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Betting on the World Series

The 113th World Series is just around the corner, and teams from both the National League and American League are fighting to earn their place in the series and a chance to win the Commissioner’s Trophy.

The playoffs usually begin in October and and there are plenty of betting options available leading up to the World Series, along with great live betting and props during each playoff game. There is a fantastic selection of sportsbooks that offer great MLB odds, and we’ve narrowed down the best books for World Series betting:

Best World Series Betting Sites
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World Series History

The first official World Series was contested in 1903 between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Americans (now the Boston Red Sox) and resulted in Boston upsetting Pittsburgh five games to three. The American League have won an impressive 64 of the 111 World Series championships, 58 percent to be exact, with the Yankees leading the charge with 27 titles in only 40 appearances. The next best showing from the American League is the Oakland Athletics (formerly Philadelphia and Kansas City), who have won nine of their 14 appearances, followed by the Red Sox, who have won eight of their 12 appearances.

In the National League, St. Louis is leading with 11 wins in its 19 appearances, followed by the San Francisco Giants (previously New York) winning eight of their 20 appearances and the LA Dodgers (previously Brooklyn) winning six of their 18 appearances. There are still two teams who have yet to play in a World Series: the Seattle Mariners and the Washington Nationals.

Betting on the World Series

Though baseball viewership in the United States is rather high, MLB betting is not as popular as sports like American football or basketball. The World Series is another ball game (no pun intended); you’ll see a spike in MLB betting markets around the World Series due to the importance and popularity of this playoff series. Knowing the rules of baseball, team statistics and a bit about each player will help you to make the best decisions on your World Series bets.

World Series Betting Options

There are a few betting options available when betting on the World Series:


Runlines are very similar to a point spread in football or basketball. The oddsmaker will adjust the line so the underdog will have an advantage in the matchup. Typically, in World Series matchups, the underdog will receive +0.5 runs and the favorite will receive -0.5 runs. In this case, if the underdog loses, they mustn’t lose by more than one run, and if the favorite wins, they will need to win by at least one run. World Series runlines aren’t as high as regular-season lines because the matchup is usually much closer; the lines usually don’t exceed 1.5 runs.

Totals (Over/Under)

Betting on the totals in the World Series is similar to betting the totals in any other sport. The only significant difference is that baseball scores are usually much lower than other sports. The average total in MLB betting is 7.0 runs, but can range from 6.0 to 10.0, depending on the matchup. These numbers are usually even lower when you’re pitting the top two teams in Major League Baseball against each other. The oddsmaker selects one of these numbers and bettors must choose whether they think the total combined score of both teams will be OVER or UNDER that number.


The most common betting option for World Series betting is a moneyline bet.  This bet requires bettors to pick an outright winner of the matchup. If the Yankees (+110) are playing the Dodgers (-120), the Dodgers are the matchup favorite and the Yankees are considered the underdog. Bettors must decide who they think will win the matchup. Selecting the underdog will usually result in a larger payout due to the risk of the pick.


Prop bets aren’t usually offered year-round, so the World Series is the time to shine for sportsbooks’ prop bet offerings. There are usually plenty of bets available, revolving around individual player statistics, such as the number of runs or hits from a player, or the number of strikes a pitcher might throw.

Live Betting

A latecomer to the growing live betting phenomenon, baseball was finally added to sportsbooks’ live betting markets, and offers live, in-play betting on every outcome, at-bat or inning. There are countless markets available during the World Series – the biggest event in baseball.