- Dodgers open as -210 favorites to win World Series over Rays
- LA’s odds have since dropped to -190
- Dodgers also open as -170 favorites to win Tuesday’s Game 1
On Sunday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers overcame an early deficit to beat the Atlanta Braves, 4-3, in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. The Dodgers have advanced to the World Series for the third time in the last four years, and the 21st time in the franchise’s decorated history.
However, Los Angeles will be looking to win the title for the first time since 1988. The Dodgers were beaten in the 2017 and 2018 Fall Classics by the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox, respectively. While the franchise’s championship drought has spanned over three decades, oddsmakers like the Dodgers’ chances of finally lifting the trophy again in 2020.
Shortly after the Dodgers’ aforementioned victory over the Braves, William Hill US installed LA as -210 favorites to win their upcoming series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Betting activity on the Rays has since shifted the line to Dodgers -190, while Tampa Bay checks in at +165.
WORLD SERIES BOUND. pic.twitter.com/BbWgIsBZ07
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 19, 2020
Of course, it’s no surprise that the Dodgers are here. LA has been among the betting favorites all season long, and William Hill listed them as co-favorites with the New York Yankees back in July shortly before the truncated 60-game season began. The Dodgers finished with a league-best 43-17 record during the regular season, which certainly didn’t sway oddsmakers’ confidence in their chances of postseason success.
The Dodgers have been the betting favorite in every single game of their playoff run to this point, even after falling into a 3-1 series deficit against the Braves in the NLCS. Los Angeles was able to dig their way out of that hole with three straight wins to close the series out.
Rays Have Been Underdogs All Year
While the Rays may be heavy underdogs, we shouldn’t act as though they’re some Cinderella story. Tampa Bay finished with the best record in the American League (40-20) during the regular season. This team won 90 games in 2018 and 96 games a season ago, so it’s not as though the Rays have come out of nowhere to win the pennant.
Still, oddsmakers have been reluctant to fully buy-in to Tampa Bay. The Rays spent most of the season as sizable underdogs just to win the AL East. Tampa Bay began the year at +1800 to win the World Series, and their odds drifted all the way to +3000 by the time the postseason got underway.
The Rays swept their way past the Toronto Blue Jays in the Wild Card round before knocking off the favored Yankees in five games in the Division Series. Tampa Bay was able to close out the Astros in seven games in the ALCS on Saturday night despite jumping out to an early 3-0 series lead.
This will be the second World Series appearance for the Rays, who advanced to the championship round back in 2008. They were beaten that year in five games by the Philadelphia Phillies.
William Hill US says the Dodgers had attracted 26 percent of all money wagered on teams to win the World Series before the playoffs began. The Rays, meanwhile, garnered less than three percent of the money bet on the eventual World Series winner.
Dodgers Favored To Take Game 1
The Dodgers have also opened as -170 favorites to win Game 1, which will take place Tuesday night in Arlington, Texas. The Dodgers have played each of their last two playoff series at Globe Life Field, while the Rays played the ALDS and ALCS rounds at Petco Park in San Diego. Neither team has officially announced their starting pitcher for Tuesday’s Game 1, but lefty Clayton Kershaw is a likely choice for Dave Roberts after pitching just once during the NLCS. Tyler Glasnow, who pitched in the Rays’ ALCS Game 4 loss to the Astros, is the likeliest candidate to start for Kevin Cash.
Whichever team wins the World Series will be bringing their home city its second championship in a matter of weeks. The Tampa Bay Lightning won the NHL’s Stanley Cup last month, while the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Finals earlier this month.