How 2018 Red Sox Teammates Could Battle For WBC Crown

Devers and Betts spent three seasons as teammates with the Red Sox


Mar 5, 2023

Just five years removed from celebrating their 2018 World Series victory at Dodger Stadium, former Boston Red Sox teammates Rafael Devers and Mookie Betts could square off against each other for another title.

This month the fifth annual World Baseball Classic kicks off. With 20 teams divided into four pools, the United States, who last won in 2017, will seek its second title. But so will the Dominican Republic squad, who won its first crown back in 2013.

Devers, representing the Dominican Republic and Betts, the USA, are both making their WBC debuts. And playing alongside some star-studded rosters, there’s no question as to why the oddsmakers envision the All-Star talents making deep runs toward a championship push.

Team Dominican Republic is favored to win both Pool D (-250) and the tournament entirely (+210), according to DraftKings Sportsbook. As for the United States, the oddsmakers have a similar vision. Managed by Mark DeRosa, who played for the USA in 2009, his squad is favored to finish atop Pool C (-450) and has the second-best odds of being crowned champs (+250).

Both Devers and Betts, who anchored a dominant 2018 Red Sox lineup for Alex Cora, find themselves in a similar spot. After Boston finished off its 108-win season, the bar was elevated entering October.

This time, the former teammates join powerhouse rosters. Devers is set to play alongside fellow All-Stars Manny Machado, Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. Meanwhile, Betts will guard the outfield alongside future Hall of Famer Mike Trout and fellow ex-Red Sox Kyle Schwarber, who led the National League in home runs (46) last season.

With the Dominican Republic having a loaded roster, they’ll have plenty of flexibility when it comes to plugging Devers in the batting order.

However, Devers and Betts aren’t the only members of that 2018 championship roster that could meet in some playoff-like matchups before the 2023 season begins.

Former Red Sox members Christian Vázquez and Xander Bogaerts are also set to partake in the WBC festivities. Vázquez will join Kiké Hernández and represent Puerto Rico while Bogaerts will play for the Netherlands.

The 2023 World Baseball Classic begins on Tuesday. Cuba and the Netherlands will meet with first pitch set for 11 a.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports Images

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