Dominican Republic Favourites Among World Baseball Classic Odds for 2017 WBC

The World Baseball Classic odds for the 2017 event places defending Dominican Republic champions as one of the favourites to win the event.

The World Baseball Classic is a baseball tournament founded in 2005. It was part of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) for a period of five years between 2006 and 2013. Since then, however, World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has taken over the reins for this tournament.

The tournament comprises of 16 teams with Japan being the most successful with two titles to the credit. However, the 2016 event was won by the Dominican Republic in their first success at this event. It is not surprising that World Baseball Classic odds certainly place the Dominican Republic as one of the favourites to win the title in 2017.

Let's see who are the favourites

United States

The United States have also been placed as one of the favourites for the title alongside the Dominican Republic. However, major challenges await the United States when the team never finishing above fourth in the last three tournaments. The Dominican Republic managed a 3-0 success over Puerto Rico to win the title last season. Giancarlo Stanton of Miami Marlins, Andrew McCutchen of Pittsburgh Pirates, and Buster Posey of San Francisco Giants are the three main players for the USA. They are a major factor behind baseball betting tips considering the USA as strong contenders for the title.

Japan

Japan only managed a third place finish last season. The national team enjoyed immense success in the 2006 and 2009 events. These victories were largely down to ace pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. He was named as the tournament MVP on both occasions. Robinson Cano, who is the second baseman for Seattle Mariners, managed to win the MVP award for the 2013 event. The presence of such key players will have a major role to play in the baseball predictions. As a result, the presence of Cano – along with players like Nelson Cruz – makes the Dominican Republic extremely strong.

Dark Horses

While the top two teams from the group will be able to progress into the second round, team USA will be keen to win these spots ahead of Canada and Colombia. Canadians are not one of the favourites for the WBC title according to baseball betting, but they could be potential dark horses. Colombia are given even longer odds of success in the event.

The pool B contains one of the favourites, Japan, alongside teams like China and Australia. The biggest threat for Japan in this group will be Cuba, who are placed ahead of Canada in the baseball odds for the 2017 WBC event.

The Bookies Choice

One fact you need to know is that the Dominican Republic are the reigning champion after the incredible 8-0 record from 2013. If you're new to baseball, it might come as a surprise to you, but this small island is one of the finest nations playing the sport. They're definitely jostling to be the bookmakers' favourites with the US.

Can they retain the title, or will they lose? The Dominican Republic are priced at 35/10 to retain their crown, and that's a fair price.

WBC 2017 - 3 Bold Predictions from OddsDigger's Team

1. Since Shohei Ohtani will not be present, hard-throwing Shintaro Fujinami will become the talk of Team Japan

It's some sort of tradition now. Whenever a Classic takes place, talent evaluators search for a new Japanese pitcher. And we know why - Koji Uehara, Masahiro Tanaka, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Kenta Maeda.

Ohtani would have become 2017's phenomenon, but his ankle injury will keep him on the sideline. 22-year-old Fujinami is the next guy, having an average fastball velocity of 93 mph.

2. Israel will upset host South Korea in the opener and go to the 2nd round

How would that be? Hosts South Korea eliminated in the opener, and Team Israel able to score runs in the next rounds. South Korea has played quite badly in the recent months, thus our prediction.

3. Superstar player Nolan Arenado leads Team USA to the 2017 WBC title

If Team USA plays good, and probably will - Arenado will no longer be anonymous. He is actually the first third baseman to conquer back-to-back home run titles in the past 30 years - since Schmidt in 1980. He's an incredible defensive player in the Major Leagues and can do great. As we stated above, we believe Team USA has the most chances of winning the WBC title - their first one, actually.

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06.03.2017, by Robert Barber