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World Baseball Classic betting - Japan the favorite once again

Posted by T.J. Kendrick on 4/24/2012 11:11:59 AM

Betting sports - World Baseball Classic odds: USA, Dominican lead the odds

  • Cuba enjoys a weak Pool B
  • Japan favored again
  • Canada on home turf

While World Series odds are getting all the attention from baseball betting sharps, fanatics are already looking forward to World Baseball Classic betting in March. The second installment of the WBC will feature a new format, as four divisions will play in four different countries, with the tournament culminating at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Puerto Rico, Mexico, Japan and Canada will all enjoy home-field advantage as division hosts, which is important to keep in mind when evaluating World Baseball Classic odds.

Japan figures to be a hot bet in baseball odds as the defending champion. It was recently confirmed that Ichiro Suzuki will be playing for his native country at the WBC, which will be a huge spark for the Japanese offense.

Japan will use a very fundamental approach to the game, playing small ball and tight defense. Akinori Otsuka and Hiroki Kuroda will anchor the bullpen once again, a distinct advantage over most teams who can’t field even one Major League closer.

The Japanese brand of baseball is very well-suited to short tournaments like this; however, oddsmakers aren’t giving them too much respect, pegging them at +800 to repeat as champions.

On the opposite end of the baseball spectrum is the United States, which typically tries to slug it out and bash home runs. The Americans struggled against Canada and Cuba in 2006 and will surely struggle with chemistry issues with their star-studded lineup once again. However, talent alone is enough for the sportsbook to list the USA at +150 on WBC odds.

Coming in at a cool +1000 is Cuba, which thrived in the 2006 edition of the WBC despite not using any MLB players. The Cubans offer incredible value as the reigning silver medalists, making them one of the sexiest World Baseball Classic picks.

Another underdog to look out for on WBC lines is the Netherlands, which struggled mightily in ’06 but would have the services of Mark Mulder, Dan Haren and Kirk Sarloos should they decide to play.

T.J.’S EARLY PICK: While the USA and Dominican Republic are getting all the love from oddsmakers at +150, they’d make foolish WBC picks. Both play in competitive divisions and neither have home field advantage until the later rounds.

Japan has the luxury of playing China, Chinese Taipei and Korea in the first round, which will serve to rest their bullpen for the elimination round. I reserve the right make a new pick when rosters are official, but for early WBC betting, bet on Japan.

For more great World Baseball Classic betting, check out the online sportsbook. Check in with the Betting Edge for more tips on next spring’s 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 Thoughts or questions? .

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