Major League Baseball
How to bet on Team USA at 2023 World Baseball Classic
Major League Baseball

How to bet on Team USA at 2023 World Baseball Classic

Updated Mar. 15, 2023 1:48 p.m. ET

By Edward Egros
FOX Sports MLB Betting Analyst

You may be a casual baseball fan who’s patriotic enough to want anything labeled Team USA to win the World Baseball Classic.

You may be an enthusiast who’s already planned your life around the ball club’s first exhibition on Wednesday. Or you may be a diehard who will be in Phoenix when the games begin to count for the Stars and Stripes on March 11 and then in Miami for the knockout rounds on March 17-21.

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But here’s a bigger question: is it worth betting on Team USA to win the WBC?

Currently, Team USA is +275 to win on FOX Bet. These are the second-shortest odds behind the Dominican Republican (+200 on FOX Bet).

Let’s go over the three pros and three cons of betting on Team USA:

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  • The Stars and Stripes may have the strongest batting lineups in the tournament. Let’s look at one set of projections for the 2023 MLB season: ZiPS from the great Dan Szymborski of FanGraphs. Trea Turner, Nolan Arenado, Will Smith, Mookie Betts and Mike Trout are all projected to finish in the top 20 in FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement. No other ball club has more than three of such players.
  • Speaking of Trout, no slugger has gotten off to better starts in recent memory. If you go by the past five full seasons and only analyze March/April, Trout leads the way with a .322 expected batting average and a .454 expected weighted on-base average (minimum 500 plate appearances). With the WBC happening in March, Trout may be as prepared as anyone for competitive games. Having several seasons of MLB experience should help with that readiness, too.
  • Every athlete on Team USA’s roster plays in the Major Leagues. They are one of only two squads with that distinction (Dominican Republic).


Ultimately, we bet for value. +275 is simply not enough when pitching is a significant concern, home-field advantage may not matter and the U.S. could trip up in the single-elimination portion of the tournament against Japan or the Dominican Republic. As much as we may want Team USA to repeat as WBC champions, I would not be on them to win.

However, the U.S. is -360 to win Pool C, and this bet is one I do like. Because of the low payout, I would avoid placing too many units here. But barring something shocking, team USA should easily win the pool. The only real contender in this group of five is Mexico, headlined by a lethal one-two pitching punch in Julio Urías and Patrick Sandoval. Both men are projected to finish in the top 40 in FanGraphs WAR, according to ZiPS. I would also bet on Mexico to qualify from the pool, currently at -300.

To review, I would avoid betting on Team USA to win the WBC at this price, but I would bet on them to win Pool C and wager on Mexico to qualify from Pool C.

Are there any bets you want to make on the WBC? If so, get your wagers in at FOX Bet!

Edward Egros is a sports analytics broadcaster/writer, a sports betting analyst, a data scientist and an adjunct professor of statistics at Pepperdine University. These passions have led him to become a cold brew aficionado. Edward previously worked in local television, notably at the Fox affiliate in Dallas covering the Rangers, Cowboys and high school football.  Follow him on Twitter @EdWithSports.

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