South Korea and the Netherlands have the best baseball betting odds to win the 2017 World Baseball Classic in Pool A, which also includes Chinese Taipei and Israel. Here are the odds for those four countries for fans who bet on baseball at SBG sportsbook:
South Korea +1525
Chinese Taipei +10000
The Netherlands national baseball team is currently ranked as the best team in the European Union and fifth in the IBAF World Rankings. The Netherlands won the final Baseball World Cup in 2011 by defeating 25-time world champions Cuba. This team provides a good example – though not the best as we’ll see below – of WBC’s lax eligibility standards. The Netherland’s roster is most often comprised of players from the Netherlands in Europe and from Dutch territories in the Caribbean like the islands of the former Netherlands Antilles. Foreigners of Dutch descent also have played for the team. As such, the Netherland’s 2017 World Baseball Classic roster includes players born in Curaçao, Aruba, Utah, and the Dominican Republic.
The other baseball betting favorite in Poll A, South Korea, is ranked 3rd in the IBAF World Rankings. Contrary to the above teams, all players on the roster were born in the country which they represent, and most of them play in the local KBO league – with the exception of relief pitcher Oh Seung-hwan who plays for the St. Louis Cardinals. The South Korean team finished 3rd in the 2006 WBC, 2nd in the 2009 WBC, and 9th in the 2013 WBC. Even though they were eliminated in the first round for the first time, the South Koreans earned a direct qualification to the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
The Chinese Taipei national baseball team is currently ranked third in the world by the International Baseball Federation, behind the United States and Japan, and is considered one of the best national baseball teams. Nevertheless, give its odds, it’s a not a favorite among people who bet on baseball to win the WBC. In 2013, the Taiwanese team had its best WBC, making it to the 2nd round for the first time in three tries and finishing in 8th place. The majority of this year’s roster plays in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, while a few play in Japan. Chiang Shao-ching and Wang Wei-chung play in the American minor leagues.
Unlike the other three teams in Poll A, most of Israel national baseball team’s players ply their trade in the MLB. Ironically though, only the aptly named Schlomo Lipetz was actually born in Israel, and Dean Kremer is the only other player to hold Israeli citizenship. The Jews are often called the “chosen people” but who’da thunk that meant the Israeli team can just pick and choose any player they wanted so long as they are either Jewish or of Jewish descent? On the other hand, and according to the ever-trusty Wikipedia, “the Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group” and “Jewish ethnicity, nationhood and religion are strongly interrelated.” Guess that Diaspora thing finally paid off. And that’s basically what makes Israel a baseball betting favorite to win the WBC.