One of eight founding WBBL teams, the Melbourne Renegades are aligned with the men's team of the same name. On 3 June 2015, Cricket Victoria announced Lachlan Stevens would "take charge of one of Melbourne's two WBBL teams". Stevens would be confirmed as inaugural head coach of the Renegades in the following months. At the official WBBL launch on 10 July, Sarah Elliott was unveiled as the team's first ever signing. Elliott would also become the inaugural captain.
The Renegades played their first match against the Hobart Hurricanes at Aurora Stadium in Launceston on 11 December, losing by 35 runs. It took until their fifth match, a 20 December encounter with the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba, to register a win.
The Renegades and Sydney Sixers have combined to produce some of the most "thrilling" and "controversial" matches in the league's history, particularly revolving around close finishes, including:
- 3 January 2018, GMHBA Stadium: In "bizarre" scenes, Sixers batter Sarah Aley attempted to score a game-tying run on the last delivery despite Renegades wicket-keeper Emma Inglis, having received the ball over the stumps from fielder Kris Britt and thus believing the match to be over, already celebrating victory. After deliberation, officiating umpires deemed the ball was not dead and the run would be allowed, thereby forcing a super over which the Renegades nevertheless went on to win.
- 19 January 2019, Drummoyne Oval: In the Renegades' first finals appearance, with three runs required off the last ball for an upset victory, Sophie Molineux was short of her ground attempting the winning run due to a "miracle" piece of team fielding by Sixers players Erin Burns, Sarah Aley and Alyssa Healy. In the resulting super over, Sixers captain Ellyse Perry hit a six off Molly Strano to eliminate the Renegades from the tournament. The match, in conjunction with the other semi-final played earlier in the day, was hailed as a showcase of "the irrefutable rise of women's cricket" and "sport with drama, skill and unpredictability – a potent recipe for success".
- 17 November 2019, Drummoyne Oval: The Renegades, requiring 28 runs off the last 12 balls with only three wickets in hand, pulled off a "great escape" victory against the Sixers through a last-ball six from Courtney Webb against the bowling of Marizanne Kapp. It marked the first time a WBBL team had won a match when needing more than four runs off the final legal delivery. The ramifications of the result were season-shaping as the Renegades went on to edge out the Sixers for fourth spot on the ladder, making it the first season the Sixers would fail to qualify for finals.
The Renegades hold an 8–4 record over their cross-town rivals, the Melbourne Stars. Noteworthy matches include:
- 1 January 2017, Melbourne Cricket Ground: Played in front of a reported crowd of 24,547—as part of a double-header with the men's BBL, setting a new record for the highest non-standalone WBBL attendance—the rain-affected match ended in anticlimactic fashion with the Renegades adjudged nine-wicket winners via the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method. Stars captain Meg Lanning initially protested the ruling with officiating umpires, claiming she had been given false information about the par score by the match referee.
- 20 January 2018, Melbourne Cricket Ground: Chasing 119 for victory, Renegades captain Amy Satterthwaite—who looked to have been run out earlier in the innings and left the field, but was recalled after TV replays showed wicket-keeper Nicole Faltum had dislodged the bails prematurely—hit a six off the final delivery against the bowling of Georgia Elwiss to tie the game. With scores still level after the super over, the Stars were awarded the win on the boundary count back rule.
- 29 December 2018, Docklands Stadium: The Renegades recorded the second one-wicket victory in the league's history when Lea Tahuhu, a fast bowler not known for her batting ability, hit the winning single off Stars captain Kristen Beams with just one ball to spare. Courtney Webb, on 21 not out, was the set batter at the non-striker's end.
Despite winning multiple championships in the league's early years, the Brisbane Heat have relatively struggled against the Renegades. Across the competition's first five seasons, the Renegades were the only team to beat the Heat more often than not. Noteworthy matches include:
- 23 December 2017, Docklands Stadium: Batting first, the Heat were bowled out for 66, equalling the WBBL record for lowest all out total. The Renegades chased the target down with ten wickets in hand and 55 balls remaining, also setting a new WBBL record for largest victory by a team batting second.
- 27 November 2019, Allan Border Field: Targeting 184 runs to win, the Renegades set a new WBBL record for highest successful chase by sealing victory with six wickets in hand and six balls remaining.
- 7 December 2019, Allan Border Field: The Heat, on their way to a second consecutive title, chased down the Renegades' total of 4/163 with four wickets and 12 balls to spare in the first-ever semi-final encounter between the two teams. Wicket-keeper Josie Dooley, having won a championship with Brisbane in the previous season, top-scored for the Renegades with 50 not out.