MLB odds: Going into Game 5, bettors are rooting hard for Yankees and house is hoping for the Rays

Frank Schwab
·3 min read

Before the season started there were two Major League Baseball teams far ahead of everyone else, in terms of odds: The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Before the season was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions, both teams’ win totals were set over 100. That’s very rare. Those were the two clear World Series favorites.

The Dodgers have been as good as expected and advanced to the NLCS on Thursday night. They swept the San Diego Padres. The Yankees haven’t had such a smooth season.

When the Yankees took on numerous injuries and stumbled a bit during the regular season, their odds to win the World Series got longer. That led to more bets on the Yankees, who are never out of the spotlight, to win it all. When the Yankees got healthy and started turning things around, the sportsbooks had some concern. Suddenly, the house needed the Yankees to lose. There were more tickets on the Yankees to win the World Series than any other team.

As the Yankees go into Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night, there will be two rooting factions in the betting world: Bettors will be strongly for the Yankees. BetMGM is hoping for the Rays.

Most of money coming in on Yankees

It’s not just futures that are bothersome for the sportsbook when it comes to Game 5.

Although the tickets for Game 5 were nearly a perfect 50-50 split as of Friday morning, Yankees bets accounted for 89.9% of the money on the game’s outcome at BetMGM. The Yankees are -150 favorites and the Rays, the AL East champs, are +135 underdogs.

Since BetMGM can’t get any action against the Yankees, there’s only one thing left to do: Root for the other side.

“Yankees are the most bet on team to win the World Series and we would really appreciate it if the Rays would be so kind to say farewell to them from the playoffs,” BetMGM sportsbook manager Matt Cosgriff said. “Tonight, BetMGM are Rays fans.”

There will be plenty more people rooting on the Yankees.

New York Yankees' Gleyber Torres, right, celebrates with Brett Gardner, left, after Torres hit a two-run home run in Game 4 of the ALDS. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
New York Yankees' Gleyber Torres, right, celebrates with Brett Gardner, left, after Torres hit a two-run home run in Game 4 of the ALDS. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Yankees will go with Gerrit Cole

The Yankees fell behind 2-1 in the best-of-five series, and at that point the series odds on the Yankees rose to about 2-to-1 at BetMGM. Even more liability for the sportsbook from anyone who still believed in the Yankees to rally and advance to the ALCS.

The Yankees are in good shape. Their lineup is capable of putting up a big number. Giancarlo Stanton has been fantastic. Aaron Judge is in a slump but if he breaks out of it, that’s another tough out. And on the mound the Yankees will have Gerrit Cole, arguably the best pitcher in baseball. This is why the Yankees gave him a nine-year, $324 million deal this offseason.

The Rays are a good team too. They were 40-20 in the regular season. Friday’s starter, Tyler Glasnow, has been very good the past two seasons for Tampa Bay when he has been healthy.

It should be a good game. For many bettors, it will be a great game if the Yankees win.

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