2023 World Baseball Classic Preview - Bet on Baseball

World Baseball Classic Betting

With Team Dominican Republic, Team USA, and Team Japan pegged as the countries to beat, it's no surprise that the powerhouse trio listed as odds-on favorites emerge from their respective pools.

Even though the betting market has projected them to advance to the single-elimination bracket, we could be in store for some upsets in arguably the most talented International Baseball Tournament ever.

2023 World Baseball Classic Odds

Dominican Republic +200

USA +275, Japan +300

Venezuela +1000

Puerto Rico +1100

Korea Republic +1200

Mexico +2000

Cuba +2500

Chinese Taipei +5000

Canada +5000

Netherlands +6500

Australia +13000

Colombia +13000

Israel +15000

Italy +15000

Panama +15000

Great Britain +20000

Nicaragua +20000

China +20000

Czech Republic +50000

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2023 World Baseball Classic Top Contenders

Team Cuba +2500

While Cuba hasn't had much success in the WBC, it's in a favorable part of the bracket that should reach at least the eight-team, single-elimination round.

White Sox stars Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada headline the roster, and ex-MLBer Yoenis Cespedes is also back on the big stage. A good chunk of the roster plays their professional ball in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball Organization, with three of their better pitchers, Yariel Rodriguez, Radiel Martinez, and Livan Moinelo, hailing from the NPB. It makes sense to see Cuba listed as the team to beat, but Team Netherlands could give them a run for their money.

Team Japan +300

The two-time World Champions get to play their first-round games at the Tokyo Dome, and with a roster that's got depth all over the field, it's likely Samurai Japan takes care of business on their home soil.

Manager Hideki Kuriyama's 30-man squad includes MLB stars Shohei Ohtani and Yu Darvish and 2022 breakouts Lars Nootbaar and Seiya Suzuki. Samurai Japan has a loaded pitching staff that consists of NPB stars Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Roki Sasaki.

Yamamoto's won two consecutive MVPs, his latest coming after throwing 193 innings with a 1.68 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. Sasaki also threw the first perfect game in NPB in 28 years with 19 strikeouts.

Outside of the 2021 AL MVP and '22 runner-up Ohtani, newly signed Red Sox outfielder, Masataka Yoshida, provides a disciplined, top-of-the-order bat with some pop. Nootbar's making history as the first player born outside the country to play for Team Japan, but his mother hails from Japan. Between their pitching depth and well-rounded lineup, Samurai Japan has a real chance to win their third WBC title in five tries.

Team USA +275

Team USA is priced with the second-highest odds to win the WBC behind the Dominican Republic, and another deep run in the WBC is the expectation for Mark DeRosa's squad. Their pitching staff isn't as top-heavy as the Dominican Republic and Japan. Still, Lance Lynn, Miles Mikolas, Adam Wainwright, Brady Singer, and Merrill Kelly highlight a well-rounded starting rotation. The back of the bullpen should be lights out in pool play, with Daniel Bard, David Bednar, Ryan Pressly, and Devin Williams holding down late-inning leads.

The lineup is loaded 1-9 with Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, and Kyle Tucker roaming the outfield. While Trea Turner, Pete Alonso, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Tim Anderson, Jeff McNeil, and Bobby Witt Jr. make up arguably the most talented US infield. Catchers J.T. Realmuto and Will Smith round out the star-studded Team USA roster.

Team Dominican Republic +200

The DR has zero weaknesses, with a starting infield that will likely consist of Manny Machado, Jeremy Pena, Wander Franco, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The outfield is just as talented with Juan Soto, Julio Rodriguez, and Teoscar Hernandez, while their pitching staff led by 2022 NL Cy Young Sandy Alcantara, Cristian Javier, Gregory Soto, and Rafael Montero is going to lockdown offenses. Team Dominican Republic has too much talent to list all its contributors, but the betting market has correctly identified them as the team to beat.

Team Korea +1200

MLB infielders Ha-Seong Kim and Tommy Edman will provide solid defense up the middle and likely hit toward the top of the lineup. Current Kiwoom Heroes outfielder Jung-Hoo Lee is set to be posted after the upcoming KBO season and should stabilize the middle of the order. KBO stars Jeong Choi, Baek-Ho Kang, and Eui-ji Yang can have a productive tournament at the plate to help Team Korea push through to the second round.

Former Cardinals starter Kwang-Hyun Kim is the most notable pitcher on the staff, but lefthander Chang-Mo Koo has just as impressive of an arsenal. Team Korea has to rely on rolling lots of ground balls for their infield, and we'll see if they have enough swing-and-miss stuff to post a good enough strikeout rate to make a run.

Team Puerto Rico +1100

Puerto Rico finished as the runner-up in the past two WBCs. But this year, making it past the pool play round will be as challenging as ever. Infield duo Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez will do their best to help Puerto Rico compete with the DR and Venezuela, and while the roster is loaded with current MLB talent, it has a brutal draw that's pegged it as the third-best team in Pool D.

Team Venezuela +1000

Venezuela's infield of Jose Altuve, Luis Arraez, Miguel Cabrera, Andres Gimenez, and Eugenio Suarez has a boatload of talent. At the same time, their outfield of Ronald Acuna Jr., David Peralta, and Anthony Santander can hold their own. Venezuela also has a bevy of impressive arms consisting of Ranger Suarez, Pablo Lopez, German Marquez, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Jose Alvarado.

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