By Brad Tuttle
October 27, 2015
Charles Rex Arbogast—AP

Way back in April, ESPN took note of some of the quirkiest “prop” bets that could be placed on the upcoming Major League Baseball season. For instance, gamblers could have bet the over/under for most hits by any player (211.5), the number of home runs by Miguel Cabrera (29.5), and the most strikeouts thrown by any pitcher (262.5).

It also cited a few interesting long-shot bets, including a $2,500 wager at 40-1 odds that the San Diego Padres would win the 2015 World Series, which didn’t work out so well (the Pads ended in fourth place in the NL West, well out of playoff contention). On the other hand, one other long shot is still alive: Someone bet $2,000 on October 30, 2014, that the Mets would win the World Series in 2015, at 50-1 odds. Now that the Metropolitans have made it to the World Series, all this true believer needs is the Mets to win four games—and the bet will pay off to the tune of $100,000.

The bet was confirmed to us by the agency that accepted it, the William Hill sports book. Before the season began, fewer than 2% of the bets taken by William Hill regarding who would win the World Series picked the Mets. At the time, the Mets were forecast to be a .500 team, with the over-under set at 81 wins, only slightly better than its 2014 total (79 wins). The Dodgers and the Nationals were the favorites to win the World Series, and only a handful of teams had worse odds than the Mets to pull off the championship.

The Kansas City Royals, who are hosting the Mets in Games 1 and 2 of the World Series, received only a little more attention than the Mets from bettors before the 2015 season began. Less than 4% of the bets taken by William Hill on which of the 30 teams would win the World Series had the Royals as victors. Two interesting long-shot bets placed ages ago on the Royals are obviously still alive too: One bettor placed $550 back in March 2015 on the Royals to win it all, at 35-1 odds, while in mid-April another visionary wagered $7,500 at 28-1 odds. If the Royals grab the World Series title, these folks will come away with $19,250 and $210,000, respectively, plus their original stake back.

Obviously, no one can get odds like these any longer. In early August, sports books tweaked the line, listing the Mets at 14/1 odds to win the World Series, versus 33/1 just days before. Fast-forward to today, and it’s essentially a “pick ’em” in which the Mets and Royals have even odds of winning.

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