Sportsbooks Pulling for Tampa Bay Rays Over Los Angeles Dodgers in World Series

Posted on: October 20, 2020, 12:02h. 

Last updated on: October 20, 2020, 05:01h.

People like pulling for the underdog. When the World Series starts on Tuesday night, sportsbooks will be pulling for the Tampa Bay Rays to topple the powerful Los Angeles Dodgers.

Los Angeles Dodgers star Cody Bellinger
Los Angeles Dodgers star Cody Bellinger celebrates his home run in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series that sent the team to the World Series. The Dodgers will face the Tampa Bay Rays for the title, with Game 1 on Tuesday night. (Image: Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

The Dodgers have been the favorites to win Major League Baseball’s championship all season, and that’s continued into the World Series.

At PointsBet, the Dodgers are -200 and the Rays are +160. At FanDuel, the Dodgers are -210 and the Rays +176. It’s Dodgers -200 and Rays +175 at Westgate SuperBook.

The gulf between those odds has expanded.

We opened with the Dodgers at $1.80 to win the World Series against Tampa, and now they’re up to $2.20. The money’s pouring in on the Dodgers,” said Nick Bogdanovich, the director of trading at William Hill, to

Los Angeles is the favorite for the series and in Game 1. The World Series will be held at Globe Life Field, the Texas Rangers’ stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Money Matchup

That the Dodgers are playing in their third World Series in four years should be no surprise. According to Spotrac, their team payroll of $107.9 million was the second-highest in baseball. They won an MLB-high 43 games.

The Rays’ payroll of $28.3 million not only is the third-cheapest, but it’s barely more than the Dodgers are paying pitcher Clayton Kershaw ($16.3 million) and outfielder Mookie Betts ($10 million) combined. Still, their 40 wins were the second-most in MLB.

It should be a heck of a series. Anytime you get the best teams from each league going at it, that’s always a good thing,” Bogdanovich said.

“Obviously, the Dodgers have been in the finals a zillion times. It’s the No. 2 media market vs. a small one, David vs. Goliath. Tampa, for the longest time, they’ve played in the worst park. They should have probably moved 10 times but they haven’t and they’re there. We’re definitely going to be rooting David vs. Goliath,” he continued.

William Hill’s not alone.

At PointsBet, the Dodgers and New York Yankees entered the season as championship co-favorites. With a national following, the Dodgers were bet heavily all season.

They’ve basically been our No. 2 all season in terms of bet count and liability,” said Patrick Eichner, PointsBet’s director of communications, to “It’ll be a big loss for us if they go ahead and capture the crown, just with how hyped they were going into the season. They’ve been a popular pick all along.”

According to the director of publicity Kevin Hennessy, FanDuel will win either way, but the Rays would be the “much better” result. The popularity of the New York Yankees is why FanDuel is in a good position.

Strong Action

While the NFL dominates the sports landscape, Eichner said PointsBet has seen strong action on the World Series.

The Dodgers are one of the few franchises that can dub themselves a national MLB team,” Eichner said. “With the Dodgers involved, there’s a lot of action. There’s great interest. It is the World Series. It looks like we’ll probably perform better than last year with Houston and the Nationals. Having the Dodgers involved is nice for us.”

At midday Tuesday, Ed Salmons, the vice president of risk management and oddsmaking at SuperBook, called the series action “decent.” However, as first pitch approached, he said the “action has really picked up” on Game 1 and the series as a whole.

“We have seen more money by a 2-1 [ratio] for the Rays,” he noted.

In Game 1, three-time Cy Young Award winner Kershaw will pitch for the Dodgers against Tampa Bay’s Tyler Glasnow. Not unlike the rosters in total, Kershaw has an enormous edge based on name recognition, which is one reason why the Dodgers are consensus 1.5-run favorites.

However, his playoff history has zoomed up and down like an elevator. In his last five postseason starts, he’s had an earned-run average of 7-plus three times. On the other hand, he started this postseason by shutting out the Milwaukee Brewers for eight innings.

Dodgers stars Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager are the favorites in FanDuel’s World Series MVP market at +800.  At PointsBet, Betts is +800 and Kershaw +900, with Glasnow the Rays’ best bet at +1,000.