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Betting on the World Series

The 112th World Series is here, and the National League champs, the Chicago Cubs and American League champs, the Cleveland Indians, have fought tooth and nail for their 2016 World Series appearance and a chance to win the Commissioner’s Trophy.

The best-of-seven playoffs are slated to start on October 25th, 2016 and will go to November 2nd if necessary. The Cleveland Indians will have home-field advantage this year, due to the American League's triumphant 4-2 win over the National League team at the 2016 All-Star game earlier this season.  

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 (currently 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% 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 9 of their 14 appearances, followed by the Red Sox, who have won 8 of their 12 appearances.

In the National League, St. Louis is leading with 11 wins in their 19 appearances, followed by the San Francisco Giants (previously New York) winning 8 of their 20 appearances and the LA Dodgers (previously Brooklyn) winning 6 of their 18 appearances. There are still two teams who have yet to see a championship: 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:

Run Lines:

Run lines 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 run lines aren’t as high as regular season lines because the matchup is usually much closer, the lines never usually 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 pinning 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.

Moneyline

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 Reds (-120), the Reds 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.

Props

Prop bets aren’t usually offered year-round, so the World Series is the time to shine for sportsbook’s 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 late edition to the growing live betting phenomenon, baseball was finally added to sportsbook’s 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.