Bet on the Top MLB Teams

Major League Baseball includes 30 teams arranged into 2 leagues: the American League and the National League. 

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MLB is the top baseball league in the USA and Canada and is famous for its fierce rivalries and exciting outcomes. There are loads of teams in the MLB, making up the American League and the National League, all of which are defined by immense skill and passion for the sport. 

Florida is home to two teams in particular: the Tampa Bay Rays (St. Petersburg, FL) and the Miami Marlins (Miami, FL).

Top Sites for Betting on Teams in Florida

Florida doesn't allow sportsbooks to operate within the state, but the law doesn't touch upon online gambling at sites operating outside the state. So, technically, nothing stops you from using online sports betting applications to support your favorite MLB teams in Florida.

Below are the best betting sites you can try for betting on MLB:

  • Bet365 - has the best in-game betting options for all sports.
  • BetOnline - a generous bonus of 50% of up to $1000
  • 888Sport - offers a great mobile experience 
  • PointsBet - suitable for more experienced bettors
  • DraftKings - great sports markets and educational section

Local Florida MLB Teams

The Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays are the two Florida-based teams in the MLB. The Marlins play in the National League, East Division, and the Rays play in the American League, East Division.

Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter own the Miami Marlins, and the team's manager is Don Mattingly. Their latest win in the World Series was in 2003 when they were a wild card team. The same happened six years earlier when they also won the World Series.

Stuart Sternberg owns Tampa Bay Rays, and their general manager is Erik Neander. The team is relatively new and hasn't had much success, except for winning the American League title in 2008.

Current Team and Conference Structure in MLB

The MLB achieved its current league-division balance in 2013. De facto, there are 2 leagues (formerly called "conferences"): the National League (NL), and the American League (AL). Major League Baseball has been a single entity since 2000. With 15 teams and 3 divisions in each League, the schedules are more in line, which allows interleague games to become more frequent.

MLB Teams: American League

The AL was founded in 1901. Now, it includes 14 teams from the USA and a team from Canada.

East Division (since 1969)

The current members are:

  • Baltimore Orioles
  • New York Yankees
  • Tampa Bay Rays
  • Toronto Blue Jays
  • Boston Red Sox

The New York Yankees hold the best stats in the division; they’ve won the most division games and have the most WS titles. The team with the least wins and titles is Tampa Bay Rays. Boston Red Sox is the latest team in the division to win WS (2018).

Central Division (since 1994)

The current members are:

  • Kansas City Royals
  • Minnesota Twins
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians have won the most number of division championships, and the Kansas City Royals have the fewest. Since the division started, the teams have won the WS title only twice (in 2005 and 2015). It’s most curious that the Kansas City Royals brought home the WS title in 2015.

West Division (since 1969)

The current members are:

  • Oakland Athletics
  • Los Angeles Angels
  • Texas Rangers
  • Houston Astros
  • Seattle Mariners

Although the latest championship win was by the Houston Astros in 2017, the most titles in the division belong to the Oakland Athletics, with the latest one in 2013. 

MLB Teams: National League

The NL was founded in 1876. Now, it includes 15 teams. The Senior Circuit also comprises 3 divisions, which host 5 teams each.

East Division (since 1969)

The current members are:

  • Atlanta Braves
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • New York Mets
  • Washington Nationals
  • Miami Marlins

The Atlanta Braves is the leading team in the division, with 14 division wins, and the Miami Marlins haven't had a single division win. However, the division produced 3 wild card teams that went on to become WS winners; two of those times, the Miami Marlins pulled off the trick.

Central Division (since 1994)

The current members are:

  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Milwaukee Brewers

The St. Louis Cardinals hold the most championship wins. The Milwaukee Brewers were the wild card team from the division in 2019 but lost to the Washington Nationals in the wild card playoff. 

West Division (since 1969)

The current members are:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • San Diego Padres
  • Colorado Rockies

The Dodgers lead the division with 18 championship titles, while the San Francisco Giants come in second with only 8 wins. However, the Giants are responsible for the latest 2 WS wins in the division.

Bet on The Playoffs: Where the Best Teams Meet

The MLB playoffs consist of 4 series, played among the winners and wild card teams after the 168 games of the regular season.  

Wildcards & Byes

The best win/loss record in non-division games determines the wild card teams (2 in each league). They play against each other only once in the Wild Card playoff. The winner joins the division winners for the Division Series.

Division Series

4 teams in each league start the Division Series playoffs. The series consists of 5 games between 2 teams in a  best-of-5 format. The win/loss record determines who plays who. 2 teams from each league will then move on to the League Championship. 

League Championship Series

4 teams face each other for the League Championship. The league championship games are in a best-of-7 format. The champion from each league will then move on to the World Series.

World Series

Finally, the American and the National Leagues face each other in the World Series. This tournament consists of 7 games between the 2 League Champions. Home field advantage, in this case, goes to the team with the better regular-season record.

Playoff Brackets

Playoff brackets are flow charts that include the team logos and matchups for each series. The center is, of course, occupied by the logo of the World Series winner.

Playoff Game Location Framework

Seeding rules determine the home-field advantage. In the best-of-5 series, the team with the better win/loss record hosts games 1, 2, and 5. Games 3 and 4 go to the home field of the team with lower seed. This arrangement is also known as the 2-2-1 framework.

In LCS, and the world series (best of 7), games 1 and 2, again, happen on the home field of the team with the higher seed, games 3, 4, and 5 go to the other team, and the final 2 games return to the team with the better record. This structure is also called the 2-3-2 framework.

MLB Team Performance

Now, you’re familiar with the teams that have the best standing. In this part of our article, we’ll be looking at local Florida teams and not-so-obvious, but promising MLB franchises.

Florida team legacy and past performance

Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins joined the National League in 1993 and have won 2 World Series titles ever since, yet they’ve never won a division title. This can only mean that they made it a wild card team. Their home field is Marlins Park, which is in downtown Miami. The team was previously called the Florida Marlins but changed the name and branding in 2011. While they’ve never lost a playoff round, the Marlins, at the same time, hold one of the most extended postseason droughts.

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays (formerly Tampa Bay Devil Rays) joined the American League East Division in 1998 but didn't win until 2008. They faced off against their long-time rival, the Boston Red Sox, and for the first time, went on to the World Series, just to be defeated by the Philadelphia Phillies. In 2010, they won another Division Series title, and in 2019, they entered the Division playoffs as a wild card team. Their home ballpark is Tropicana Field.

Best teams in MLB and past performance

Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox were founded in 1901 as one of the first AL franchises, and they’ve had their home field, Fenway Park, since 1912. The Boston Red Sox have, for a long time, been one of the leading MLB teams. But in 2018, they were in their best shape and won the World Series. They also hold the record of winning 4 World Series in the 21st century.

Washington Nationals

2019's World Series champions, the Washington Nationals are one of the newer franchises in the MLB. Although the former Montreal Expos were founded in 1969, the Washington Nationals' current history starts in 2005, when the team moved to Washington DC. At first, they had a hard time getting titles. After entering the Division Series with a wild card in 2019 and winning the WS, however, everybody realized that the team had great potential.

Houston Astros

Houston Astros had their first postseason appearance in 1980 and managed to make it into the World Series in 2005, where they lost to the Chicago White Sox. Their first and only World Series win was in 2017 against Dodgers, and they lost the championship to the Nationals in 2019.

Notable Team Rivalries in MLB

Sports fans are a passionate and quite superstitious crowd. Some rivalries include curses; some are simply 100 years old; some have to do with the gameplay, and the others are personal.

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs

Dubbed the greatest rivalry in the Midwest, the Cardinals and Cubs share a division and passionate competition against each other. Occasionally, they share players too. This opposition may be the one with the most number of game incidents. Although the players have their fair share in igniting the flames, the fans play a significant part in intensifying the situation. Fights aside, the Cardinals have been more successful in the MLB, winning 11 World Series titles against the Cubs' 3 wins.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants

This one is a transplanted rivalry from more than 100 years back. Originally from New York City, the two teams moved to the West Coast per owner agreement, and the rivalry continued. They are neck-and-neck in most of the results. The Giants have won the World Series more recently, in 2014, and they lead the current regular season. However, the Dodgers have had the more recent World Series appearance, in 2018.

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees

This rivalry is perhaps the most epic one. Everything started in 1919 when the owner of the Red Sox sold their top player to the Yankees. For the coming 86 years, the Red Sox didn't manage to win in the World Series. So a superstition has come about: selling the player has cursed the team. The 2004 World Series win ended the "Curse of the Bambino." As the teams are in the same league and often play against each other, the rivalry intensifies. The teams have met 4 times in the postseason, winning twice each.

Notable MLB Players in Florida

Continuing the topic of passionate fan-bases, we’re sure that most fans would probably hate the way we made choices in this section. Most fans would say that the team's city determines the player's location. Yet, we’re confident that there are other things to consider.

Our choice of the 3 notable players in Florida fulfill at least one of the following criteria:

  • Born in Florida
  • Played in a Florida-based team
  • Florida is where the player's career started

Steve Carlton (pitcher)

Many teams wanted Steve "Lefty" Carlton on their roster. He was born in Miami but started his career playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. Then he moved to the Philadelphia Phillies, leading them to their World Series win in 1980. The "Lefty" held a record of 19 strikeouts in a game. He was also the first pitcher to earn a Cy Young Award. He is a 10x All-Star participant and became a Hall of Famer in 1994.

Andre Dawson (outfielder)

Born in Miami, "the Hawk" played with the Cubs and Red Sox before "hitting a home run" with the Miami Marlins. During his 20-year career, the Hall of Famer scored 2774 hits, 438 home runs, and 314 stolen bases. Dawson won a ROY, MVP, and 8 Golden Gloves. He also participated in 8 All-Star events.

Rafael Palmeiro (hitter)

Originally from Cuba, Rafael Palmeiro attended Miami Jackson High School. He played with the Cubs, Rangers, and Orioles during his career. He is a member of the "3000 hit club" and "500 home run club," with 3020 hits and 569 home runs under his belt. With his iconic records, he would've been considered one of the best hitters of all time. However, the 2005 scandal, including anabolic steroids, had him suspended and muddied his iconic career.

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Sacha

8 July 2020
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