• Bookies
  • MLB
  • MLB Picks
  • How Unlikely Is Tampa Bay Rays' Winning Streak?
Most Valuable Offer

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

Visit site
Must be 21+ to participate. T&Cs apply.

How Unlikely Is Tampa Bay Rays' Winning Streak?

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

Dan Kilbridge  | 4 mins

How Unlikely Is Tampa Bay Rays' Winning Streak?

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

Visit site
Used 34 Times Today
Popular in Virginia
Must be 21+ to participate. T&Cs apply.

The Tampa Bay Rays didn’t waste any time making history in 2023. They beat the Tigers, 4-0, on opening day, and one win led to another. And another. And another. 

Thursday’s 9-3 win over the Red Sox at Tropicana Field moved the Rays to 13-0, tying the 1982 Atlanta Braves and 1987 Milwaukee Brewers for the best start to a season in MLB history. And they have a chance to set the all-time record at 14-0 Friday in Toronto, where they’ll begin a three-game stint with the Blue Jays. 

Tampa has been the MLB betting favorite in all 13 wins, and the more cynical viewers have been quick to point out the easy schedule. The Rays opened with series’ against the Tigers, Nationals, Athletics and Red Sox – four teams that are currently last in their divisions – and this Blue Jays series will be their first against an opponent with a winning record. 

Soft schedule aside, this is baseball. Last-place teams beat first-place teams all the time. And it’s been 35 years since we’ve seen such an improbable run to start the season. 

Using the implied probability from the Rays’ moneyline MLB odds in all 13 games, we calculated the overall likelihood of the 13-0 start to be just 0.56%. 

In other words, the moneyline odds on a 13-0 run for Tampa would have been set around +17781 – nearly a 180-1 shot. 

It’s not like the Rays were supposed to be bad this year – Tampa was considered among the top third of the league, with the 10th-best 2023 World Series futures odds at +2200. Those odds have since been cut in half, with the Rays now at +1000 on sports betting apps to get it done in October. 

Putting Rays Record Into Context

Oddsmakers are certainly keeping the schedule in consideration and haven’t overreacted. But nobody saw this unbeaten start coming, with good reason as the odds were about half of one percent. Just how big of a long shot is that? 

With the likelihood of this Rays start carrying about 180-1 odds, here are a few people who have better odds to win the 2024 U.S. Presidential Election, according to UK-based bookmaker Ladbrokes: 

  • Kanye West (100-1)
  • Mark Cuban (100-1)
  • Oprah Winfrey (100-1)
  • Tucker Carlson (100-1)
  • Maro Rubio (150-1)

Those five are all more likely to take the Oval Office than the Rays were to win their first 13 games in a row. 

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s 66-1 odds to walk down the Capitol steps and deliver an inaugural address – and what an address it would be – are more than twice as likely as the Rays’ unbeaten run to start the season. 

Up to $1,500 in Bonus Bets if Your First Bet Loses
Promo Code: BOOKIES

Visit site
Used 30 Times Today
Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Must be 21+ to participate. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (CO, DC, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY) Call 877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY). Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 1-800-327-5050 (MA), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI). Visit BetMGM.com for T&Cs. US promotional offers not available in NY, NV, or Puerto Rico.

In other sports terms, only two NFL teams have Super Bowl odds longer than 180-1 – the Houston Texans (200-1) and Arizona Cardinals (200-1). Baker Mayfield (150-1), Blaine Gabbert (150-1) and CeeDee Lamb (200-1) are among the players more likely to win MVP for the 2024 season than the Rays were to see this much success in April. 

On the golf links, the best comparison for the unlikelihood of the Rays’ 13-0 start would be Dylan Frittelli, Dean Burmester or Erik Van Rooyen winning the 2024 British Open at Royal Troon, with all three players carrying 180-1 odds. 

It’s also worth noting the Rays have dominated opponents, covering the run line and winning by two-plus in 12 of the 13 games. Their average margin of victory of 5.5 runs is more than double the next-best team, with the Brewers at an average margin of victory of 1.9 runs. 

The schedule has certainly been soft and the Rays have a long ways to go to win the AL East, let alone the World Series. But the numbers prove just how unlikely this historic start has been, with Tampa looking to take it a step further and break the all-time record this weekend in Toronto. 

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

Visit site
Used 42 Times Today
Must be 21+ to participate. T&Cs apply.

About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.