2023 World Baseball Classic Championship Betting Guide

USA vs. Japan

by Aaron Ogdahl

You were wrong. You thought the event was bland. Blah. Milquetoast. As a neutral fan of the event, I decided to do some action research so that I could fire off a 2023 World Baseball Classic Championship Betting Guide.

I've dove headfirst into the World Baseball Classic this year. Early morning games. Games at work. Games in Japan. Games in the USA. I've consumed it all.

And well, it's time for the skeptics to reconsider the "nobody cares" opinion. It's time to start believing it when players like Trea Turner, who played in a World Series, say it's the most charged atmosphere they've ever played in.

The tournament is simply electric.

Tonight's game between the USA and Japan may, and very likely will be, the most-watched baseball game of all time.

2023 World Baseball Classic Championship Betting Guide

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"All time"... And rightfully so. Because of the passion brought by the participating country's fans (shoutout to the Latin country's fans), the WBC atmosphere isn't what we see in the MLB. It's every fan glued to every pitch. It's standing and cheering for a first inning ending strikeout. It's the deafening roar of a game-tying 3-run home run.

It's seeing a 21-year-old superstar, that no one had heard of, throw 102 consistently.

It's four-hour baseball games. And it's amazing.

If you haven't watched the event, I get it. It's happening during March Madness. ESPN has basically swept it under the rug as an afterthought and historically, it wasn't a terribly exciting event in years past because of missing all-stars. You've had your excuses, but tonight you do not.

The game tonight will feature maybe the two best players of our generation squaring off, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout (Gosh, imagine if they played on the same team...). Team USA's lineup is stacked. Team Japan's pitching staff is stacked. Let's dive into the prediction portion.

Why Team USA Will Win:

The lineup. It's murderer's row. When Trea Turner is hitting ninth, that may be all you need to know. Betts, Trout, Goldschmidt, Arenado, Realmuto. It's a nightmare for any pitcher and what could be worse for Team Japan is that this lineup is scorching right now.

Why Team Japan Will Win:

Their pitching staff. They have Darvish ready to go. Ohtani will likely see some innings tonight. The USA will dodge Roki Sasaki, but Japan will have enough to counter the USA, at least for a while.

The X-factor:

The USA's starting pitcher is likely a combination of Merrill Kelly and Brady Singer in some sort of tandem role. I don't see DeRosa sticking with either very long because they have a very capable bullpen.

If Yoshida or Murakami and Ohtani catch a few, they could put up a crooked number in the early onset of the game.

If the USA can silence the Japanese bats and get the ball to Ryan Pressly, David Bednar, and Devin Williams, I can't help but think it'd be all but over.

My Prediction:

The line opened with the USA as slight favorites -125 on the moneyline (a bet of $125 wins $100). Team Japan opened at +110 (a bet of $100 wins $110).

My model (which will be available all season at Fantasy Six Pack) has this at different prices. My model has the USA projected to score 6.32 runs and Team Japan to score 4.67.

Therefore, I'll be betting USA on the moneyline, but more importantly, I'll be glued to every pitch of this baseball game. It could be one for the ages.

Official Prediction: Team USA 7, Team Japan 5

Be sure to check out more excellent Fantasy Baseball content from the F6P team!

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