The World Baseball Classic is everything the sport can be when passion and team pride are emphasized. That’s why the international tournament has been so popular this spring.
The US team, the defending WBC champion, has advanced to the final. It will face Japan on Tuesday, March 21, in Miami.
Now that online Massachusetts sports betting has launched, baseball fans in the Commonwealth can get in on the action.
World Baseball Classic betting in Massachusetts
Massachusetts made online sports betting apps available in the state March 10. You can choose from these six sportsbooks when betting on the World Baseball Classic:
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Barstool Sportsbook
All of these apps are available for both iPhone and Android devices. You can quickly download them (for free), and register.
In addition, these platforms are offering plenty of Massachusetts sports betting bonuses.
World Baseball Classic odds and betting tips
The WBC is played every three years, but hasn’t taken place since 2017, because it was cancelled in 2020. The next competition will be in 2026. Teams that finished in the top four in pool play automatically qualify for the next tournament. Four at-large bids will be up for grabs in three years.
Like the FIFA World Cup, the World Baseball Classic is a multi-pool, multi-round tournament to crown a champion in the sport.
Quarterfinal games and semifinal games were played the past couple weeks as the World Baseball Classic continued in single-elimination format. Every contest after pool play is like seventh game of the World Series.
Futures odds for the WBC give you a chance to place your bets on a national team to win it all. Although, now that we’re at the final, all they’re now moneyline odds. These are the current odds to win the WBC via DraftKings Sportsbook Massachusetts:
- Japan -135
- US +115
Just like during the MLB regular season, common wager types for WBC betting include moneyline, run line, and total (Over/Under) bets. You can also bet on player props.
The WBC Final will be played on March 21 in Miami.
The World Baseball Classic is a sporting event with an infusion of passion rarely seen in MLB. With opening round pool play underway, we’re starting to see the teams separate themselves into pretenders and contenders.
For fans of baseball in Massachusetts, the WBC is like if David Ortiz married Cristiano Ronaldo: the national pastime dropped into a World Cup-like tournament that elicits fervent flag-waving, music-playing fans supporting their nation. Even the players show emotion we rarely witness on the diamond.
SPORTS BETTING 101: How To Bet On The World Baseball Classic At Massachusetts Sportsbooks
USA lineup presents challenge for finals opponent
Japan’s thrilling ninth-inning comeback win on Monday serves as another reminder at how exciting this tournament can be. Japan is undefeated in the 2023 WBC, but it will be in for a challenge. The No. 9 hitter in the US lineup (Trea Turner) has three home runs in the past two games. Every position has an All-Star. And the Americans put up 14 runs against Cuba on Sunday.
Perhaps just as important for Team USA is Merrill Kelly, whom manager Mark DeRosa will tap to start the championship game. On the line is a repeat title in this international tournament. The only country to do that has been Japan, which won in 2006 and 2009. Kelly will hold Team USA’s fortune in his right pitching hand, at least for the first three or four innings.
In Kelly’s only start in the WBC, the Diamondbacks righthander allowed four hits, two walks and two runs in three innings against Colombia. The 34-year old Kelly has never pitched in the playoffs in his MLB career, so the WBC final will be the biggest game of his professional life.
Maybe pitching won’t matter, because Turner is hitting like Hank Aaron right now. The Phillies shortstop had two homers in the semifinal against Cuba on Sunday. That came a day after his grand slam flipped the scoreboard against Venezuela in the quarterfinals. Paul Goldschmidt also homered for Team USA in the semifinals, one of four players with multiple hits.
Japan is formidable, with its lineup led by Masataka Yoshida (WBC-best 13 RBI) and Shugo Maki (two homers). Then there’s Shohei Ohtani, who is batting .450 in the tournament with four doubles, a homer and eight RBI, and he’s been walked nine times. Ohtani could even pitch in the WBC final, though it reportedly would be out of the bullpen.
Notable Red Sox players in the World Baseball Classic
There will be plenty of betting on the Red Sox in Massachusetts once the MLB regular season begins.
While Boston fans have to wait a little bit longer to see their team in action at Fenway Park, they can get a glimpse of some notable Red Sox players during the WBC.
Here is a closer look at Boston players who competed — or are still competing — in the WBC.
Kiké Hernández, Puerto Rico
Hernández is a player without a glaring weakness. He can play multiple positions, has speed, runs the bases well, can hit, hot for power, and he is a plus-fielder. The Red Sox must be encouraged by the stellar play of Hernández in this tournament.
Masataka Yoshida, Japan
Yoshida is an unknown to Boston fans, but that won’t be the case for long. The former Japan league star signed a contract worth more than $100 million to bring his bat to Fenway, and Red Sox rooters will see him in the outfield this season.
So far in the WBC, Yoshida has 13 RBI, including five in one game. If it wasn’t for Shohei Ohtani’s greatness, Yoshida would have been MVP of pool play. In the semifinal on Monday, Yoshida’s three-run homer tied the game.
Alex Verdugo, Mexico
The Mexican team finally got a win over the United States in the WBC, a victory that helped propel them to the semifinals. There, Verdugo smacked an RBI double in Mexico’s loss to Japan.
Mookie Betts, United States
It still hurts Red Sox fans to see Betts in another uniform. At least this time, the former Boston MVP is in the red-white-and-blue. He hasn’t gotten on track yet this spring, but his all-around game is vital for the Americans as they defend their WBC title.
Other players familiar to Massachusetts baseball fans who were also in uniform for the 2023 WBC. Xander Bogaerts (Netherlands), Rafael Devers (Dominican Republic), Jorge Alfaro (Colombia) and Yu Chang (Taiwan) each appeared for their national teams.