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World Series Betting Sites
After six months of Major League Baseball’s regular season, the one-game wild-card playoff, the best-of-five division series and the best-of-seven League Championship Series, the champion of the sport is determined each year in the World Series, where the pennant winners of the American League and National League square off in a best-of-seven series with a 2-3-2 format.
Played since 1903, excepting only 1904 and 1994, the “Fall Classic” is a touchstone of American sports, and of course a popular event for MLB betting, with wagering options ranging from simply picking the winner to a variety of prop bets.
How To Bet On MLB World Series
There are various betting options throughout the World Series, starting with a straight-up wager on the series winner and various pre-series prop bets. Each game in the series brings a fresh chance to bet, and the odds often shift based on who the starting pitcher is for each game.
A series underdog may be a favorite for an individual game if the matchup is particularly favorable. There also are prop bets available for individual games, the most popular of which is over/under betting – just choose whether there will be more or less runs in the game than the number set by the bookmaker, and you’re good to go, no matter who wins!
Understanding MLB World Series Betting Odds
For most baseball bets, you’ll see favorites listed as “minus” a number, and underdogs listed as “plus” a number. If a moneyline betting favorite is at -150, it means, if you win, you get $100 for each $150 you bet.
On the other side of things, a team at +175 would pay $175 for each $100 bet.
While an over/under bet is a straight call on how many runs will be scored in a game, over or under a specific figure, it is not uncommon to see the odds differ between over and under, because it is easier to shift the odds based on the market than it is to change the line – unlike in, say, basketball, where betting action can cause the over/under number to shift, with the odds staying fairly constant.
What Are the Top MLB World Series Bets?
- Series winner: Pick the team that will win the World Series.
- Individual game bets: Pick the winner of single games of the World Series.
- Over/under: For each individual game, choose whether there will be more or less total runs scored than a bookmaker-set number. The number varies based on each game’s starting pitching matchup, and generally can be found higher or lower with odds fluctuating in kind.
- Run line: Bet on a game’s favorite to win by two or more runs, or the underdog to either win the game outright or lose by only one run. This is similar to point spread betting in other sports.
- MVP: Select the player who will be voted most valuable player of the series by a five-voter panel. Note that the award is exclusively for the World Series, not the entire playoffs. There may be an option for “Field” to include all players not listed in the pre-series odds – this will apply to most individual player bets, depending on your bookmaker of choice.
- Specific series result: Predict not only the winner of the series, but how many games it will take them to do it.
- Series length: Don’t bother with the winner, just say how long you think the series will last.
- Series games spread: Choose the series favorite to win in six games or fewer, or the series underdog to either win the series or force a Game 7.
- Statistical category leaders: Who will have the most strikeouts in the World Series? The most home runs? The most hits?
- Cross-sport bets: Time to get wacky. Will a team have more hits in that day’s World Series game than catches made by the star wide receiver from the NFL team in that team’s city? Will a pitcher have more strikeouts than an NBA player’s made three-pointers? Will you just be betting on something that amounts to a coin flip with a vig?
MLB World Series Betting Tips & Advice
How Teams Match Up
Always consider how the teams’ strengths and weaknesses match up. Is a lineup full of lefthanded power hitters about to face a pitching staff fronted by dominant lefthanded starters? That could wreak havoc on their lineup and tilt the series.
Does one of the teams have a home-field advantage that is distinctly tied to their home? That is to say, not just, “are they good at home?” but “are they good at home because their roster is constructed to thrive in that ballpark?”
When in doubt, focus on relief pitching, and how each team’s manager has deployed the bullpen throughout the playoffs. In a closely-matched series, that’s where the tight games are decided.
Picking an MVP
If you want to pick a series MVP, best of luck. There’s no telltale sign of who it will wind up being: sometimes it’s a star, sometimes a key player from the middle of the roster, sometimes a guy who gets a couple of big moments that decide games and, in turn, the series.
It varies from year to year and performance in the rest of the postseason leading up to the World Series is no indicator. It can be a pitcher, a hitter, anyone.
Don’t give in to the temptation to pick a series length that means a team will clinch on its home field. It obviously happens, but home-field advantage in baseball is not as extreme as it is in other sports, and hardly anyone gets to the World Series without being a high-quality road team, too.
Consider the weather report for over/under bets. Cool and damp October nights can have a chilling effect not only on the fans, but on the bats.
If the teams met in the regular season during interleague play, forget that it ever happened, because it means absolutely nothing come World Series time. It’s a whole new ballgame, and most importantly, the pitching matchups are very likely to be different anyway.