Betting on the World Series of Baseball

Every baseball season ends with the World Series. This best-of-seven series occurs in late October each year. Hence, why it is also referred to as the Fall Classic. For us sports bettors, it’s the last opportunity of the season to win some money betting on baseball.

Major League Baseball has been popular for over 100 years. There is so much tradition and history behind the Fall Classic. Legends have been made, careers defined, and sometimes reputations destroyed all because of this annual sporting event.

This page explains how teams make it to the World Series, how to bet on the World Series and which sports betting sites offer the best odds.

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How to Bet on the World Series of Baseball

Betting on the World Series is easy for anyone anywhere in the world. You can bet online at hundreds of different sportsbooks, most of which offer a mobile app that allows you to wager anywhere, whether you’re at home, at the beach, or at work.

The first thing you need to do is choose a reputable sportsbook, which we can help you find. We recommend picking 2-3 places to wager, at the very least, just so you have access to the best odds. It’s best to shop around for the most advantageous lines. You can only do that if you’re using multiple sportsbooks.

After finding an app to wager, you need to make a deposit and then do some research on the teams in the World Series and betting options available.

Why it’s Difficult to Bet on Baseball

The one drawback to betting on baseball is the game is so unpredictable compared to sports like basketball and football. In baseball, any team can, and often does, beat any other team on any given day. Over the course of a season, the best teams come out ahead. But you can never be so sure which team will win one individual game, or even a short series of games.

That makes it tough to bet on the World Series of Baseball, which represents a small sample-size. The best team doesn’t always win. Sometimes the ball bounces a funny way, helping an inferior team win the series. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bet on the Fall Classic. Of course you should bet, because it makes the games even more entertaining.

What are the different types of bets?

Moneyline: With this form of betting, you’re simply wagering on one team to win the game outright. There aren’t standard point spreads in baseball like in basketball or football. So, the most common way to bet is the moneyline. Unless the oddsmakers handicap the matchup evenly, you won’t get even-money odds. The favorite always has a – symbol next to the line and the underdog has a + symbol.

MLB Run Lines: These are similar to football point spreads except the odds aren’t usually the same. MLB run lines take the moneyline and then incorporate a pseudo-spread. So, lets say the moneyline is -120 on the Chicago Cubs to win (favorite) and +140 on the St. Louis Cardinals to win (underdog), the run line might be Chicago -1.5 and St. Louis +1.5. For you to win this bet, you either need to Cubs to win by at least two runs or the Cardinals to lose by less than two, depending on which side you bet. But the moneyline for Chicago would switch to around +120 and the line on the Cardinals would shift to about -110.
Futures: Before the season, during the season, or prior to the start of the World Series, you can place a futures bet on which team you think will win the World Series. The best time to make this wager is before the season begins because that is when you’ll find the best odds. Since all 30 teams have a chance to win the series before the year, you’ll find great odds on the teams that are projected to contend.

With a futures bet, the team you wager on must win the World Series or you lose the bet. Favorites to win the 2019 World Series are as follows (preseason):

Team Odds to Win Series $100 Bet Pays
Houston Astros 6-1 $600
Boston Red Sox 6-1 $600
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-1 $700
New York Yankees 7-1 $700
Chicago Cubs 10-1 $1,000

Over/Unders: If you don’t want to just bet on one team, you can bet on the total runs scored in the game. This is called the over/under. If you think the teams will combine to score more runs than the listed run line, you will bet the over. If not, you’ll go with the under.

There are other types of wagers you can make on the World Series such as predicting how many games it will take a certain team to win the series.

The Road to the World Series

The Major League Baseball season is long. After Spring Training concludes at the end of March, the regular season begins in April. Each of the 30 teams play 162 games. At the conclusion of the regular season, the six teams with the best records in the National League and American League advance to the postseason.

The three division champs in each league are given a first round bye, meaning they don’t play in the Wild Card round. Two additional teams then face off in a win-or-go-home Wild Card game. After that quick round, a best-of-five Divisional round takes place with two winners advancing to the best-of-seven League Championship. And then, if you make it out of that round still standing, it’s off to the World Series, another best-of-seven series, between the American League and National League champions.

World Series History

Many of the greatest moments not just in baseball but all of sports have taken place in the World Series. From Joe Carter’s walk-off homerun to win it all in 1993 to umpire Don Denkinger’s horrible call at first base in Game 6 in 1985 that proved costly for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Kansas City Royals, the World Series has provided so many incredible moments.

The first World Series took place way back in 1903 with the Boston Americans, now the Boston Red Sox, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5 games to 3. Due to a business rivalry between the two leagues, no World Series was hosted the following year.

That was the last year the Fall Classic was absent until 1994 when the MLB players were on strike. Every year since, the MLB season has concluded with the championship series.

Teams with the Most Wins

No team has made or won more World Series than the New York Yankees. The Bronx Bombers have 27 titles in 40 appearances. Legends such as Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Babe Ruth have won championships wearing Yankee pinstripes.

The St. Louis Cardinals rank second all-time in World Series wins (11) and the Boston Red Sox, after winning it all in 2018, are in third place (3).

Teams That Have Never Won the World Series

There are currently seven franchises that have never won a World Series title: Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies, and Tampa Bay Rays.

Recent World Series Winners

In 2018, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games. The Sox dominated the series in every facet of the game. It was the second straight year LA fell in the Fall Classic. In 2017, they lost in Game 7 to the Houston Astros, giving that franchise its first championship ever.

Year Winning Team Losing Team Outcome
2018 Boston Red Sox Los Angeles Dodgers Bos 4-1
2017 Houston Astros Los Angeles Dodgers Hou 4-3
2016 Chicago Cubs Cleveland Indians Chi 4-3
2015 Kansas City Royals New York Mets KC 4-1
2014 San Francisco Giants Kansas City Royals SF 4-3

| World Series of Baseball FAQ

Ready to bet on the World Series? Before you do, here are some answers to the questions we frequently receive about baseball betting and the Fall Classic.

How is the Wild Card determined?

Each league – American and National – has three divisions (East, Central, West). The three division winners in each league are guaranteed a playoff berth regardless of overall record. The two teams in each league that have the best remaining records are selected to compete in the Wild Card game.

Which team has won the World Series the most?

The New York Yankees with 27 championships, 16 more than any other team. The St. Louis Cardinals have won 11.

Who gets homefield advantage?

In recent years, Major League Baseball has changed the way it determines the team with homefield advantage in the World Series. For nearly 15 years, the team from the league that won the All-Star Game received homefield advantage, but the league has now reverted back to awarding it to the World Series team with the best regular season record.

Homefield advantage doesn’t give a team a huge edge in baseball, although it does help a bit. The team with the best record gets to play at home for games 1,2,6, and 7.

Which teams have never won a World Series?

As of 2019, there are still seven teams that haven’t won a World Series title. Those teams are San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies, Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Brewers. The Seattle Mariners haven’t ever so much as made it to the Fall Classic.

What is the most innings played in a World Series game?

The longest game happened recently between Boston and Los Angeles in 2018. After losing the first two games, it appeared the Dodgers were down and out. But they rallied to score a memorable victory in Game 3, winning 3-2 in 18 innings, the longest World Series game ever. Many felt the victory would help spark a Dodger rally but they didn’t win another game in the series.

The longest game in baseball history occurred on May 8, 1984, a 33-inning affair between the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers. The White Sox pulled it out 7-6.