The Tampa Bay Rays have benefitted from being in the same division as the Baltimore Orioles. They have played the Orioles 19 times this season, and won 18 of them.
But the Rays are more than that. First of all, the Rays need credit for taking care of business against a bad team. Second, the Rays have plenty of wins over everyone else too.
The Rays have won seven in a row, are an AL-best 82-48 and have a six-game lead over the New York Yankees in the AL East. They're the third-most profitable team for bettors in MLB, earning $1,897 for a hypothetical bettor who put $100 on them every game according to Covers.com (the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners are the two most profitable teams for bettors).
The Rays start a series against the Boston Red Sox on Monday as -140 favorites at BetMGM. Not only are the Rays a decent play Monday, as they are in any game in which they're not laying too much juice, maybe it's time to take a look at their World Series odds.
Because the Rays don't have a ton of star power, they're not talked about as a World Series favorite. That's reflected in their odds too. The Rays are +900 at BetMGM to win it all, tied for the sixth-best odds. They're behind the Yankees. That's not a lot of respect for a team that has had the best record in the AL for a while now. The Rays just keep winning and cashing tickets for bettors. It's not out of the question they can just keep winning through October.
Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:
Any afternoon action?
There is one afternoon game in MLB. The Minnesota Twins face the Detroit Tigers. Hey, didn't say it was a good game. The Tigers are +105 underdogs at home, and not a bad play if you're looking for some early action while you work.
What about the rest of the MLB schedule?
It has been hard to find good MLB games with so many teams having sold at the trading deadline, but there's a few to start the week. The Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants, two first-place teams, played a fun series in Milwaukee recently and they start again Monday. The Brewers are a heavy -155 favorite, and it's just another opportunity to bet the underrated Giants.
The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers meet in L.A., with the Dodgers as a -200 favorite. It's tough to take them at that price, so the Braves at +170 might be worth a shot.
Who cashed tickets this weekend?
Football that counted was back. The college football season kicked off. Illinois got a win over Nebraska, easily covering as a 7-point underdog. Perhaps the most eye-opening result was UCLA handling Hawaii 44-10. Maybe Chip Kelly is turning a corner at UCLA in his fourth season.
If you had Bryson DeChambeau in the BMW Championship, it was a rough one. DeChambeau, who was sparring with fans and Patrick Cantlay, lost a one-stroke lead going into the 18th hole, then couldn't sink a winning putt in the playoff. Cantlay won after a six-hole playoff.
The New York Yankees' winning streak finally ended Saturday, and then they lost again to the Oakland A's on Sunday night as Tony Kemp hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning. The Yankees were -140 favorites. Baseball can be fickle. Speaking of that, the Colorado Rockies somehow took two of three from the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend.
Who's the best bet?
I trust the Rays. Laying -140 isn't too bad for a team that has been a consistent winner all season. Hopefully Tampa Bay can get the week started off right.