reds have the highest cover percentage at 72.7%
  • Atlanta has won the most games run line bets as a favorite this season
  • Tampa has been favored more than any other team in the league

With another All-Star game in the books and games set to resume on Friday, now is a great time to reassess your MLB betting strategy. One of the most important parts of that strategy involves betting on run lines. This bet type is hard to hit, but the odds can lead to massive payouts when betting on the favorites. However, the sport's low scoring makes covering the run line difficult, as a home run or bad inning could quickly decimate a team's lead.

We have reviewed the record for each team as a betting favorite against the run line to help you see which teams have been the best bet in the first half. Below are the top five teams with the best records.

Cincinnati Reds: 72.7% Cover Percentage

While the Reds were not favored by US Sportsbooks in many games at the beginning of the season, that has changed as they have charged their way up to the top of the NL Central. They are 16-6 against the run line as a favorite, with most of those games coming in July and late-June. The team is good, especially with top-prospect Elly De La Cruz and veteran Joey Votto putting up impressive numbers. While the Reds have the highest coverage percentage, most of those wins are from their recent hot streak. You can expect them to be favored in many more games in the second half of the season, so time will tell if their record will even out.

Atlanta Braves: 67.5% Cover Percentage

This should hardly be a surprise, given Atlanta's dominance this season. They own the best record in the NL and have been blowing out many teams. The Braves are 52-25 as a favorite against the run line this season, which is the most wins of any team in the league. They’ve had an incredible balance between their lineup and pitching, which helps them cover a lot of run lines. The Braves will be the favorite in most run line bets for the remainder of the season, but their odds will likely drop. That means they will be one of the safest bets but not necessarily the most profitable.

Miami Marlins: 67.4% Cover Percentage

Nobody expected the Marlins to be so impressive this season, but they have looked like a playoff team. Miami is 29-17 as a favorite against the run line in 2023, a number that continues to grow as the team wins more games. They have been boosted by Luis Arraez's historic season at the plate, which has helped compensate for the absence of Jazz Chisholm. Miami run line bets may be the best combination of value and odds of success, making them a great team to focus on in the second half of the MLB season.

Tampa Bay Rays: 67.1% Cover Percentage

The Rays are another name we were not surprised to find on this list, as they have shown to be one of the best teams in the league. Tampa is 53-26 as a favorite against the run line, and they have been favored more than any other team on this list. Like Atlanta, they have a balance between pitching and hitting that helps them cover so many run lines. Unfortunately, they are now established as one of the best teams, meaning the value of their odds will decrease. However, the Rays are still a great option if you are looking for a safe run line bet.

Arizona Diamondbacks: 65.2% Cover Percentage

Like Miami, Arizona has also surpassed expectations in 2023. They are now a common run line favorite and own a 30-16 record on the season. A big reason for their success has been the emergence of 22-year-old Corbin Carroll. The rookie has given the Diamondbacks a colossal weapon to anchor this lineup, leading Arizona to lead the NL West at the All-Star Break. Unfortunately for Arizona, Carroll had cooled down heading into the break. Their success will rely on Carroll's ability to consistently produce this season, so be sure to monitor his recent play before betting on the Diamondbacks' run line in the second half of the season.

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.