Three best 2023 World Baseball Classic futures bets to make now


The 2023 World Baseball Classic gets underway just before midnight ET on Tuesday night, with Cuba and Netherlands squaring off at Taichung Stadium in Taiwan.

You can watch all of the WBC action on FOX Sports and the FOX Sports App.

I’ve studied these matchups and pools for some time now and feel rather strongly about popping the following future bets before play begins.

Let’s jump into my three favorite bets for the World Baseball Classic.


Netherlands to win Pool A (+250)

This speedy team can flash some leather.

You should be very familiar with the infield – Xander Bogaerts, Didi Gregorius, Jonathan Scoop and Andrelton Simmons – and all four of those guys can play multiple positions. Expect mostly clean games around the diamond, which can’t be said for more than half the squads.

Then there’s the thump. Bogaerts is the biggest name, but outfielder Wladimir Balentien has flat out bashed the ball at the WBC. He smashed four homers, drove in 12 runs and posted a 1.792 OPS in the last tournament.

Cuba is favored to win this pool at around even money, but I love getting this Netherlands squad at this price. They’ve finished in fourth place in the last two tournaments, and they know what it takes to make a run. 

Team USA or Team Dominican Republic: Which has the best World Baseball Classic lineup

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry breakdown the lineups.

Venezuela to qualify (-200)

This price is a little steep, but I would be stunned if the Venezuelans didn’t qualify for the second round. Just to give you some context, the Dominican Republic is as high as -2000 to qualify, so -200 ain’t too shabby.

Venezuela has tons of talent on this roster, headlined by perennial All-Stars Ronald Acuna Jr. and Jose Altuve, along with batting champion Luis Arraez and rising 24-year-old star Andres Gimenez from the Cleveland Guardians.

Oh and Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera is playing, too.

However, the best part of this squad might be the starting pitching. The Venezuelans will likely throw Luis Garcia, Pablo Lopez, Martin Perez and Ranger Suarez in the four pool games.

In a tournament full of offensive-heavy teams, the Venezuelan starters should be good enough to qualify against Puerto Rico, Israel and Nicaragua.  

United States to win World Baseball Classic (+275 at FOX Bet)

You knew this was coming, right?

If you thought for one second that I was going to root against my home country, you’re out of your mind. And it’s much different than the World Cup because the USA baseball team is actually good enough to win it all.

As Las Vegas bookmaker Randy Blum told FOX Sports last Friday, the Americans have depth at every single position. And the red, white and blue may have the most well-rounded lineup in the entire field.

Think about an outfield with Mookie Betts, Mike Trout and Kyle Tucker, then an infield with Nolan Arenado, Tim Anderson, Jeff McNeill and Paul Goldschmidt with J.T. Realmuto behind the plate. Sheesh.

If the bats deliver and the uber-deep bullpen holds serve, look out. 

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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