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Rays Fall to +3000 to Win 2019 World Series Despite Holding Wild Card Spot

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in MLB Baseball

Aug 13, 2019 · 9:16 AM PDT

Rays pitcher warming up in the bullpen
The Tampa Bay Rays are on a torrid hot streak, but perhaps they're just warming up for the postseason? Photo by Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida (flickr) [CC License].
  • The Rays’ average World Series odds have been lengthened to +3000
  • Tampa Bay is fresh off a 3-game sweep of Seattle, and has a very favorable schedule down the stretch
  • Is there value betting on the Rays to win the World Series, given their inside track on a Wild Card berth?

Online sports books are bearish on the Tampa Bay Rays. Kevin Cash’s team is red hot, but one look at their World Series odds and you’d think they were in the midst of a massive losing streak. The Rays have average odds of +3000 (as you’ll see in the link above), though others are a little more optimistic.

2019 World Series Odds

Team Odds
Houston Astros +275
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Atlanta Braves +1200
Chicago Cubs +1600
Cleveland Indians +1600
Minnesota Twins +1600
Tampa Bay Rays +2500

*Odds taken 08/12/19

Tampa has won 10 of its last 12, but despite the recent success their average 2019 World Series odds have been lengthened to +3000. Tampa Bay’s price is slightly shorter elsewhere, but it’s still much longer than both the Indians and Twins, two teams they’re jockeying with in the AL Wild Card race.

The Rays Schedule is Very Friendly

After a rocky start to the second half, it appears the Rays have righted the ship. They’ve posted wins in four of their past five series and have a firm grasp on the second AL Wild Card. Tampa Bay has a 77% chance to make the postseason, according to FanGraphs, and their soft schedule down the stretch is a big reason why.

Of their final 43 games, just 10 will be played against teams currently holding a playoff position and 26 will be against opponents with a combined .390 winning percentage. While Minnesota also has a favorable remaining schedule, both other Wild Card contenders Cleveland and Oakland will face still competition over the final six weeks which hinders their playoff chances.

The Rays have a team rating higher than all but four teams in the Majors according to FiveThirtyEight, and that could drastically improve once their starting rotation returns to full health.

Snell Takes Tampa’s Staff to Another Level

The most impressive part of Tampa Bay’s scorching hot play is the fact that they’ve done it without their ace in the lineup. Blake Snell has been sidelined for nearly a month with an elbow issue, but that hasn’t stopped the Rays staff from dominating opposing hitters.

They’ve allowed the fewest runs in the AL and rank top-3 in WHIP, OPS allowed and strikeouts. Charlie Morton is on pace for the best season of his career, and his ascension now gives the Rays two legit options for a one game Wild Card playoff, while a team like the A’s doesn’t have a single reliable option at their disposal.

Take a Shot with Tampa Bay

Great pitching can not only steal a winner take all showdown, but an entire series as well. No other long shot in the AL can match the Rays pitching depth, making them a more intriguing World Series option than the Indians, Twins or Athletics. None of those teams can match the offense of the Astros or Yankees, so the only way to upset of the AL’s juggernauts is by neutralizing their bats, and the Rays have the best chance to do so.

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