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World Series 2020 betting odds: Betts boosts Dodgers odds

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MLB spring training is finally upon us and it won’t be long until the first pitch of the 2020 MLB regular season is thrown. With that being said, sportsbooks have been updating the odds for the next World Series champion since before the calendar flipped to the new year, so let’s take a look at the current favorites and underdogs for the 2020 World Series.

After their key off-season addition in ace pitcher Gerrit Cole, the New York Yankees are the oddsmakers’ favorites to win it all this year with odds of +350, according to the popular online sportsbook Bet365. They are closely followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers at +400, who, of course, have recently added star right fielder Mookie Betts to their lineup.

The Houston Astros, despite playing this season under major controversy, sit next +600. A pair of NL East rivals round out the Top 5 as the Atlanta Braves come in at +1,200 and the defending-champion Washington Nationals sit at +1,400.

Odds to win 2020 World Series

Team Odds to win 2020 World Series
New York Yankees +350
Los Angeles Dodgers +400
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,200
Washington Nationals +1,400
Minnesota Twins +1,400
St. Louis Cardinals +1,600
Philadelphia Phillies +1,800
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
New York Mets +2,000
Milwaukee Brewers +2,200
Boston Red Sox +2,500
Chicago Cubs +2,500
Cleveland Indians +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +3,000
Oakland Athletics +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,300
Los Angeles Angels +3,300
Arizona Diamondbacks +4,000
San Diego Padres +4,000
Texas Rangers +6,600
Toronto Blue Jays +6,600
Colorado Rockies +15,000
San Francisco Giants +25,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +25,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Detroit Tigers +100,000
Baltimore Orioles +100,000
Miami Marlins +100,000
Kansas City Royals +100,000

Odds subject to change at any time.

Understanding World Series futures odds

Sportsbooks will post odds for the World Series as early as the day after the end of the previous MLB postseason. These odds are constantly adjusted throughout the offseason as players get hurt or are suspended or traded. Once the season begins in late March, title odds will change as often as daily as teams win and lose games and as players get hurt or suspended. Sportsbooks will also adjust the MLB futures odds based on handle and liability to certain teams.

World Series futures odds will usually look like this:

  • New York Yankees +350

This means that on a $100 bet, you’ll stand to profit $350 if the Yankees win the World Series. If it’s close to the end of the regular season or during the playoffs and if there is a very dominant team, you might see that a team is has a minus sign (-) ahead of its odds.

  • Boston Red Sox -120

This means that you would need to bet $120 to win $100 on a Red Sox championship.

Above we have posted the American odds for MLB futures. However, these are easy to convert to decimal odds or fractional odds with our odds converter tool.

How to bet on MLB futures odds

There are a few different ways to bet on professional baseball futures odds. One way is by selecting the winner of the World Series. You’re able to do this from basically after the final out of the previous year’s World Series all the way through the next year’s playoffs.

There are many other baseball futures markets to dive into as well, such as odds to win the National League and American League pennants, odds to win each division within both the NL and AL, and by taking the Over or Under on a team’s total wins for the season. Some sportsbooks will also offer markets on player awards such as the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year.

Longshots to consider when betting the Shoemaker Mile

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Monday’s Shoemaker Miles Stakes at Santa Anita Park is a great race for a number of reasons. For starters, the Shoemaker Mile is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” race that offers the winner a guaranteed spot in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland.

Watch the Shoemaker Mile on Monday, May 25 from 6-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

The race also features last year’s Preakness Stakes winner, War of Will, making his season debut. Despite his triumphs on the dirt in 2019, War of Will started his career on the turf and his pedigree suggests that he’s very likely to be just as successful on the grass. That said, the Shoemaker Mile will be his first start off of a six-month break, and I’m going to try to take a swing or two with some horses who could upset the apple cart at longer odds.

Let’s start out with the horse on the rail, Without Parole. He won the Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes going a mile at Ascot back in 2018. His three other career wins have all came at this mile distance as well. Granted, he hasn’t won in six races since the St. James’s Palace but he did finish a fast-closing third two starts ago in a much tougher U.S. debut in the TVG Breeders’ Cup MileIrad Ortiz Jr. rode Without Parole in that race and he will reclaim the mount on him again on Monday.

Without Parole has only had one race this year and it was in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational in which he finished second to last. However, he had several excuses right from the start of that race when he got squeezed coming out of the gate. He also raced in traffic throughout and got cut off several times in the stretch before Frankie Dettori — who had come from Europe to ride him at Gulfstream — finally just wrapped up on him. The Pegasus World Cup Turf also was a race that didn’t allow him to run on Lasix (furosemide) after he’d shown significant improvement racing on Lasix for the first time at the Breeders’ Cup.

Stream the 2020 Shoemaker Mile live here

How much of a factor might Lasix be for some horses? Well, let’s next look at the horse who finished last in the Pegasus World Cup Turf: Next Shares. In his following start (back on Lasix) in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes, Next Shares finished third (beaten just a neck) to River Boyne. Both Next Shares and River Boyne return in the Shoemaker Mile and I prefer the former as a pace play who has plenty of back-class. If you rewatch the Kilroe Mile, Next Shares covered a lot more ground than River Boyne. With a similar effort, Next Shares could certainly turn the tables.

The other thing to like about Next Shares is that his trainer, Richard Baltas, has entered speedster Neptune’s Storm in the Shoemaker Mile. That horse, along with Voodoo Song, should ensure a very brisk pace up front — they’ll also be kept honest by Blitzkrieg and War of Will, both of whom usually race on or near the lead. All of that speed adds up to good news for Next Shares. He’s a Grade 1 winner who has always done his best running when he’s had some pace to run into. The other two keys for him (like all stalking or closing-type runners) is clear running room late, and hopefully he’ll get that with Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez taking the mount.

Lastly, we should take a look at True Valour. It’s hard to make much of an excuse for his flat finish in the Kilroe last out, but he’s truly performed better than what his results on paper might indicate. In the Thunder Road Stakes in February, he looked pretty keen early and it took him a few strides to settle down without throwing his head around and fighting his rider. Turning for home, it was clear that jockey Andrea Atzeni had plenty of horse under him but was just waiting for some running room. It ended up coming too late because River Boyne was in a better spot and had already taken command. True Valour did split horses nicely in the closing stages and was half a jump away from finishing second.

If you go back to the Breeders’ Cup Mile, True Valour had excuses there, too. He was up on heels early and he again took a little bit of time to settle down into a comfortable stride. Then, turning for him, he was just waiting for running room but instead got stuck behind a wall of horses. True Valour ended up steadying pretty badly and lost all chance at that point. I’m a little worried about how headstrong he tends to be early in races, but there’s a scenario here that could have at least two horses battling for the lead early and opening up some daylight on the rest of the field. That means he’ll be less likely to be running up on anyone’s heels and it also ensures that he’ll have a nice setup. Whether he can navigate clear passage late in the race is a separate matter.

Longshot Selections

#1 Without Parole

#3 Next Shares

#2 True Valour

Watch the Shoemaker Mile on Monday, May 25 from 6-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

How to bet an exacta on a horse race

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Betting an exacta can present a challenge on several levels.

There is, of course, the primary need to analyze past performances and decide which horses are going to finish first and second.

Yet because of the inherently lower payoffs as opposed to what you’ll find in a Pick 3 or Pick 4, you’ll need to structure your wagers effectively in order to turn your selections into a profitable wager.

For starters, an exacta can be a simple wager. If you like two horses equally, you can just box them in the exacta and collect so long as they finish 1-2 in any order. If you like one of them a little more, you can then bet more on the one you prefer, say $10 on a 1-2 exacta and $5 on 2-1.

If you’re a little more uncertain, make sure you structure your bet around the size of the field and the probable payoffs.

If you like a longshot, the higher probable payoffs give you the cushion you need to wager on more combinations and still turn a nice profit.

But if you’re dealing with favorites or horses at relatively low odds, you have to wager more efficiently to preserve your profit.

In a field of six or less, you’re best to either focus on one horse or box two of them instead of boxing three or more horses because of the small payouts the bet will most likely generate.

In a field of seven, a wise strategy would be to box your top two choices and then, if you are worried about other horses, play them top and/or bottom other the other horses. For example, box 1-2, then bet 1-2 over 3-4 and 3-4 over 1-2. This way you are getting coverage on four horses without having to box them.

Once you get an eight-horse field, as long as there is not an overwhelming favorite, you can expand the number of horses you box since the payoffs will typically be higher, giving you a better opportunity to offset the inevitable array of losing tickets in a boxed wager.