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World Baseball Classic Betting: Can Mexico Be A Cinderella?
The World Baseball Classic starts in less than two weeks, so it’s time to buckle down and get your future bets in order before first pitch. The WBC kicks off on Tuesday, March 7th, with a game between Cuba and the Netherlands.
The odds on favorites to win the World Baseball Classic should come as no surprise. We’ve got the Dominican Republic at +200, team USA at +275, and Japan at +300. Following them are Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and South Korea–but their odds are drastically higher than the three favorites I listed earlier (anywhere from +1000 to +1200).
For this story’s sake, though, we will be looking at a +2000 underdog that could really put some cash into your pocket–but boy, would this be a Cinderella story.
Can Mexico Win The World Baseball Classic?
Yep, we’re looking at the team hailing from Mexico in this story, and I really think it’s worth your time. DraftKings Sportsbook currently has Mexico at +2000 odds to win the World Baseball Classic, which means a measly $10 bet could net you a nice $200.
But, with high odds come high risk–so is it even worth your time? Let’s take a look.
World Baseball Classic Team Mexico Roster
Here’s a look at team Mexico coming into the World Baseball Classic:
Austin Barnes (Dodgers)
Alejandro Kirk (Blue Jays)
Jonathan Aranda (Rays)
Joey Menses (Nationals)
Isaac Paredes (Rays)
Rowdy Tellez (Brewers)
Alan Trejo (Rockies)
Luis Urias (Brewers)
Randy Arozarena (Rays)
Jarren Duran (Red Sox)
Alek Thomas (Diamondbacks)
Alex Verdugo (Red Sox)
Julio Urias (Dodgers)
Jose Uriquidy (Astros)
Taijuan Walker (Phillies)
Patrick Sandoval (Angels)
Erubiel Armenta (Phillies)
Javier Assad (Cubs)
Luis Cessa (Reds)
Jesus Cruz (Phillies)
Giovanny Gallegos (Cardinals)
Adrian Martinez (Athletics)
Gerardo Reyes (Angels)
JoJo Romero (Cardinals)
Jake Sanchez (Padres)
Keys To Team Mexico’s Lineup
There are several players on Team Mexico’s roster that could really cause a splash in the World Baseball Classic. Alejandro Kirk is one of the best-hitting catchers in all of baseball, hitting .285 last season with the Blue Jays while clobbering 14 home runs and collecting 63 RBIs. Moving around the diamond, Joey Meneses, who also has outfield eligibility, was a shining star for the Nationals after Juan Soto left for San Diego. In just 56 games, Meneses hit 13 home runs with 34 RBIs and hit .324 all at the same time. The World Baseball Classic will be a great place for him to prove whether or not he was just a flash in the pan.
Rowdy Tellez will likely share time at first base with Meneses and will fill in at DH when needed. While the name isn’t the flashiest in the WBC, Tellez smashed 35 home runs with the Brewers last season, so he will add a nice splash of power to a contact heavy lineup. Speaking of power, we’ll round things out with Rays infield utility player Isaac Paredes, who hit 20 home runs in Tampa Bay last season in just 111 games.
That was only a look at Team Mexico’s infield–now let’s look at the outfield, which I feel is the true core of this lineup. At the heart of the outfield, you’ll find Randy Arozarena, who was the 2021 AL Rookie of the Year. Last year with the Rays, Arozarena hit 20 home runs with 89 RBIs, hitting .263 and stealing 32 bases while he was at it. He’ll be joined by Alex Verdugo, who hit .280 with the Red Sox last season. The final two outfielders, Alek Thomas and Jarren Duran, are two youngsters with a lot to prove, so there’s no doubting the fact that they’ll be playing their hearts out each and every game.
Key Pitchers On Team Mexico
Julio Urias has become one of the best pitchers in all of the MLB, and he’ll be taking the reigns as the ace of this Team Mexico rotation. Urias had the lowest ERA in all of the NL in 2022, boasting a 2.16 with a record of 17-7. Joining him will be Astros starter Jose Uriquidy, who went 13-8 with a 3.94 ERA last season. Former Met Taijuan Walker will likely close out team Mexico’s big three, and he’ll be looking to get into the groove of things so he can start off his 2023 campaign–his first in Philadelphia–on the right foot.
Mexico’s Path To The Finals
The World Baseball Classic operates in a similar way to the World Cup. There are four pools with five teams, and each team plays all of the other teams in their pool once. The top two teams from each pool at the end of the first round advance to the quarterfinals.
Mexico is in Pool C, along with USA, Colombia, Canada, and Great Britain.
Team USA is the overwhelming favorite to win pool C. FanDuel Sportsbook has them at -420 to win the group, with Mexico slotted as the second favorite (with odds of +450). While it’s clear Mexico will not win Pool C, they don’t have to in order to move on. If they finish second, which is seems like they will, they will move on to the Quarterfinals and play the first place winner of Pool D.
That looks like it’s going to be the Dominican Republic, which will be Mexico’s toughest test to date. The odds in that game will likely lean in the DR’s direction, but a win there would be huge for Mexico, and would likely face them off against the US in the semi-finals.
I know, another tough task–makes sense why their odds are what they are. But, a win there squares them off against a team like Cuba, Japan, or the Netherlands in the finals, and all of those are much more winnable than their play-in games.
So, at the end of the day, a lot of upsets would have to happen for Mexico to win the World Baseball Classic. But, at +2000, it’s really worth your time–plus, crazier things have indeed happened.