Team USA favored in World Baseball Classic odds
World Baseball Classic odds: Dominicans have top talent at every position
- WHO: Baseball’s best nations
- WHAT: 2009 World Baseball Classic
- WHERE: Mexico City, San Juan, Tokyo, Toronto (round 1); San Diego, Miami (round 2); Los Angeles (round 3)
Usually, the arrival of March means online sports betting fans, particularly those who bet on baseball, get pumped up for Grapefruit League action. This year, for the second time ever, March brings something special to baseball fans a chance to bet on the World Baseball Classic.
The 2006 World Baseball Classic betting experience was an interesting one for anyone who gave it a shot at the sportsbook. Were you one of the happy souls who picked Japan to win it all? With a roster comprised primarily of relative unknowns, Japan shocked the world in the 2006 World Baseball Classic odds, led by the outstanding performance of fireballer Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Will Japan repeat in 2009 WBC betting or will another nation take its turn atop the baseball ranks? Let’s look at the current World Baseball Classic lines:
- AUSTRALIA +15000
- CANADA +5000
- CHINA +15000
- CHINESE TAIPEI +4000
- DOMINICAN REPUBLIC +125
- ITALY +7500
- JAPAN +800
- MEXICO +1800
- NETHERLANDS +15000
- PANAMA +2500
- PUERTO RICO +1500
- SOUTH AFRICA +15000
- USA +175
While Japan certainly can’t be counted out, two squads stand out above all in the 2009 World Baseball Classic lines: the U.S. and the Dominican Republic.
Perhaps because they’ve spent so many years as the undisputed best baseball nation in the world, the Americans don’t seem particularly jazzed up to compete in the 2009 World Baseball Classic odds. For that reason, many top players have declined invitations and the Yanks won’t be fielding their best possible roster. Not that you can tell, looking at their still-stacked lineup. The rotation includes Jake Peavy and Justin Verlander, the bullpen boasts Joe Nathan and Jonathan Broxton, and their packed infield has a log jam of talented third baseman, like David Wright, Chipper Jones and Eva Longoria. Yep, the Americans will contend in a big way.
The Dominican Republic looks most likely to answer the Americans’ call in 2009 WBC betting. Their lineup features some of the game’s best pure superstars, including Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez. Their pitching staff is young but features lots of electric arms with big strikeout ability, such as comeback candidate Francisco Liriano. If the Dominicans can overcome the steroid scandals surrounding two of their stars – Alex Rodriguez and Miguel Tejada – they could win it all.
Puerto Rico and Venezuela should make a splash, as they’re both loaded with major-league stars too. But the Puerto Ricans lack hitting depth and Venezuela, though formidable, could have ace Johan Santana blocked from playing by the Mets.
Japan and Cuba are consistently exciting international baseball betting picks, as they have plenty of talent but far less major-league players than the other contenders. Both teams are founded on power pitchers who are often unorthodox and difficult to scout. They’re both likely to make a splash in the tournament again, but the element of surprise may not be as strong this year. Watch out for Japan’s Yu Darvish, though; the phenom hurler could be the 2009 tourney’s answer to Dice-K.
Among other possible contenders are plucky Mexico and Canada, both of which will ride home crowds in the first round of the World Baseball Classic odds. Canada is more likely to surprise than Mexico considering it has several All-Star hitters, including Justin Morneau, Russell Martin and Jason Bay. However, since virtually every reliable Canadian starter has pulled out of the event, the Canucks will be hard pressed to advance past round one.
Check back in the coming weeks for updates and further analysis on the 2009 World Baseball Classic odds.
T.J. Kendrick is the biggest baseball nut and a brilliant MLB handicapper. His love of the game borders on obsession, and he takes every chance he gets to make excellent predictions, frequently contributing to industry handicapping sites as well as betonline.com. Thoughts or questions?