Rays sell out first two home games of ALDS

Updated: September 24, 2008, 11:10 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Apparently playoff baseball finally has Tampa Bay Rays fans excited about their first-place team.

Betting on the Rays

The Las Vegas odds on the Tampa Bay Rays have dropped considerably since April. Here are the odds on the first day of each month to win the American League pennant and World Series title, courtesy of the MGM Mirage sports book.

Date Pennant Series
April 1 35-1 80-1
May 1 25-1 60-1
June 1 8-1 20-1
July 1 6-1 10-1
Aug. 1 5-2 9-2
Sept. 1 9-5 4-1
Current World Series odds: 7-2

The Rays, who rank 12th among the 14 American League teams in home attendance with a 22,370-per game average, announced Tuesday that they have sold out the first two home games of the AL Division Series.

The Rays, with a magic number of 2 to clinch the AL East, would open the playoffs with two home games next week against the AL Central winner -- either the White Sox or Twins -- if Tampa Bay holds on to win the division. If the Red Sox pass the Rays in the AL East standings, Tampa Bay would open the playoffs on the road against the Los Angeles Angels and wouldn't return home until Game 3.

Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg wasn't surprised that the team's fans quickly gobbled up playoff tickets.

"This was very much an expectation," Sternberg said, according to MLB.com. "It's postseason baseball. I can't even think about running this business if it wouldn't have happened."