Daily fantasy sports comes to Major League Baseball World Series for Dodgers and Yankees or Astros
Legal Sports Report

DraftKings Will Put World Series Fantasy Contests In Play For First Time

DraftKings World Series
DraftKings will hold contests based on the World Series for the first time. The product from the daily fantasy sports operator will be called “MLB Final Series.”

Inside DraftKings’ World Series contests

Contests will be based on the World Series. That series will feature the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers and either the New York Yankees or Houston Astros from the American League:

  • Each contest will consist of two-game sets (i.e. Game 1 and Game 2)
  • Users will select one pitcher and three hitters for each game; the same player cannot be selected twice.
  • Salary caps will be in play.
  • Scoring will be slightly modified from DraftKings classic and “Arcade” versions. (Scoring can be found here.)
  • Relief pitchers are included
  • If the World Series ends before Game 7, users will be refunded the entry fee for the final contest that does not run.

“We spent a good portion of this year building out a flexible platform to allow us to offer a variety of game styles,” said Mark Nerenberg, a VP overseeing game operations for DraftKings. “One benefit will be that we can create games tailored around big sporting events which we weren’t able to do in the past.

“For the World Series, we decided to allow users to pick players from the upcoming two games and we also including relief pitchers since they play such a critical and exciting role in the postseason.”

Here’s a video from DraftKings on the product.

The World Series will start on Tuesday.

Why no World Series before now?

The top DFS sites have not dabbled much in contests on the championship series or games of any of the four major team sports in the US. That generally has to do with the fact that it’s difficult to construct contests around games with the same players, using the sites’ core offerings.

DraftKings did base a contest on the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl last NFL season, however.

DFS game variants and DraftKings

DraftKings has been nothing if not open to trying to new things — and seeing if they work — in recent times. These offerings have often been aimed at making games more friendly for casual users.

  • Pick’em contests launched this summer, where users simply pick from tiers of players, without a salary cap.
  • Arcade Mode features smaller rosters and different scoring than the classic version of DraftKings’ product.
  • DraftKings this year rolled out “weekend golf” contests, that start after the cut in four-round golf tournaments.

More reason to watch the games

The DraftKings product tries to capture people who would like to have a rooting financial interest in the World Series. Legal options in the US are almost non-existent outside of Nevada sports betting.

Exceptions are Boom Fantasy, which will likely offer its product with questions based on the World Series; and FastPick, a form of fantasy-based parlay wagering available in New Jersey. (There will, of course, be plenty of Americans wagering on the World Series via offshore sportsbooks, which operate in the US despite a federal ban.)

In the end, a new game variant based on the World Series is the latest example of DraftKings pushing the envelope and offering something new and different for its users.

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Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.