Dominicans likely to repeat as World Baseball Classic Champions

Dominicans likely to repeat as World Baseball Classic Champions

February 28, 2017 3:01 AM
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Station Casinos has posted odds to win the World Baseball Classic with the first pitch happening Monday and running through March 22 with the championship game at Dodger Stadium. The Dominican Republic has been posted as the 12-to-5 favorite followed by the USA and Japan each at 5-2.

When looking at the Dominican roster it’s easy to see why they’re favored. It’s like an MLB All-Star team by itself led by Adrian Beltre, Robinson Cano, Hanley Ramirez, Manny Machado, Jose Bautista, Nelson Cruz, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco. Their pitching is equally impressive with Johnny Cueto, Carlos Martinez, Edinson Volquez, Dellin Betances, Jeurys Familia and Fernando Rodney.

All I can say is “wow” when looking at those names and wonder how they can lose. The Dominicans won the last WBC in 2013 and Japan took the first two in 2009 and 2006.

Of course, I’ll be rooting for the good ole USA, who will be managed by one of my all-time favorites, Jimmy Leyland. They come with a nice lineup featuring Giancarlo Stanton, Adam Jones, Buster Posey, Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Carpenter, Daniel Murphy and Andrew McCutchen. Their pitching is stacked with Danny Duffy, Chris Archer, Sonny Gray, Michael Fulmer and Marcus Stroman with Andrew Miller waiting to close games out.

WCC in Vegas

Over the next two weekends, Las Vegas will host four college basketball tournaments. The first one tips off Friday with the West Coast Conference at the Orleans where the big story will be whether or not Gonzaga can bounce back after suffering its first loss of the season to BYU, 79-71, on Saturday.

Is the loss a good thing for their mindset just to get the pressure of an undefeated season off their back, or does it shake their confidence losing at home as a 21-point favorite?

I tend to think the loss is a good thing and perfect timing to regroup for the upcoming games that really matter. They can look at the BYU game and see what not to do, knowing from here on out all the games will be tougher.

As for the other teams that have been getting crushed twice a week by Gonzaga all season, they all feel the seemingly impossible is now possible.

Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s are both likely locked into the NCAA Tournament, so for the other eight teams they are fighting for a chance to get the automatic bid by winning the conference tourney. The Championship game is set for Tuesday, March 7.

Next week the Pac-12, WAC and Mountain West will all hold their tournaments in Vegas. All the friends and family of the teams really light up the Strip with their array of colors and support.

Also in the town at the same time with more bright colors are NASCAR fans for the Las Vegas race. What a set of weekends we have kicking off March, and best of all we can bet on all the events!

Heisman odds

Station Casinos has Louisville QB Lamar Jackson as the 6-to-1 co-favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Jackson won the Heisman last season and right there with him on the odds board is USC QB Sam Darnold followed by Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield at 7-to-1. Mayfield was arrested early Saturday morning in Arkansas for public drunkeness. The top non-QB to win is Penn State RB Saquon Barkley at 12-1.

Rugby 7’s

Another outstanding event to wager on is here this weekend. The Rugby Sevens comes to the Sam Boyd Silver Bowl and runs Friday through Sunday.

U.S. Fantasy Sports offers its pari-mutuel odds format with six different pools to choose from. Fiji is listed as the 4-1 favorite followed by Australia at 9-2 with South Africa and New Zealand both 8-1. The USA and England are each 10-1.