It’s not too often that a preseason favorite to win it all in Major League Baseball actually puts itself in a position to make good on that expectation.
And there’s still time to jump on the World Series betting train. Or, hop on the underdog bandwagon.
After opening the shortened season with the shortest odds among National League teams to win this year’s Fall Classic at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, the Los Angeles Dodgers are now just four wins away from paying off those bets. Only the Tampa Bay Rays stand in their way.
Sports betting remains illegal in the Golden State, unfortunately. However, bettors can travel to nearby Nevada and wager on their beloved Dodgers there.
And it’s not too late to get some money on the outcome of the World Series.
How the lines on 2020 World Series betting have moved
Before MLB’s truncated regular season began, BetMGM listed the Dodgers at +400 to win their first World Series since 1988. Only the New York Yankees had shorter odds at that time.
Heading into the postseason, those odds shortened to +350, as Los Angeles won 43 of their 60 regular-season games. That was the highest win total in all of MLB for the season. Now they’ll face the team with the second-most wins, the Rays.
Here’s the schedule for the entire series, played before a reduced capacity crowd.
|Game||Date||Time||"Home" Team*||"Away" Team*|
|1||Tuesday, Oct. 20||5:09 p.m. PT||Los Angeles Dodgers||Tampa Bay Rays|
|2||Wednesday, Oct. 21||5:08 p.m. PT||Los Angeles Dodgers||Tampa Bay Rays|
|3||Friday, Oct. 23||5:08 p.m. PT||Tampa Bay Rays||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|4||Saturday, Oct. 24||5:08 p.m. PT||Tampa Bay Rays||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|5 (if necessary)||Sunday, Oct. 25||5:08 p.m. PT||Tampa Bay Rays||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|6 (if necessary)||Tuesday, Oct. 27||5:08 p.m. PT||Los Angeles Dodgers||Tampa Bay Rays|
|7 (if necessary)||Wednesday, Oct. 28||5:09 p.m. PT||Los Angeles Dodgers||Tampa Bay Rays|
With the Series set to start Tuesday night, BetMGM now has the Dodgers at -200 to win the championship outright. The sportsbook has several prop markets on the entire series besides that moneyline wager, however.
For example, you can get +800 odds on an LA sweep as of Monday. Alternatively, you can bet on the series spread, the total number of games, the series score after four games, and the correct score after three games.
If none of those tempt you, the sportsbook also offers a futures market on which player will win the World Series MVP award. Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts is currently the favorite at +500.
Betts may figure into a couple of intriguing markets that BetMGM is offering for the first time this year. It’s a cross-promotion with a fast-food favorite.
BetMGM and “stolen” tacos
For the ninth consecutive year, Taco Bell is offering a free taco to customers if any player steals a base during the World Series. This is the first year that BetMGM is in on the deal, however.
The app and website offer special “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” markets for the series. Bettors can wager on which player will be the first to steal a base in the series and/or in which inning that will occur.
You won’t get an extra taco if you wager wisely, but you could buy lots of tacos with your winnings. If you were to take the Dodgers’ Will Smith to swipe a bag in extra innings, for example, you’d enjoy a +5000 payout from both bets.
It’s unlikely that bettors will have to wait any longer than Tuesday’s Game 1 to settle those bets. Accordingly, there are many more ways to wager on the series opener.
World Series Game 1: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays
What makes this year even rarer in terms of fulfilled potential is that the team with the best record in the American League also reached the Fall Classic. The Tampa Bay Rays, making the franchise’s second world championship appearance and first since 2008, come in searching for their first-ever World Series championship.
Los Angeles stands as a -167 favorite to take Game 1 with a run spread of 1.5. The over/under for runs scored in the game currently sits at eight.
Although the Dodgers and Rays never played during the regular season, LA went 16-4 against AL opponents this season. Comparatively, Tampa Bay won 13 of its 20 games against NL teams.
The Rays averaged a full run less per game than the Dodgers during the regular season, as Los Angeles led all of baseball in that category. BetMGM doesn’t have a lot of props for Game 1 on its app and website yet. But that may change as the clock moves closer to the 5:09 p.m. PT game time.
Will the Dodgers have an edge over the Rays because of the venue?
When the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw takes the mound against Tyler Glasnow Tuesday, the Dodgers will hope that familiarity won’t breed contempt. Los Angeles played its previous series at Globe Life, a full seven-game slate in the National League Championship Series.
The Rays, on the other hand, traveled from Petco Park in San Diego, where they won the ALCS. Tampa Bay has an advantage of an extra day of rest, however, as their series ended Saturday night.
While it’s difficult to predict exactly how the neutral site will affect this series, that’s not the only venue that bettors in California should familiarize themselves with if they want to bet on this series.
There’s still time for Californians to make the trip to Nevada and stake some cash on a Dodgers championship. Successful BetMGM bettors just might prove to be the “taco the town.”