The World Baseball Classic (WBC) is back and Team USA is looking for a repeat. The United States took home its first WBC championship in 2017, and with the tournament finally returning six years later, a star-studded MLB team led by Angels superstar Mike Trout hopes to defend the title.
However, several other talented teams could stand in their way. Trout’s Angels teammate Shohei Ohtani will lead a Japanese team aiming for its third WBC championship. The tournament will also feature stacked teams from the Dominican Republic, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Blue Jays, and Puerto Rico, with Javier Báez of the Tigers and led by former Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
The entire tournament can be seen exclusively in the United States on the FOX family of networks and the FOX Sports app, beginning on March 5. Now we have the first look at the early odds to win the World Baseball Classic, courtesy of FOX Bet.
ODDS OF WINNING THE 2023 BASEBALL WORLD CLASSIC*
United States: +260 (bet $10 to win $36 total)
Dominican Republic: +275 (bet $10 to win $37.50 total)
Japan: +450 (bet $10 to win $55 total)
Puerto Rico: +800 (bet $10 to win $90 total)
Venezuela: +1500 (bet $10 to win $160 in total)
cuba: +1500 (bet $10 to win $160 in total)
korea: +1500 (bet $10 to win $160 in total)
*Proportions from 12/28/2022
Baseball’s World Classic is just around the corner
Ben Verlander asks Israel team manager Ian Kinsler about the World Baseball Classic.
A star-studded roster of names will not only join Trout on the Team USA roster, but also join coach Mark DeRosa on the team’s coaching staff, making the Americans in the favorites to lift the trophy once more.
Players who have announced they will join Team USA include Mookie Betts and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, Trea Turner of the Phillies, JT Realmuto and Kyle Schwarber, Pete Alonso of the Mets, Nolan Arenado of the Cardinals and Paul Goldschmidt, Nestor of Yankees. Cortes and Tim Anderson of the White Sox. Phillies superstar Bryce Harper was also slated to play before undergoing offseason elbow surgery.
Additionally, Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. will serve as hitting coach and five-time World Series champion Andy Pettitte will serve as Team USA’s pitching coach.
The Dominican Republic is loaded with MLB household names and looks poised to make a deep WBC run. Juan Soto and Manny Machado of the Padres, Julio Rodríguez and Luis Castillo of the Mariners, Jose Ramírez of the Guardians, Rafael Devers of the Red Sox and Framber Valdez and Christian Javier of the Astros are among the players confirmed to play in the Dominican Republic. together with Gurrerro.
Sandy Alcantara of the Marlins, the 2022 National League Cy Young winner, and 2022 World Series MVP Jeremy Peña of the Astros will also join.
Japan may be longer, but they remain the only team to win multiple World Baseball Classics, having done so in the first two editions of the tournament in 2006 and 2009. Ohtani will be the undisputed star of ‘this selection, reuniting with his former Nippon professional baseball coach, Hideki Kuriyama.
“Looking forward to the opportunity to face the best players in the world and be able to play in front of the Japanese fans for the first time in over 5 years!!” Ohtani said in a Nov. 17 Instagram post announcing his commitment to Team Japan. The Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki has also announced that he will join the team.
How Shohei Ohtani became and prepares to be a two-way player
Ben Verlander asks Shohei Ohtani how he became a two-way player and how he continues to prepare to be both a hitter and a pitcher.
Puerto Rico will be looking to avenge their 2017 championship game loss to Team USA, and this time they’ll have a key figure in America’s title game, the Cubs’ Marcus Stroman, on their side. Stroman was the 2017 tournament MVP for Team USA, but the Long Island, N.Y., native has opted to suit up for Puerto Rico in 2023, as his mother is from the island .
There is precedent for this move: Alex Rodríguez joined the Dominican Republic team for the 2009 WBC after playing for Team USA in 2006, but was sidelined with a hip injury. Molina and Baez will also be joined by Edwin Díaz of the Mets, José Berríos of the Blue Jays, and Jose Miranda of the Twins, Kiké Hernández of the Red Sox and prized free agent Carlos Correa.
Related: Mets and Carlos Correa are still in limbo; What could come next?
The 2023 World Baseball Classic from March 7 to 21with the semifinals and final to be played at LoanDepot Park in Miami.
FOX Sports Top Stories:
Play on FOX Super 6 every week for your chance to win thousands of dollars every week. Just download the Super 6 app and make your choices today!