MLB Postseason Betting

Live Betting Odds

Seemingly moments before the first pitch of the much-delayed 2020 season, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA finalized an agreement to expand this year’s MLB playoffs to 16 teams. Allowing two extra teams into the postseason in both the American and National Leagues will help to alleviate some of the pressures of the condensed 60-game regular season, and helps to ensure we’ll see the best teams competing for the 2020 World Series this fall.

With each team playing 40 games against their four divisional rivals (10 against each opponent) and another 20 games against teams from the corresponding division in the other league, many schedules were inherently uneven. Allowing two teams per division and another two wild-card teams into the playoffs in each league helps to re-level the playing field.

The modified postseason format is the latest of several rule changes for the pandemic-altered MLB season. Along with the regional-based schedule, rosters have grown to 30 players to start the season but will drop to 28 in two weeks, and to 26 four weeks into the season. All 30 teams will also be using a designated hitter all year.

Players included on the initial 60-man roster are allowed to train in the interim at another team site and may be called up at any time. Teams are also permitted to carry a three-man taxi squad for road trips in the event of a roster player getting injured or testing positive for COVID-19 on short notice.

Players who do test positive can be placed on the new COVID-19 inactive list for a period up to two weeks or until two negative tests are produced at least 24 hours apart and are cleared by the league’s testing lab.

You can find the current odds for MLB World Series futures below.

World Series Winner

LA Dodgers
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+375
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+400
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+380
NY Yankees
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+400
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+430
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+380
Houston
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+800
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+900
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+800
Atlanta
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+1300
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+1400
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+1300
Minnesota
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+1600
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+1500
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+1500
Tampa Bay
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+1800
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+1500
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+1800
Washington
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+1900
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+1650
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+1800
NY Mets
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+2000
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+1900
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+2200
Chicago Cubs
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+2200
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+2600
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+2200
Philadelphia
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+2200
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+2500
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+2200
St. Louis
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+2200
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+2600
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+2200
Chicago WS
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+2400
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+3300
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+3000
Cincinnati
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+2500
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+2500
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+2800
Cleveland
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+2500
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+2000
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+2200
Oakland
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+2500
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+2500
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+2200
LA Angels
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+3500
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+3500
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+4000
Milwaukee
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+3500
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+3500
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+4000
Boston
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+4000
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+4300
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+4000
San Diego
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+4500
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+4600
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+5000
Arizona
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+5000
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+3500
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+5000
Texas
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+8000
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+5500
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+8000
Toronto
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+8000
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+6500
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+10000
Pittsburgh
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+10000
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+14000
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+25000
Colorado
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+12500
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+14000
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+17500
SF Giants
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+15000
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+30000
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+30000
Kansas City
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+30000
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+30000
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+50000
Miami
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+30000
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+30000
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+75000
Baltimore
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+40000
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+30000
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+75000
Detroit
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+40000
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+30000
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+75000
Seattle
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+50000
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+16000
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+50000

How the MLB playoffs work

All teams are slated to finish the regular season by Sunday, Sept. 27, and the playoffs are expected to run from Tuesday, Sept. 29 through October. The postseason will follow the standard four-round format. 

The three division champions will be assigned seeds 1-3 based on records. Seeds 4-6 go to the No. 2 teams in each division and are again ordered by records. Seeds 7 and 8 go to the teams with the next-best records, regardless of division or overall standings.

Instead of the usual sudden-death, single-game Wild Card play-in, all eight teams will play a best of three Wild Card Series, with all three games played at the home of the higher-seeded team. i.e. No. 1 seed hosts No. 8, No. 2 hosts No. 7, and so on.

The Division Series will lengthen to five games. The top-seeded team will host the first two games, the other hosts Games 3 and 4. Game 5 would return to the home venue of the top team.

League Championship Series then expand to seven games. The top team hosts the first two games before the series shifts for Games 4-7 and reverts back to the first site for possible Games 6 and 7.

The 2020 World Series also remains as a best-of-seven series with the same travel requirement as the AL and NL Championships. The home-field advantage is assigned to the team with the better of the two regular-season records.

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How to bet the MLB Playoffs

All teams are slated to finish the regular season by Sunday, Sept. 27, and the playoffs are expected to run from Tuesday, Sept. 29 through October. The postseason will follow the standard four-round format.

The three division champions will be assigned seeds 1-3 based on records. Seeds 4-6 go to the No. 2 teams in each division and are again ordered by records. Seeds 7 and 8 go to the teams with the next-best records, regardless of division or overall standings.

Instead of the usual sudden-death, single-game Wild Card play-in, all eight teams will play a best of three Wild Card Series, with all three games played at the home of the higher-seeded team. i.e. No. 1 seed hosts No. 8, No. 2 hosts No. 7, and so on.

The Division Series will lengthen to five games. The top-seeded team will host the first two games, the other hosts Games 3 and 4. Game 5 would return to the home venue of the top team.

League Championship Series then expand to seven games. The top team hosts the first two games before the series shifts for Games 4-7 and reverts back to the first site for possible Games 6 and 7.

The 2020 World Series also remains as a best-of-seven series with the same travel requirement as the AL and NL Championships. The home-field advantage is assigned to the team with the better of the two regular-season records.

How to bet MLB futures

Once the playoffs are underway, bettors will have the option of wagering on the overall result of a series, or the entire season by backing a World Series champion.

These are called Futures bets and they can be placed during the preseason, regular season, or during the postseason. Sportsbooks already have odds in place to take the 2020 World Series winner with the Dodgers (+375) and Yankees (+400) leading the way at DraftKings Sportsbook. Those teams are also the respective leaders to win the National and American League.

As the season draws closer we should see a market on Players Futures, such as the MVP and CY Young Award winners for each league. There is usually a market of propositions on a players statistics for the season and on how many games each team will win, but oddsmakers will need time to adjust for the shortened schedule before setting those props.