- Opening odds for the World Baseball Classic have been set, with the Dominican Republic and USA sporting +225 odds as co-favorites
- Japan comes in as the third favorite with +300 odds, out of the four classics, Japan has won two
- Star-studded rosters oozing with some of the MLB’s best players headline each nation
TAICHUNG – The World Baseball Classic is set to start off with Pool A in Taiwan at the Intercontinental Baseball Stadium. Other locations for the event include Tokyo, Phoenix, and Miami.
This year brought about a change in the WBC, expanding the pool of teams to 20 up from 16 in previous iterations. Online sportsbooks have since published opening odds for who will take home the trophy, headlined by the three previous winners: United States (+225), Dominican Republic (+225), and Japan (+300).
Highlighting the Biggest and Best Stars from Each Nation
Beginning with the Dominican Republic, it is no surprise as to why many are crowning them as the team to beat heading into the tournament. Armed to the teeth with some of the best pitchers and hitters in the entire MLB, the DR has no shortage of talent.
Looking to build off their 2013 WBC win, the DR now welcomes stars like 2022 National League Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara, as well as silver slugger winners Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Manny Machado, and Juan Soto. Their depth is incredible as well, littered with MLB all-stars like Framber Valdez, Luis Castillo, Starling Marte, Jose Ramirez, and many more.
With one of the best supporting casts in the tournament, the DR will surely look to repeat their 2013 excellence and make a push as the second nation to win the WBC twice. However, there is another team that currently shares their +225 odds and may have an even stronger roster.
USA - Most Decorated Team In the Tournament
The USA comes in tied with the DR for the best odds to win the World Baseball Classic at +225, and it is no wonder why. With the majority of the MLB at its disposal, team USA features a whopping three former MVP winners along with a flood of all-stars.
Among the most notable names is Mike Trout, who is captaining the team as a former three-time MVP, along with three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. The team also secured former MVP Mookie Betts and 2022 NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt.
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The U.S. is the most recent team to win the WBC, and will look to be the first repeat champion since Japan did it in 2006 and 2009. With a roster that is teeming with some of the best and most decorated MLB players in recent memory, they will rely on their superior experience and various standout players to make a splash in the WBC for bettors at +225 odds.
Japan Led by Ohtani Will Push for Third WBC Win
Japan is the winningest nation in WBC history, capturing the first two titles and logging four top three finishes, double the next closest team. Online betting sites have thus given them +300 odds to win, third of any country. They are captained by 2021 AL MVP Shohei Ohtani, who is largely considered to be the best player in all of Major League Baseball as one of the rarest blends of pitching and hitting ever seen in the sport.
The players behind Ohtani are no slouches either, with young up-and-coming stars like Lars Nootbar and Munetaka Murakami alongside established veterans such as Masataka Yoshida and Seiya Suzuki. Longtime pitching ace Yu Darvish will be backing up Ohtani on the mound as one of the most experienced WBC players in the entire tournament.
While not as star-studded as the DR or USA, Japan has consistently maintained a strong roster filled with explosive and game-breaking players that could lead to them upsetting either of the aforementioned nations and cashing in +300 odds for bettors.
Jeremias began writing 4 years ago after beginning his career at Florida State University. He mainly focuses on using analytics and statistics to educate readers on trends and discoveries to get a leg up on sportsbooks. He mainly focuses on NFL, NHL, and NBA. During his free time, you can find him researching, writing, and betting on various sports.