The 2020 World Series is set to begin tonight when Los Angeles faces Tampa Bay in a
battle of the two best teams in baseball.
Sportsbooks have released a plethora of enticing options for bettors, including series bets, prop
bets and specialty bets. BetOnline has offerings ranging from Mookie Betts robbing a home run
(+400) to the World Series ending on a strikeout (+250).
There is one bet with a lot of value—Tampa Bay to hit ‘under’ 9.5 home runs during the
series. BetOnline has it priced at -120 on both sides, which is standard juice for these small
market, specialty props.
The Rays are coming off a seven-game series against Houston in which they were mashing
homers almost every night. Those long balls have created value on the ‘under’ here, though.
Tampa Bay was No. 14 in the MLB in homers during the regular season, but it has jumped to
No. 1 in the postseason, going deep in 1.5% more of its at-bats.
I am not sold on that spike for several reasons. Tampa Bay has faced New York and Houston in
the playoffs. The Yankees were fifth-worst in baseball this season when it came to allowing
homers, so the Rays were not the only team to consistently go deep against them. Houston was
better at limiting power during the year, but that series took place at Petco Park—one of the most
hitter-friendly parks in the country.
Tampa Bay now has to face Los Angeles, which finished No. 2 in least homers allowed during
the regular season. The Dodgers have only given up 12 homers in 12 playoff games this season,
despite facing two of the top five power-hitting teams in MLB in Atlanta and San Diego.
The World Series is taking place at the brand new Globe Life Park in Arlington, which has
tough, deep dimensions. It was No. 22 out of all stadiums in the regular season in home runs and
there were plenty of warning track blasts between Atlanta and Los Angeles in the NLCS.
This series is also only projected to go six games, which means the Rays would need to average
1.67 homers per game to cash the ‘over’ 9.5 here. A sweep or five-game series would provide
even more value on the ‘under.’
Tampa Bay’s hot hitting in a batter-friendly ballpark has created an opportunity for bettors to
take advantage of an inflated total.