How the Online Baseball Betting WBC is Shaping Up
Posted by: Anthony Yaylor
Even though we may be in the middle of the MLB offseason, online baseball betting fans can rejoice as the World Baseball Classic will give those who bet on baseball the opportunity to wager on the sport they love. Yes, sportsbooks and players alike are ecstatic as the World Baseball Classic has already commenced and although the first rounds are thought of as a couple of fun matchups, there’s no doubt that the later rounds will bring with it some of the best baseball we’ve seen on one of the largest stages available.
This year’s tournament was kicked off by Israel and South Korea who faced off in a heated match and although South Korea came into that inaugural contest as the odds on favorite, Israel was able to deliver a surprising upset. Now that things have gotten rolling, players can look over the scheduled matchups to determine which contest they think will be the most lucrative.
One particular matchup worth looking over was the contest between Japan and Cuba. Even though Cubans have a strong presence in the MLB, due to their totalitarian government, Cubans who have defected to the US are forbidden from representing the country in the tournament. This has led to an inaccurate representation of the Caribbean country, as the best baseball players in Cuba are prone to migrating, or defecting, to the US due to the higher standard of living, higher wages, and lack of communist regime. They may miss their comrades, but the pretty penny the MLB pays its players is more than enough to compensate.
This matchup kicked off Pool B’s sportsbook action, and since Japan is hosting Pool B, they enjoyed home field advantage, and will continue to do so for the rest of the scheduled games. The contest took place at the Tokyo Dome and it turned out to be more competitive than anticipated. Here’s what the bookies were predicting.
ONLINE BASEBALL BETTING ODDS – WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
Japan -2 ½ (-135) 7 ½ (-105) -450
Cuba +2 ½ (+115) 7 ½ (-115) +360
Unsurprisingly, Japan – who owns the most World Baseball Classic titles (2) – came in as the online baseball betting favorite. Japan actually won the first two renditions of the WBC, but after losing to Puerto Rico in the semifinal round 4 years ago, it’s safe to say that the Japanese have some unfinished business. All sportsbook eyes will be on Shohei Ohtani, a dual threat who has the ability to throw a fastball upwards of 100 mph, and also hit 22 home runs with 1004 OPS in 382 plate appearances for his home team, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters last season.
The online baseball betting underdogs had to contend without Jose Abreu, Yoenis Cespedes, and Aroldis Chapman for the aforementioned reasons, but don’t rule out Cuba just yet. Cuba has a strong, rich history of baseball, and they should have no shortage of players who are eager to represent the country on a global stage.
In the end the bookies were right and Japan walked away with the victory 11-6. It will be interesting to see if Cuba can bounce back, but without their best, it’s hard to imagine the country remaining too competitive.