There were some bizarre scenes in an MLB game on Thursday night when five players were asked to leave the arena after some scuffles on the field. Kansas City beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 in the match in a schedule of fixtures that led to the Los Angeles Dodgers being quoted at 8.50 at to win the 2015 World Series. The Royals refocused on the job in hand with two runs which settled the outcome.

The fracas overshadowed the New York Mets start to the season which has now extended to 11 straight wins which equals their best run of results at the beginning of the regular season. Daniel Murphy scored four runs in his side’s 6-3 victory and they now play the Yankees and try to post their longest ever winning run.

The St Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 in the capital thanks to Michael Wacha going 3-0 for the season. The 2014 World Series winners, the San Francisco Giants, beat the Dodgers 3-2 in the 10th inning which caused a shake-up in the betting that saw Los Angeles drift and St Louis shorten in the futures markets.

Major League Baseball

The sport of baseball in North America is run by an organisation called Major League Baseball (MLB). There rare four professional leagues in the United States and Canada which merged into a single organisation in 2000. The complete body also runs minor league baseball and assists in the management of the international World Baseball Classic tournament. In recent years the sport has tried to rebuild its reputation after a report in 2006 highlighted the use of substances to improve performance. However, MLB has been rocked recently by an 80-game drug ban for Mets’ Jenrry Mejia.

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This season’s World Series is being contested by 30 teams, 29 in the States and one in Canada. The regular season will comprise of 162 matches for each team. Five teams from each league progress to the post season that ends with the World Series. This is the best of seven championship decider between the two league champions. MLB has the highest total attendance of any sports league in the world.

Baseball is not a professional sport in some European countries including Great Britain. Matches are shown live on dedicated sports channels and UK bookmakers offer odds on matches and outright markets, known as futures in North America. Some overseas sports fans are intrigued by a world championship in which only representatives from two countries take part. However, the United States would be one of the favourites to win a baseball World Cup or Olympic tournament.

World Baseball Classic

Japan were ranked first in the World Baseball rankings at the end of 2014. They won the equivalent of the soccer World Cup, the World Baseball Classic, in 2006 and 2009 but only reached the semi-finals in the latest competition two years ago. The concept was introduced in 2006 with the aim of increasing the global interest and growth in the sport. The Classic is the first international baseball tournament to feature players from all the professional leagues.

Betting on Baseball

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In betting on baseball the money line is the most basic and popular market. This is two-way bet on which team wins a match. This type of betting is popular on sports with low scores which do not lend themselves to handicap betting whereby one team receives a start. The spread refers to a handicap that is placed on the better team to equalise the probability and odds to attract equal two-way business. Both these lines are subject to change based on the betting, weight of money and bookmaker liabilities.

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The highlight of the weekend schedule and a match that will generate plenty of betting interest is the New York showdown between the Mets and the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. For the first time in years the Mets are better than the Yankees. They have just gone 10-0 for the season The last time they had such a good run was in 1986 when they won the World Series. The basis of the current form is good young pitching in a team that can be competitive in the MLB for several years and with potential to win a third World Series which they also took in 1969.

Mets v Yankees Head-to-Head Records

The New York Mets have retired four numbers, most notably number 42 in honour of Jackie Robinson which is now not worn by all of MLB. The Yankees have retired 17 numbers, also including 42, which reflects their overall history over which they have won the World Series times 27 times, compared to the 2 won by their neighbours. The Yankees last win was in 2009 and they have been the league champions five times since the Mets were the best team across the league.

The inter-league regular season began in 1997 and the teams have met in every year since. The overall records in this spell is 56 wins to 42 wins in favour of the Yankees. That side lead the season long head-to heads 8-4 and there have been five tied seasons. In 2013 the Mets had their first season sweep by winning all four matches and in 2003 the Yankees were unbeaten in the six match series. The Mets are the underdogs on the money line at for tonight’s match.