World Baseball Classic Group C Betting Preview: Can Goldschmidt, Trout, and Betts Power USA Atop the Table?


Mar 6, 2023

The World Baseball Classic returns on March 8th for the first time since 2017, as the 2021 tournament was canceled due to the pandemic. The number of teams has increased from 16 to 20, with MLB players slated to participate. Group C is where Team USA will compete, so we’ll break down the Americans’ chances of topping the table. United States | Odds to Win Group: -360

Team USA comes into 2023 as the 2017 defending champs and will sport a stronger roster than their championship team. MLB All-Stars litter the field, headlined by Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Mike Trout, JT Realmuto, Kyle Tucker, and Mookie Betts, with Clayton Kershaw, Lance Lynn, and Adam Wainwright atop the rotation.

The Americans are the favorites in the group, and anything but a repeat as champions would be a disappointment.

Mexico | Odds to Win Group: +350

Julio Urias headlines the Mexican team and will be heavily relied on if they want to go on a run. The 26-year-old lefty had the lowest ERA in MLB last year and will be surrounded by excellent pitching depth in Taijuan Walker, Jose Urquidy, and Patrick Sandoval.

Offensively, Randy Arozarena, Luis Urias, and Alex Verdugo offer Mexico some weapons in their lineup. They could ride their pitching depth far if their Big Leaguers get hot at the plate.

Canada | Odds to Win Group: +2400

Freddie Freeman will be the leader of the Canadian squad, and they’ll need a masterful two weeks out of the first baseman if they want to advance to the elimination bracket.

Around him, their rotation took a hit as Nick Pivetta will be unable to pitch in the tournament as he’s recovering slowly from a recent bout with Covid. Guardians pitcher Cal Quantrill will be heavily relied upon, but at the end of the day, this is Freeman’s ship to navigate.

Colombia | Odds to Win Group: +2900

Colombia is assembling a respectable squad, led by newly acquired New York Mets’ starter Jose Quintana on the mound. Veteran MLB players such as Oscar Mercado, Gio Urshela, Nabil Crismatt, and Harold Ramirez headline the rest of the team.

Keep an eye on 22-year-old Oakland A’s outfielder Jordan Diaz who made a strong impression as a September call-up last year. Colombia’s calming veteran presence will make them a tough out in this tournament.

Great Britain | Odds to Win Group: +13000

The Brits are easily the weakest link in Group C and are tied for the worst odds to win the tournament (+32000) out of all 20 representative countries.

The Mariners’ top prospect, 20-year-old Harry Ford, will lead the team, but there isn’t much besides him. Fringe MLB players, including Trayce Thompson, Ian Gibaut, and Vance Worley, round out a roster with several Minor Leaguers. They don’t have enough to make noise in Group C.

Picks to Qualify: USA & Mexico

USA is a near guarantee to advance to the elimination bracket as they sport the second-best odds to win the WBC (+260). Mexico offers excellent pitching depth with a well-balanced roster that should have little trouble advancing. However, I wouldn’t necessarily discount Colombia from making things interesting, but the spots are the USA’s and Mexico’s to lose. 

Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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