The World Series is Major League Baseball’s (MLB) annual championship series. The series features a best-of-seven game structure played between the respective winners of the MLB’s American (AL) and National (NL) leagues. The team with the better regular season record is awarded home-field advantage, which earns them the right to host the first two and last two games of the series, in a 2-3-2 format. At the end of the series, the World Series winner is presented with the Commissioner’s Trophy.
When was the first World Series?
The first real World Series was held 1903 after years of turf wars between competing professional baseball organizations. The two most prominent that emerged in the late 19th century were the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs (later shortened to the National League or NL) and the American Association. The two would eventually merge, but another league called the American League (AL) would form in 1901, which would lead to widespread legal disputes and player poaching.
In 1903, the NL and AL would agree to cooperate and the two respective league champions would play one another in what was called the World Series. However, the two leagues would remain separate legal entities until the year 2000, which would finally see the two united into a single organization headed by the Commissioner of Baseball. The World Series would then be played to determine the MLB’s top team.
What team has won the most World Series titles?
Similar to the concept of “dynasties” in the NBA, whereby certain teams dominate the league or the championship series for an extended period of time, professional baseball has also experienced the same phenomenon. The team that unequivocally owns the title of a baseball dynasty belongs to the New York Yankees. From 1921-1964, the Yankees would play in the World Series 29 times and win it 20 times. From 1947-1964, they would win 15 AL pennants and the World Series ten times, including five in a row. Being the World Series winner five consecutive times still stands as the MLB record for most consecutive wins in the World Series. The Yankees would again form a dynasty from 1996-2003, in which they would be crowned the World Series winner another four times, while also racking up six AL pennants. All in all, the New York Yankees have won the most World Series titles, claiming a total of 27.
Other teams that have dominated the league include the 1903-1918 Boston Red Sox (five-time World Series winner and and six AL pennants), the 1942-1946 St. Louis Cardinals (three-time World Series winner and four NL pennants), 1970-1976 Cincinnati Reds (four NL pennants and two World Series titles), and the 1971-1975 Oakland Athletics (World Series winner three consecutive times).
Betting the MLB
Despite not being as popular as football in terms of viewership in the United States, baseball nonetheless generates the highest amount of revenue and ranks the seventh most popular in the world. In terms of US sports betting, baseball is not as popular as the NFL or the NBA, but still generates significant interest, especially due to its popularity around the world. There are many ways to bet on the MLB, but one of the most popular is futures bets. Examples of MLB futures include the eventual World Series winner, the winners of the AL and NL, and more.
For more information on MLB futures, and before placing your bets, be sure to check out Sidelines for MLB odds comparisons on all your bets and to stay updated on league news, stats, injuries, and more.