The United States and Japan, the final most experts thought we’d get, are playing in the World Baseball Classic championship game on Tuesday, Mar. 21 in Miami. The U.S. seeks a second consecutive WBC and is favored on odds boards to get the job done.
Shota Imanaga is Tuesday night’s starting pitcher for Japan. Merrill Kelly gets the ball for the USA.
Odds To Win 2023 WBC Final: USA vs. Japan
Japan is the only team in the tournament to have not lost a game. The Japanese team had to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth in the semifinals against Mexico to advance to the finals. Their offense features three of the top hitters in this tournament: Shohei Ohtani, Masataka Yoshida, and Kensuke Kondoh.
But the Americans scored 14 runs against Cuba in the semifinal, paced by Trea Turner, who leads all WBC hitters with four home runs. Four U.S. players had multiple hits and RBI in that victory on Sunday.
Here are odds from top sports betting apps on the WBC championship game. Odds are current as of noon ET on Tuesday, and we always recommend checking multiple sportsbooks for the best prices for your plays and to take advantage of several bonus offers.
WBC · Tue (3/21) @ 7:00 pm ET
|LoanDepot Park, Miami, FL|
Key Players for Top Contenders in World Baseball Classic
The U.S. pitching staff is not as strong as others, but the roster could change by March. The lineup will have power and speed, with Trout, Harper, Turner, and Betts leading the way.
- Mike Trout
- Bryce Harper
- Paul Goldschmidt
- Mookie Betts
- J.T. Realmuto
- Adam Wainwright
- Trea Turner
- Kyle Schwarber
The U.S. team has an amazing lineup, but the pitching staff took a hit when CLayton Kershaw had to back out. Most likely, manager Mark DeRosa will turn to Lance Lynn, Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Kyle Freeland, and possibly Brady Singer to start games for the United States.
The Japanese National Team was favored by Caesars to win the WBC before it started, and here theya re in the finals having not lost a game. One reason is Ohtani, who can not only make batters miss with his pitching, but also slug home runs with his beautiful left-handed swing. Ohtani is hitting .450 with four doubles, a home runs, eight RBI, and nine walks in the tournament.
But Japan is far more than Ohtani. A player to keep an eye on is Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who won the Most Valuable Player Award in the Nippon Baseball League. Yamamoto is a slender, short right-handed pitcher with a curve ball that is baffling. Many players across the globe have probably never seen anything quite like it.
The Japanese have won the WBC twice, and have never failed to reach the final four of the World Baseball Classic tournament. Typically, their strength is pitching, speed, defense, and team play.
- Shohei Ohtani
- Yu Darvish
- Seiya Suzuki
- Yuhei Nakamura
- Shugo Maki
World Baseball Classic — FAQs
The World Baseball Classic is the top international tournament for baseball. Major League Baseball partners with other organizations, such as the World Baseball Softball Confederation, to sanction the event, which takes place every four years.
The tournament includes 20 national teams. The top 14 teams from the previous WBC are invited to participate, and six spots are filled via a qualifying tournament that takes place typically the year prior to the WBC.
Yes, you can place bets on World Baseball Classic games, as well as futures bets on which nation you think might win the tournament. The top sportsbooks, like BetMGM, Caesars, PointsBet, DraftKings, FanDuel, and others, offer odds.
When the Olympics removed baseball as a medal sport in 2008, a void was created. How to determine the best baseball team in the world? That’s where the World Baseball Classic comes in. The tournament is so respected by competing nations, that it’s the most coveted title they can win. In 2020, Major League Baseball announced that the term “world champion” would be attached to the winning nation of the World Baseball Classic.
Similar to the FIFA World Cup for football (soccer), the World Baseball Classic is the most prestigious international tournament for the sport of baseball.
Yes, many of the top professional baseball players from MLB, and other pro leagues around the world, make themselves available to play in the World Baseball Classic.
The WBC takes place during spring training for MLB, and players on a national team leave their MLB team to compete for as many as two weeks.
Here’s a list of the past World Baseball Classic winners and runner-up:
- 2006: Japan over Cuba
- 2009: Japan over South Korea
- 2013: Dominican Republic over Puerto Rico
- 2017: United States over Puerto Rico
The biggest difference between MLB and WBC play are the pitching usage rules:
A pitcher cannot pitch until:
- a minimum of four days have passed since he last pitched, if he threw 50 or more pitches when he last pitched
- a minimum of one day has passed since he last pitched, if he threw 30 or more pitches when he last pitched
- a minimum of one day has passed since any second consecutive day on which the pitcher pitched
There are also pitch count limits for each round, which ensures pitchers are not overused.