In the eyes of the Bookies, the Fat Lady has already Sung for Team Australia before a pitch has been thrown. 101/1 are the odds the Aussies take out the WBC, which as unlikely as it gets, but keep in mind the anniversary of Steven Bradbury’s Gold Medal in Salt Lake City just happened.
In 3 weeks time Seoul, Tokyo, Miami & Jalisco will come alive with Baseball. Australia of course will be in Tokyo taking on Japan, Cuba and China. Here’s how the Bookies at Sportsbet see it at the moment:
So who play’s who and can your friendly Talking Baseball team potentially throw some value your way on the tote.
In Seoul the nations playing are: Korea, Netherlands, Chinese Taipei & Israel.
The Dutch are very good, make no mistake about it. They have some legitimate young stars on their team, guys like Xander Bogaerts, Jonathon Schoop, Jurickson Profar, Didi Gregorious and Andrelton Simmons. Their pitching might be a little patchy, but they should win this pool. Korea the other big chance.
Tip to advance: Netherlands (1), Korea (2)
In Tokyo the nations playing are: Australia, Japan, Cuba & China.
Can the Aussies get through? The should back themselves to beat China and Cuba. Japan will be a handful, but they have a chance. Cuba is anyone’s guess but keep and eye out for 19 year old Yoelkis Cespedes, the younger half brother of New York Mets star, Yoenis Cespedes. China are also a complete unknown, but it’s hard to think they will do much damage. We do know they will have a gun short stop in the Perth Heat’s own, Joey Wong.
We will breakdown the Aussie roster in more detail in the coming weeks leading up to the WBC, but at a glance the team has enough talent to make it into the 2nd round, but it’s all got to click perfectly. The fact they are coming off the ABL season has to hold some advantage over the other teams, though it’s important note Cuba are playing a lot of warm up game.
Tip to Advance: Japan (1), Australia (2)
Moving over to Miami where the USA, Dominican Republic, Canada & Columbia all clash in Pool C.
It’s impossible to overlock the USA & Dominican Republic. Canada just don’t have the star power, nor does Columbia.
The reigning champion Dominican Republic will take some serious pitching to get through the lineup. Some of the bats include: Manny Machado, Jose Bautista, Robinson Cano, Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Hanley Ramirez, Carlos Santana & Starling Marte just to name a few. That’s a lot of tough outs!
But Pitching & defence always wins and assuming the play, I like the US in that part. Buster Posey catching is as good as it gets, get quality early innings from Chris Archer, Marcus Stroman and add in Andrew Miller, Nate Jones & company and you’ve got enough pitching to win it all. Question is where are these guys at in their programs and as always are you going to give extra to potentially sacrifice millions of dollars? The US won’t have an issue scoring either with guys like Giancarlo Stanton, Adam Jones, Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Carpenter, Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey just to name a few swinging the wood.
Tip to Advance: Dominican Republic (1), USA (2).
Next stop Jalisco where probably the most interesting pool battle takes place. Mexico, Italy, Venezuela & Puerto Rico in the “Pool of Death”.
This is a 3 horse race as the poor Italians drew the shortest of straws. Italy would have maybe looked a little more competitive with Cub, Anthony Rizzo – but when Chris Colabello is the player getting the most airtime, it doesn’t define a hugely successful campaign.
Hosts Mexico will hope to move on in front of their faithful fans. Adrian Gonzalez is the heart and soul of the team, but it’s hard to see Mexico really threatening the WBC crown.
Puerto Rico are legit. They may well be the best bet currently for real value at 15/1. Javier Baez, Francsico Lindor, Carlos Correa, Carlos Beltran, Eddie Rosario & Yadier Molina just to name a few. Pitching, albeit not the best in the WBC is pretty good – if it’s value you seek, PR are your team.
Venezuela are arguably the best team in the WBC. King Felix on the hill, Jose Altuve, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez (just to name a couple) swinging the wood – geez it’s good.
Tip to Advance: Puerto Rico (1), Venezuela (2)
That would leave this in the next Rounds:
Korea v Japan
Prediction = Japan
Netherlands v Australia
Prediction = Netherlands
USA v Puerto Rico
Prediction= Puerto Rico
Venezuela v Dominican Republic
Prediction= Dominican Republic
Championship Round in Los Angeles
Japan v Puerto Rico
Prediction = Puerto Rico
Netherlands v Dominican Republic
Prediction = Dominican Republic
That would mean:
Dominican Republic v Puerto Rico in the Championship. There is something about that PR team I can’t shake, I’m tipping them to win it all. 15/1 well worth a few bucks on it. If you do throw a few clams down on the WBC, do so responsibly, you can’t predict Baseball, so don’t go crazy.
We will be bringing you exclusive coverage of Team Australia in the coming weeks. Follow us on Facebook by searching Talking Baseball Australia and on twitter @tbaustraia and we ramp up the content once more.