A bookmaker’s take on the 2023 World Baseball Classic field


Imagine you’re a starting pitcher, and you have to face a lineup with Julio Rodriguez, Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Rafael Devers to begin your outing.


Those are the first five expected hitters in the eerily loaded Dominican Republic starting lineup at this month’s World Baseball Classic, which you can watch on FOX and the FOX Sports App.

And yes, you can bet on it.


The Dominican squad is the odds-on favorite to win the whole thing, and they’re as low as +175 in the American market. FOX Bet is dealing them at +200, so a $100 bet wins you $200 and collects $300.

“Their lineup is stacked beyond belief,” Westgate SuperBook senior baseball trade Randy Blum told FOX Sports.

“They’re one of the teams that had a couple pitchers drop out, though. The Yankees told [Luis] Severino he couldn’t play, and [Framber] Valdez from the Astros isn’t playing either. But that lineup is stacked from top to bottom.”

That said, the Dominicans were pretty stacked back in the 2006 World Baseball Classic with Adrian Beltré, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, Alfonso Soriano and Miguel Tejada. But they finished fourth after Japan, Cuba and South Korea.

Nothing is guaranteed.

Meanwhile, the United States has the second-shortest championship odds. The Americans have no shortage of talent, with the likes of Pete Alonso, Tim Anderson, Nolan Arenado, Mookie Betts, Paul Goldschmidt, Kyle Schwarber, Mike Trout and Trea Turner all pulling on the same chain.  

“When I look at the American roster, I see depth at every position,” Blum said. “Obviously, [Clayton] Kershaw dropped out, and [Aaron] Judge essentially declined to play, but you look at the outfield, and it’s Trout and Betts together with Kyle Tucker. That’s an insane trifecta.” 

Is Team USA’s lineup for the World Baseball Classic the greatest of all-time?

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry break down Team USA’s potential starting lineup for the WBC.


Dominican Republic +200 (bet $10 to win $30 total)
United States +275 (bet $10 to win $37.50 total)
Japan +300 (bet $10 to win $40 total)
Korea +900 (bet $10 to win $100 total)
Venezuela +900 (bet $10 to win $100 total)
Mexico +1600 (bet $10 to win $170 total)
Puerto Rico +1800 (bet $10 to win $190 total)
Cuba +3500 (bet $10 to win $360 total)
Chinese Taipei +10000 (bet $10 to win $1,010 total)
Netherlands +10000 (bet $10 to win $1,010 total)
Italy +10000 (bet $10 to win $1,010 total)
Canada +10000 (bet $10 to win $1,010 total)
Colombia +15000 (bet $10 to win $1,510 total)
Australia +15000 (bet $10 to win $1,510 total)
Panama +25000 (bet $10 to win $2,510 total)
Israel +35000 (bet $10 to win $3,510 total)
Czech Republic +40000 (bet $10 to win $4,010 total)
Nicaragua +40000 (bet $10 to win $4,010 total)
China +40000 (bet $10 to win $4,010 total)
Great Britain +40000 (bet $10 to win $4,010 total)

Blum actually sees value on a team that’s a little bit behind the favorites. It’s obvious the Dominicans, Americans and Japanese are the clear-cut heavy hitters, but another team from the Far East may be worth a futures pop.

“That Korean team is solid,” Blum opined. “You’re probably not going to know any of their names, but that’s a very solid team. They’re built on small ball and pitching depth. It’s a style that makes them a contender given the familiarity and the way a lot of those guys have played together for years.”

Anything else we should know?

“Team Israel could unexpectedly make some noise,” Blum forecasted. “They’re not winning the whole thing, but an upset or two is possible. I still don’t know what the requirements are to be on a certain team. Like if you have one parent who is a third this or a third that, is that enough? Israel has some Major League guys that I didn’t think would qualify for its team.”

As for best bets, we’ll see you back here Monday morning with a wager or two.

Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He’ll probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.

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