Before the first pitch of the 2023 MLB season, some American big leaguers have an international title to defend.
Team USA enters this year’s World Baseball Classic as the defending champion for the first time. After failing to record a top-three finish in the first three iterations, the United States won the 2017 WBC in thrilling fashion by outlasting Japan in the semifinals and crushing Puerto Rico in the final.
The U.S. has a more talented team on paper this time around. The club is headlined by captain Mike Trout and features the likes of Mookie Betts, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Trea Turner, among other stars.
But all that star power doesn’t mean the Americans' task of repeating will be a walk in the park.
Who is favored to win the 2023 World Baseball Classic?
The Dominican Republic, not Team USA, is the betting favorite to win the 2023 World Baseball Classic. The D.R. has +275 odds to win the tournament, according to our partner, PointsBet.
After capturing their first WBC title in 2013, the Dominicans failed to reach the 2017 championship round. They were knocked out in the second round following a 6-3 loss to the U.S.
The Dominican Republic boasts an absolutely stacked roster in 2023. Juan Soto, Manny Machado and Sandy Alcantara are just a few of the several big names playing for the D.R.
There’s a clear top three in the WBC, with Team USA and Japan joining the Dominican Republic as the leading contenders. The Americans have +275 odds, followed by Japan at +300.
Japan won the first two World Baseball Classics and has finished no worse than third in all four tournaments. The best player in the tournament is on Team Japan, as Shohei Ohtani will make his WBC debut. The two-way superstar won’t have any restrictions, meaning we should see him on the mound and at the plate.
No other team has shorter than +1000 odds to win the tournament. South Korea and Venezuela, both at +1000, round out the top five favorites.
Here’s a full look at the WBC title odds:
Dominican Republic: +250
South Korea: +1000
Puerto Rico: +2200
Chinese Taipei: +7000
Great Britain: +25000
Czech Republic: +35000
Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.