The 2023 World Baseball Classic is set to begin March 7 across the globe as 20 countries vie for the title of being the best on the diamond. The 2021 WBC was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing it to this year, so the United States will still be looking to defend its 2017 championship.
However, the USA will have some tough competition from the Dominican Republic and Japan, who have star-studded rosters and are among the favorites to win the WBC, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Outside of the top-three clubs, Mexico and Puerto Rico could shake up the field with their talented rosters.
Below, we have the latest odds from FanDuel Sportsbook on the favorites to win the 2023 World Baseball Classic and a few sleepers/values to keep an eye on as we inch closer to pool play starting on March 7.
World Baseball Classic odds 2023
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook
World Baseball Classic 2023 odds: Favorites
USA (+220). Team USA enters this year’s edition of the World Baseball Classic as the defending champion and the proverbial favorite to repeat. The United States will be led by manager Mark DeRosa, who spent 16 years in the major and played on eight different teams. DeRosa has some solid names on his staff, including Hall-of-Famer Ken Griffey Jr. (hitting coach), Brian McCann (bench coach), and Andy Pettitte (pitching coach).
As for the actual team, it’s pretty loaded with multiple All-Stars in the rotation, infield, and outfield. Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the captain of Team USA despite playing in the World Baseball Classic for the first time in his decorated career. Opposing pitchers will have a tough time with a Team USA lineup that includes Pete Alonso, Paul Goldschmidt, Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, Tim Anderson, Mookie Betts, and J.T. Realmuto. Along with their offense, the United States has a solid pitching rotation that features Clayton Kershaw, Merrill Kelly, Brady Singer, Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, and Miles Mikolas. The US is the overwhelming favorite to win Pool C (-430) over Mexico, Canada, Colombia, and Great Britain, and it should get through group play before moving on to the quarterfinals, where things will heat up.
Dominican Republic (+220). If the USA fails to repeat as World Baseball champions, do not be surprised if the Dominican Republic takes the crown. In the 2017 edition of the WBC, the Dominican Republic lost to the United States 6-3 in the second round. You have to believe that the DR remembers that loss and will look to make another deep run this year.
The Dominican Republic has an outstanding roster that rivals the United States, beginning with a starting rotation that features reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara, Roasny Contreras, Johnny Cueto, and Cristian Javier. Alcantara and Javier are strikeout machines when they are locked in and could lead the Dominican Republic to a WBC crown. The offense is also loaded with Willy Adames, Nelson Cruz, Wander Franco, Rafael Devers, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Manny Machado, Ketel Marte, Juan Soto, Jeremy Pena, Julio Rodriguez, and Eloy Jimenez. In the 2017 WBC, Machado slashed .269/.321/.462 with a home run, two RBI, and two doubles. The Dominican Republic is the betting favorite to win Pool D (-300) over Venezuela (+400) and Puerto Rico (+600).
World Baseball Classic 2023 odds: Sleepers & value bets
Mexico (+1600). If there’s one country that could make a run in the World Baseball Classic, it’s Mexico. They have a good starting rotation, led by Julio Urias, Patrick Sandoval, Jose Urquidy, and Taijuan Walker, that can carry them through Pool C play. Urias has been one of the best starting pitchers in baseball over the past two seasons, recording 37 wins in 63 starts. Last season with the Dodgers, the 26-year-old lefty had a 17-7 record, 2.16 ERA, and 166 strikeouts in 175 innings pitched.
Offensively, Mexico will look for Alejandro Kirk, Randy Arozarena, Rowdy Tellez, and Alex Verdugo to lead the way. While it doesn’t possess the power hitters of the Dominican Republic or the USA, Mexico still has guys who can get on base and make things happen. Mexico has second-best odds to win Pool C (+400) and will open up play against Colombia on March 11. After that game, Mexico will face off against the USA on March 12.
Puerto Rico (+1600). We would be remiss if we didn’t talk about Puerto Rico winning the World Baseball Classic this year. Team Puerto Rico plays in the competitive Pool D group that has the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. However, they will not back down from the competition, as they have two good starters in Jose Berrios and Marcus Stroman (who played for Team USA in the 2017 WBC). In the bullpen, Puerto Rico has Jorge Lopez and Edwin Diaz, who was the best closer in the majors last season for the Mets.
However, if Yadier Molina’s crew wants to make a run, they must lean on their offense. Puerto Rico has great catching depth with Martin Maldonado, Christian Vazquez, and M.J. Melendez. Melendez and Vazquez are the more offensive catchers, while Maldonado is excellent defensively behind the plate. As for the rest of the offense, Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor are the top names to watch out for. Both guys played well in the 2017 WBC, as Baez hit .296 with a home run and five RBIs, while Lindor slugged .370 with two home runs and four RBI. If those guys get hot at the plate, watch out, as they can carry the offense and give Puerto Rico a great chance to advance out of pool play.
OUR PICK: Team Dominican Republic (+220). Even though Japan has Shohei Ohtani and Yu Darvish and the USA has a deep and talented roster, we are going to go with the Dominican Republic to win the WBC. They have an outstanding starting rotation that will carry them between Alcantara, Javier, Cueto, and the young Contreras. When you pair those pitchers with that offense, they are going to be tough to beat. Those hitters have the capability to get on base but also hit the ball out of the ballpark. Hopefully, we get to see Team Dominican Republic face off against Team USA in the championship because that would be an epic finale to what should be an incredible WBC.