The World Baseball Classic might still be a full year away from being complete, but qualifying for the tournament is about set to get started in September. Join us for our first look at the 2013 World Baseball Classic odds and which teams you should be looking out for to claim this illustrious title down the line.
This really is a matter of three teams, one of which is probably going to end up winning the World Baseball Classic. The favorites for the time being is the Dominican Republic (World Baseball Classic Odds: 2 to 1 SportBet Sportsbook). The Dominicans have some outstanding starts on their team, including some powerful outfielders like Jose Bautista and Nelson Cruz. Robinson Cano, Hanley Ramirez, and Jose Reyes will arm the infield, and the pitching staff has some great arms like Johnny Cueto, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Edinson Volquez. It’s not the greatest staff in the world, but in a tournament like this one, this lineup should be able to pick up the slack for what the pitchers might not be good enough to do.
There has only been one team that has been able to win this tournament in the past, and that is Japan (Odds To Win World Baseball Classic: 2.50 to 1 SportBet Sportsbook). The man that has won the MVP Award in the previous two World Baseball Classics, Daisuke Matsuzaka just doesn’t feel like he is going to be able to contribute to his team in 2013. Yu Darvish should be able to carry the load as the main ace of this team. Other major leaguers like Kosuke Fukudome, Ichiro Suzuki, and Kenji Johjima will help the team, but in the end, we always have to remember that a lot of these others players work together in the Japanese league, and that camaraderie is something that cannot be underestimated. There is a reason that baseball is so big in Japan, and that’s why this team is one of the best in the world year in and year out.
Home field advantage will go to the United States (2012 World Baseball Classic Betting Lines: 2.50 to 1 @ SportBet Sportsbook). Of course, the Americans have had the advantage of playing in their own backyard over the course of the last two World Baseball Classics, but they only have one fourth place finish to show for their work. It’s not that this team is void of talent for sure. Just look at some of the names of the men that could start… Brian McCann behind the plate, Evan Longoria at third, Jimmy Rollins at short, Kevin Youkilis at first, Ryan Braun, Adam Dunn, Curtis Granderson, and Shane Victorino in the outfield… and that doesn’t even include a bullpen with Heath Bell, Jonathan Broxton, Joel Hanrahan, and others that really have the ability to shut the door. The starting pitchers are thin right now, but the options are there for the Americans to be able to put a heck of a lot of players that are aces on this roster if they want to join the team.
There is only one other team that has succeeded in medaling in both of the first two World Baseball Classics. South Korea (World Baseball Classic Futures Lines: 15 to 1 SportBet Sportsbook) is one of the longest shots on the board, and we wonder if this team is going to be able to get the job done again. Just as baseball is big in Japan, it is just as big in South Korea as well. There are a heck of a lot of young players on this team, but there aren’t all that many players that are even thought about as big league players. That doesn’t mean that the squad isn’t going to be able to win once again, and if Japan can do it, so can South Korea.
Odds to Win the 2013 World Baseball Classic @ Sportbet Sportsbook (as of 8/7/12):
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Dominican Republic 2 to 1
Japan 2.50 to 1
United States 2.50 to 1
Chinese Taipei 12 to 1
Cuba 12 to 1
Canada 15 to 1
South Korea 15 to 1
Mexico 18 to 1
Puerto Rico 20 to 1
Venezuela 225 to 1
Panama 35 to 1
Field (Any Other Team) 15 to 1
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