Major League Baseball Teams

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
22 minute read

Major League Baseball is rising in the spring with its regular season play. While the rest of the three major leagues in the United States are either out of season or finishing with final games. When there isn’t much going on, MLB saves the day with a full lineup of games, and that’s a great reason for new betting fans to follow baseball.

Understanding the betting lines better is easier when you know the names of the the MLB teams; especially if you are looking to bet on their games. Not only the Yankees or Red Sox, but also the names of the players and their top rivals. This information will put bettors in a place to take advantage of the different MLB prop bets available in every betting site. Betting on the MLB is a fun, steady and a unique way to make some money. Those who decide to follow baseball will find a buffet of MLB odds every day.

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MLB League Structure: American League

Betting on MLB American League

Until 2018, the American League had won 66 of the 104 World Series matchups against the National League. The team with the most AL title are the New York Yankees, who have won the Pennants 40 times, followed by the Oakland A’s with 15 and the Boston Red Sox with 14. The American League technically was born in 1885 as the Western League. In 1894, it evolved to what it’s known now, officially founded in Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The one big difference from the NL is the AL uses a designated hitter. The rule sustains a batter will replace the pitcher in the batting order, but won’t be a part of the defensive play.

The two most prominent franchises in the American League are the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Between the two are involved in the biggest rivalry inside the Majors. Both Boston and New York are part of the classic eight teams that started the league.

The most significant player in the American League is the outfield Mike Trout from the Angels. Trout is recognized as the best player in the entire Majors. Right behind him are the two giants from the Yankees. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, built to hit Home Runs daily.

Rivarly in the American League

When George Herman “Babe” Ruth was traded from Boston to New York, a rivalry was born. Babe Ruth is recognized as one of the most prolific hitters ever to live. His trade also has attached the “Curse of Bambino” myth. It was a superstition that surrounded the Red Sox failing to win the World Series for 86 years. It was finally broken in 2004. Tampa Bay, Seattle, and Texas are the only three teams inside the American League, which has never won the World Series. The other 12 teams in the AL have won it at least once.

American League Divisions and Teams

The American League is composed by AL East, AL Central, and AL West. It is divided into three divisions of five teams each:

MLB TeamDivision2018 Season RecordWorld Series Apps
New York YankeesAL East100-6240
Boston Red SoxAL East108-5413
Toronto Blue JaysAL East73-892
Baltimore OriolesAL East47-1157
Tampa Bay RaysAL East90-721
Minnesota TwinsAL Central78-846
Cleveland IndiansAL Central91-716
Detroit TigersAL Central64-9811
Chicago White SoxAL Central62-1005
Kansas City RoyalsAL Central58-1044
Seattle MarinersAL West89-730
Houston AstrosAL West103-592
Texas RangersAL West67-952
Oakland AthleticsAL West97-6514
Los Angeles AngelsAL West80-821

MLB League Structure: National League

Betting on MLB National League

The National League was founded on February 2, 1876, with the idea to replace the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. The NL is 25 years older than the American League but has won only 38 of the 104 World Series played. The two teams with most National League championships are the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants with 23 each. Los Angeles has won the last two, but both times lost the World Series.

The Phillies’ right fielder Bryce Harper and the Padres’ third baseman Manny Machado are the two biggest stars in the National League. Both recently signed a $300-Million contract with their respective ball clubs.

There are four teams in the National League which haven’t won the World Series, those being the Milwaukee Brewers, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres, and the Washington Nationals. There are also several good rivalries inside the American League. The Dodgers vs. the Giants might be the biggest of all as they are divisional rivals with the most NL pennants.

NAtional League Divisions and Teams

The NL is also divided into three divisions of five teams each:

MLB TeamDivision2018 Season RecordWorld Series Apps
Philadelphia PhilliesNL East80-827
New York MetsNL East77-855
Atlanta BravesNL East90-729
Washington NationalsNL East82-800
Miami MarlinsNL East63-982
St. Louis CardinalsNL Central88-7419
Milwaukee BrewersNL Central96-671
Chicago CubsNL Central95-6811
Pittsburgh PiratesNL Central82-797
Cincinnati RedsNL Central67-959
Los Angeles DodgersNL West92-7120
San Diego PadresNL West66-962
Arizona DiamondbacksNL West82-801
Colorado RockiesNL West91-721
San Francisco GiantsNL West73-8920

MLB World Series

The World Series is often referred to as the Fall Classic and is the annual meeting between the American League champion and the National League champion. The winner is considered the ultimate champion of Major League Baseball and is determined in a best-of-seven playoff series.

2019 MLB World Series BettingBoth the AL and the NL decided to start playing the World Series in 1903. Only two times the Fall Classic was not played. The first time was in 1904 when the NY Giants (now San Francisco Giants) declined to face the Boston Americans (now Boston Red Sox). The Giants claimed they were already the world champions because they were the champions of the “only real major league.” The second time was in 1994 due to a players’ strike.

The first ever World Series in 1903 was played between Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was a best of nine series that won Boston 5-3. In 1949, the World Series between the Yankees and the Dodgers was the first ever to be played during the day and had its conclusion under lights. In 1971, the Pirates and the Orioles played the first-ever Fall Classic during night time.

World Series is the most bet event in baseball

The World Series is the most bet event in baseball. After weeks of postseason baseball, the Fall classic will end a long season. It is also the series the diehard fans are waiting for, but it also welcomes the casual fans.To bet on the World Series, it means placing a bet on any of the two best teams inside the Majors. The drama and the high quality of the players are guaranteed.

Also, it is an excellent opportunity to place money lines and game total bets. But also to take advantage of the run lines and the most incredible prop bets in baseball. Overall, not betting on baseball during the World Series is a huge missed opportunity. Back in 2016, it was the first time over $1 Billion was bet in Nevada on regulated sportsbooks during the World Series. That amount is easily beaten by online sportsbooks. Betting online during the World Series is easier and has a lot of more options available for the customers.

MLB Baseball Teams

Arizona Diamondbacks

betting on diamondbacksDespite the Diamondbacks got to the NL as an expansion team in 1998, by 2001 they had already won the World Series. The franchised have never won it since, but it was one of the coolest stories in sports when they beat the NY Yankees in seven games. The Diamonds are the only professional men’s sports team from Arizona to have won a championship title.

Atlanta Braves

betting on bravesThe Braves were called the teams of the 90s back in the day. They are one of the oldest franchises in the MLB coming into the National League in 1876. Atlanta has won three World Series and 17 National League Pennants, five of those coming in the 90s decade. The Braves are one of the two National League’s remaining charter franchises.

Baltimore Orioles

betting on oriolesThe Orioles are also one of the first teams to be part of the Majors, entering the American League in 1901. The Birds have won the World Series three times, but the last time they conquered the top of the baseball world was in 1983. From 1998 to 2011 the ball club suffered the worst losing drought of its history with 14 straight losing seasons.

Boston Red Sox

betting on red soxThe Boston Red Sox are one of the most famous franchises in Major League Baseball. The Red Sox have won nine World Series title, tied for the third-most of any MLB club, and they have played in 13. The team had to wait 86 years from 1918 to 2004 to win their fifth World Series. Many attributed their lack of success to the curse of the Bambino, after the Red Sox’ sale of Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees.

Chicago White Sox

betting on white soxThe White Sox are part of the American League since 1901 and are one of the eight franchises that helped built the MLB from the start. The ball club was initially called the Chicago White Stockings. Chicago has won the World Series three times in 1906, 1917 and 2005. They also won the AL Pennant six times, with their last one coming in 2005.

Chicago Cubs

betting on the cubsThe Cubs are one of the founding members of the NL in 1876. The team has been in 11 World Series and has won three World Series. Their last World Series triumph came in 2016 after 108 years of drought. The Cubs won back-to-back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908. They became the first major league team to play in three consecutive World Series, and the first ever to win it twice.

Cincinnati Reds

betting on redsThe Reds were founded in 1890 and have won five World Series and nine American League Pennants. However, the last time they won either was back in 1990 when they won the MLB title. In 1981, the Reds finished with the overall best record in Major League Baseball, yet missed the postseason. The season was split into two halves due to a players’ strike. Cincinnati finished second in both halves and was consequently ineligible for a postseason appearance.

Cleveland Indians

betting on indiansThe Indians are one of the oldest and first teams in the American League, dating back to 1901. Cleveland has won two World Series titles, back in 1920 and 1948, but also six American League pennants. However, the Indians’ current World Series championship drought is the longest active drought in the MLB.

Colorado Rockies

betting on rockiesThe Rockies have never won a World Series since they got to the MLB in 1993. But in 2007, they reached the World Series by qualifying as a wildcard team after winning 14 of their last 15 regular season games. The team has never won a divisional title, but has made it to the postseason five times; all via the wildcard.

Detroit Tigers

betting on tigersThe Tigers came into the Majors in 1901 as part of the American League. Detroit has won four World Series titles after 11 appearances. Their latest triumph was in 1984; although they were recently losers in 2012. They have missed the postseason in the last four years.

Houston Astros

betting on astrosThe Astros won their only World Series title back in 2017, and they remain as one of the favorite teams to win another title in the upcoming years. The Astros entered the American League as an expansion team in 1962. In 2017, they became the first franchise in MLB history to have won a Pennant in both the NL and the AL.

Kansas City Royals

betting on roylasThe Kansas City Royals came to the American League as an expansion team in 1969. They have been in four World Series, winning in 1985 and 2015 while losing in 1980 and 2014. The name “Royals” was part of the name-the-team contest held in Kansas City, Missouri in 1968.

Los Angeles Angels

betting on angelsThe Angels came to the American League in 1962. They are located in Anaheim California, and before 2005 they were named the Anaheim Angels. After that, they changed their name to the mouthful Los Angeles Angels. The team won their only World Series in 2002. In mainstream culture, the team has the famous Rally Monkey, where a mascot for the Angels appears if the Angels are losing a game or if the game is tied from the 7th inning on.

Los Angeles Dodgers

betting on dodgersThe Dodgers were born as the Brooklyn Atlantics before moving to Los Angeles in 1958. The franchise has won six World Series and 23 National League Pennants. In fact, they have reached the World Series in the last two seasons, losing both times. The Dodgers have produced 18 Rookie of the Year Award winners, twice as many as the next closest team.

Miami Marlins

betting on marlinsThe Miami Marlins are one of the two MLB franchises that have never won a divisional title, but they won the World Series twice. Those wins came in 1997 and 2003 as a wildcard team. The Marlins were created 1993 and have played in the postseason just twice, winning the championship both times.

Milwaukee Brewers

betting on brewersThe Milwaukee Brewers were a part of the American League as the Seattle Pilots, but they were moved to Milwaukee after just one season. In 1982 they won the AL Pennant before the franchise joined the National League in 1998.

Minnesota Twins

betting on twinsThe Minnesota Twins were named after the Twin Cities area involving Minneapolis and St. Paul. The team has won the World Series three times in 1924, 1987 and 1991 and has appeared six times as AL Pennants champs. Their last World Series appearance was precisely in 1991.

New York Yankees

betting on yankeesThe Yankees are by far the most famous baseball team around the world. Their success equals their fame as they are the franchise with the most World Series wins with 27 and 40 AL Pennants. New York won their last World Series back in 2009. The Yankees have won more titles than any other franchise in the four major North American sports leagues. Also, 44 Yankees players and 11 managers have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

New York Mets

betting on metsThe Mets have been around since 1962 and are known as the Yankees’ ugly neighbor. The team won the World Series twice in 1969 and 1986. They also recorded five National League Pennants, the last one coming on 2015. The Mets’ colors are a combination of the Dodgers’ blue and the Giants’ orange; both franchises which were based in New York at some point.

Oakland Athletics

betting on athleticsOften referred to as the Oakland A’s, the Athletics are one of the most successful franchises in the Majors. Oakland has won nine World Series titles, tied for the third-most of all current MLB teams, but their last one came in 1989. Back in 89, the era was defined by “Bash Brothers,” Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, who were electrifying home run hitters.

Philadelphia Phillies

betting on philliesThe Phillies are in the National League since 1883, winning two World Series since its inception, in 1980 and 2008. They have won seven National League Pennants with their last one coming in 2009. Before the Phillies won their first World Series, the franchise played 77 consecutive seasons without a WS win.

Pittsburgh Pirates

betting on piratesFounded in 1887, the franchised has won five World Series; although the last one came in 1979. In fact, that’s the last time they won National League Pennant. The Pirates were one of the teams playing in the Inaugural World Series in 1903, eventually losing to the Boston Americans, now known as the Boston Red Sox. Pittsburgh also owns the longest losing streak in American professional sports history. They recorded 20 consecutive losing seasons from 1993 to 2012.

San Diego Padres

betting on padresThe Padres have been around since 1969, and they are one of the few franchises that have never won the World Series. San Diego has two NL Pennants earned in 1984 and 1998, alongside five divisional titles; the last one coming in 2006. The Padres are the only MLB team that does not share its city with another major league professional sports franchise.

San Francisco Giants

betting on giantsThe Giants were the New Gothams at its beginning, then the NY Giants and eventually the SF Giants from 1958 to this day. The franchise has won eight World Series, the fourth most in the Majors. They have also won 23 National League Pennants, the last time coming in 2014.

Seattle Mariners

betting on marinersThe Mariners are another baseball franchise that has never won a World Series. They have been around since 1977. The most Seattle has earned it is division titles in 1995, 1997 and 2001. The Mariners are one of the two MLB teams that have never been in a World Series.

St. Louis Cardinals

betting on cardinalsThe Cardinals are one of the most successful franchises in the Majors, winning 11 World Series since they got to the National League in 1892. St. Louis has the second-most World Series in Major League Baseball, behind the New York Yankees, and the most in the National League. The team has also won 19 Pennants, the last one coming in 2013.

Tampa Bay Rays

betting on raysThe Rays are one of the last teams to be incorporated to the MLB and one of the few that have never won a World Series. Tampa Bay won an AL Pennant in 2008. The team was named the “Devils Rays,” but the nickname was changed after the 2007 season. It used to mean a manta ray, and now it refers to the sunshine.

Texas Rangers

betting on rangersBorn in 1961, the Rangers have never won a World Series title despite winning two AL Pennants in 2010 and 2011. The team has reached the postseason eight times in their history, seven of those came after division titles. Only in 2012, they advanced as a wildcard team. The Rangers will move from Globe Life Park to the new Globe Life Field in 2020.

Toronto Blue Jays

betting on blue jaysThe Toronto Blue Jays are the only Major League team based in Canada that came to the American League in 1977 as an expansion team. The team won the World Series in 1992 and 1993, and their most recent success was an East division title in 2015. The Blue Jays are one of two MLB teams under corporate ownership; the other being the Atlanta Braves.

Washington Nationals

betting on nationalsThe Nationals are the eighth team to be based in Washington DC after they moved from Montreal in 2005 and ditched the name Expos. Washington has never been in a World Series or has won a National League Pennant. The franchise has won division titles in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017, although they have yet to advance out of the first round in the playoffs.

Key Baseball Player Positions

There are nine positions in baseball, and all are on the field when playing defense. A team with a good defense could go far in the playoffs and get closer to the World Series. The cool thing about baseball is while the batting lineup is essential, a solid bullpen remains as the key to success in the postseason. Home runs sell tickets, great pitching lineups win championships.


The pitcher is the player who throws the baseball and perhaps is the most critical position in baseball. Having a good starting pitcher could guarantee wins for his team. By keeping the opposing team at low scoring runs, his offense will have an easier task. Bettors can find many props bets around the pitchers. For example, how many strikeouts will he throw? How many innings will he last, or home runs will the pitcher give up.

There are three different pitchers: the starters, the relievers, and the closer. The starting pitcher will go several innings as he opens the game. The relievers will take the mound on any given situation the manager feels like it’s worth putting on the field. And the closer will go out in the last three or six outs, depending on the situation; his job is to close out the game.


The catcher is the player in crouches behind home plate. He will send the signals to the pitcher on the plays he should throw against any particular player at bat. The position is one of the most cerebral in baseball, and that’s why several managers played catcher in their heydays. Mike Scioscia, Joe Girardi, and Joe Torre.

First baseman

The first baseman is the player defending the first of four stations on a baseball diamond. To many, the position should be played by a tall player with flexibility and quick reflexes. Bettors can find props bets about the first baseman along the lines of errors and double-play situations.

Second baseman

The second baseman plays between second and first base. For defensive purposes the position player ideally will have quick hands and feet, needs the ability to get rid of the ball quickly. Double-play situations and errors can also be found in different prop bets attached to the second baseman.


The shortstop plays the defensive position between second and third base. It is considered the most demanding defensive job because more hit balls go to the shortstop than to any other position.


There are three outfielders covering most of the green area outside the diamond; the left outfielder, the right one and the center field. All three outfielders need to have speed, instincts, and quickness to defend the ball. But also needs a big arm to throw hard to the bases or even at home plate.

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Professional Baseball Game Rules

The idea of a baseball game is to score more runs than the opponent throughout 9 innings. To score a run, a batter must hit the ball with the bat into the designated fielding area and get around the 4 bases. Pitchers will try to avoid batters get on base by recording three strikes per at-bat. A strike is given when a batter swings for a ball and misses it. The batter can’t avoid swinging the bat, but if it’s within a strike zone area a strike is given.

If four pitches miss the strike zone, the batter is allowed to go to first base, and then another hitter will go on with the strike count at zero. There are other three ways to get outs by the defensive side. First, by forcing out a batter, which means the ball gets to the first base before the player. With a fly out; this is when the ball is caught in the air. And last, by the tags out, which means a defensive player with the ball tags the batter as he’s running to the base.

Generalities of Baseball

• Each team lines up nine players. When a player is substituted, it cannot go back in the game
• When a batting order is selected it can’t be changed
• If the game is a tie after 9 innings, then an extra inning will play until we find a winner
• If the team batting 2nd in the bottom of the 9th inning is winning then they do not need to complete the inning

How the MLB Season is played

Each team in the Major League Baseball plays 162 games during the regular season over approximately six months for a total of 2,430 games. The regular season starts in late March, and it ends in early October. During the regular season, teams will play series mostly of three games and in some cases four. There are 24 divisional series, 20 inter-divisional series and 8 inter-league series per team.

The Major League Baseball postseason is playing from mid-October to its conclusion, sometimes in early November. The MLB playoffs start with a one-game wild-card playoff between two wild-card teams. The next round is the division series between a wild-card winner and the winner of each division. The winners will meet in the Championship series to get the Pennants for each League. Finally, the American League winner and the National League winner will clash in World Series to find out who is the best team in Major League Baseball.

MLB History

Major League Baseball is the oldest of the four major sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The league also oversees Minor League Baseball, which has 256 teams affiliated with the Major League ball clubs. Technically, the league started back in 1869 in Cincinnati, and that’s why is considered the oldest.

The Early Days Of The League

From 1876 to 1901, the National League and the American League were two separated entities. Both leagues cooperated with each other, but it was until 2000 when they legally merged into a single MLB organization. The first professional teams in baseball came from Cincinnati in 1869. Their players got paid and traded. Several myths said there were moves like that under the table before, but it was not considered professional.

The era from the 1900s until 1920 is considered the dead-ball period because of the lack of home runs in the games. Those games were dominated by pitchers with low-scoring results. One of the pitchers that dominated the era was CY Young from the Boston Red Sox. That’s the reason at the end of each year the best pitchers in Major League Baseball receive the Cy Young award.

During that era purchasing a ball had a bigger cost that owners wanted to pay for. Fans were expected to throw back the foul balls so the teams could keep playing. The pitchers could also manipulate the ball through the use of the spitball. During the 1919 World Series came the first ever allegations of game fixing, attached to eight players of the Chicago White Sox. The rumors said they lost the World Series intentionally in exchange for a ring that was worth more than $100K. The players we all acquitted but permanently banned from Major League Baseball. The event is known to this date as the Black Sock scandal.

During World War II, several of the players in the MLB had to leave to do military service. A guy like Peter Gray who had just one arm could play outfielder because the league had a shortage of players. But even with that problem, there wasn’t an African American player in the MLB. The color barrier was broken when the GM of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey, selected Jackie Robinson from a list of potential players in the Negro League.

On April 15, 1947, Robinson debuted in the Majors at the Ebbets Field as part of the National League. Three months later Larry Doby became the first African-American player to play for an American League team. He made his debut with the Cleveland Indians.

MLB League Growth

With the racial barrier in the past, Major League Baseball made several moves to expand the league everywhere in the United States. From 1903 to 1953 each league had eight teams from ten different cities. New York City had three teams and Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and St. Louis each had two squads.

MLB Baseball history In 1958 the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, and the New York Giants became the San Francisco Giants. The league was expanding to the West. Three later, Minnesota had the Twins, and by 1962 the Houston Astros, the Anaheim Angels, and the New York Mets were also part of the league.

In the 70s teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, the Seattle Mariners, and the Kansas City Royals were added. The last ones to get into the MLB with their latest expansion to 30 teams were the Tampa Bay Rays, Arizona Diamondbacks, Miami Marlins, and Colorado Rockies. All arrived in the 90s.

Current MLB, Its Future, and Chances for Baseball Betting

Major League Baseball currently has 30 well-established teams in the league and living the sweet days of great TV deals. Many of the biggest names in the league have signed ridiculous contracts of more than ten years and a boatload of money. The latest example is the contract of center folder Mike Trout with the Angels. Trout signed a 12-year, $426 Million deal that made him the richest contract in the history of North American sports.

The MLB is well established as the league that pays its best players the most. The league is also trying to welcome sports betting into the mainstream. Last season Major League Baseball signed a deal with MGM Resorts International. It was the first official gaming and entertainment partner of the MLB.

Several teams have deals with Draftkings but for daily fantasy sports, not directly to promote the Draftking sportsbooks. But that could and most likely will change soon. For example, the state of Pennsylvania has legal sports gambling. Any of the sportsbooks in town can put in place a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. If Massachusetts approves sports betting, the Boston Red Sox can aim for something similar.

Major League has an open mind for fans to experience sports betting; noted by the deal with MGM. The steps towards a free market have been steady more than slow. The league is working in the right direction.

Is It legal To Bet On The MLB?

Just like the NBA and the NHL, Major League Baseball is taking a step forward towards the legalization of sports betting all across the United the States. The MLB hasn’t been shy about the fact that sports gambling is getting legalized in several states, and they are trying to be proactive embracing change.

MLB stroke a deal with MGM Resorts International back in November, that made MGM the league’s official partner. This gives the betting company access to league logos and official data for use in sports betting operations. MGM will also be the only sportsbook operator with a few “enhanced statistics” provided by the MLB.

is it legal to bet on the mlb?That movement by itself tells the baseball fans that betting on baseball has a green light from the more significant authorities around the MLB. Sports gambling is growing every day, and Major League Baseball just wants to be in the front end of the change. Eight states have approved legal sports gambling, but that’s not by any means the final number. Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia have all legal sports betting available for the fans.

Several other states are making substantial progress to the legalization of sports gambling. Arkansas will be the next to be added to the list in the next few months, and right behind it will be New York. NY is a curious case because they had a law in 2013 that allows fans to bet on sports. It was banned in 2018 and reintroduced in 2019.

38 of the 50 states close to sports gambling legalization

Overall, at least 38 of the 50 states of the United States of America have either file paperwork to start the motion of the sports gambling legalization or have engaged in talks to allow sports betting. In the near future, the sports betting legalization will be an afterthought. Most of the states will soon allow fans and customers to enjoy sports while having a bet on the side.

But even if you live in a state where sports gambling haven’t gone fully legal, there is nothing to stop you from betting on baseball. There are a ton of sports betting sites online where people wager every day. It’s actually the simpler and most efficient way to place a bet on the MLB, or any other sport for that matter.

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About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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