Welcome to the 2020 baseball playoffs, where a record 16 teams will square off in best-of-three wild card series starting Tuesday.
The Los Angeles Dodgers remain the +350 favorites to win the World Series in this unprecedented postseason. But, fittingly, the long-suffering San Diego Padres have replaced the New York Yankees as the second choice at Las Vegas sportsbooks.
The Padres, who went 37-23 in the shortened regular season for their first winning record in 10 years, are 8-1 to win their first World Series. They’re also a six-figure liability at the Westgate and one of the largest liabilities at William Hill.
“The teams we need to fade are Oakland and San Diego. California is looking to bury us,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said. “We have a pretty big liability with those two.
“It’s wide open. Anyone can win it. There literally isn’t one team that cannot win it.”
The Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays also are six-figure liabilities at the Westgate.
“All those bets on the Twins pretty much came in before the original 162-game season and they’ve never really slowed,” Westgate sportsbook manager Randy Blum said. “It’s definitely wide open, especially the American League.
“On paper and the field, the Dodgers look like the best team. But in a best-of-three, anything can happen. All you’ve got to do is lose two games.”
$500K on Twins
The Twins also are a six-figure liability at DraftKings on Tuesday in Game 1 of their series against the Astros. Minnesota has lost a record 16 straight playoff games, but a bettor placed a $500,000 wager on the Twins (-149) to end their streak in the opener over Houston.
Mattress Mack back
Houston furniture store owner Jim McIngvale, aka “Mattress Mack,” is back after losing more than $13 million in wagers last season on the Astros to win the World Series.
McIngvale, who placed the bets last year to hedge a potential $20 million loss on a furniture promotion, made a $10,000 bet to win $300,000 on Thursday at the South Point on Houston to win the World Series at 30-1 odds.
“It’s a weird year for everything,” McIngvale said Monday. “They’ve got as good a chance as anybody. It’s playoff baseball. It’s who gets hot.”
McIngvale said he was negotiating with books Monday and planned to place more bets on the Astros, who placed second in the American League West with a 29-31 record and are +150 underdogs to the Twins in Game 1 and in the series.
The Dodgers are the biggest series favorites at -300 over the Brewers, followed by the Cubs (-210) over the Marlins, the Rays (-210) over the Blue Jays and the Padres (-190) over the Cardinals.
Indians (Even) over Yankees, series
In the closest betting matchup, the Yankees are -120 series favorites over the Indians (Even). Veteran Las Vegas oddsmaker Dave Sharapan likes Cleveland to win the series.
“They have the best pitching staff in the American League, along with the Rays,” said Sharapan (@SportsbkConsig). “They were my pick before the season to win the World Series and I’m sticking to it.”
Indians ace Shane Bieber (8-1, 1.63 ERA) will square off against Yankees ace Gerritt Cole (7-3, 2.84 ERA) in Tuesday’s opener. The line is a pick’em at the Westgate, at -105 on each side.
“Even if you like Cole, the Yankees’ main problem all year was their bullpen did not live up to expectations,” Blum said.
Blum agrees with Sharapan that the Rays have the pitching to make a World Series run and believes the Cincinnati Reds also have the arms to win it all.
“I wouldn’t want to play the Reds with the three pitchers they have in (Trevor) Bauer, (Luis) Castillo and Sonny Gray,” he said. “The Reds didn’t really live up to expectations, but if they get hot at the right time, they could do something.”
2020 MLB playoffs
Odds at Westgate
Win World Series
White Sox: 14-1
Blue Jays: 25-1
Wild-card series prices
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Blue Jays: +180
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White Sox: +105
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