The World Baseball Classic is back! The tournament starts on March 8, running through pool play and the subsequent bracket until the Championship Game on March 21. This year’s event starts with 20 teams separated into four different pools. The top two finishers of each pool will advance to the quarterfinals.
Below, we’ll take a look at the five teams in Pool D, which will run from March 11-15 in Miami, FL.
2023 World Baseball Classic: Pool D Preview
Odds to win: +200
The Dominican Republic earned a WBC Championship in 2013, and it currently has the shortest odds — per DraftKings Sportsbook — to claim another one in 2023. After taking one look at the roster, it’s not hard to see why.
Opposing pitchers have the impossible task of navigating a lineup that features Rafael Devers, Manny Machado, Julio Rodriguez, Eloy Jimenez, Juan Soto, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Yikes! The rotation features NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara along with Cristian Javier and veteran Johnny Cueto.
Odds to win: +1100
In 2017, Puerto Rico finished runner-up after losing 8-0 to the United States in the World Baseball Classic Final. Puerto Rico was also runner-up in 2013, and it has yet to win a WBC Championship.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Puerto Rico has the fifth-highest odds to win the 2023 WBC. Standout names include Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor, Edwin Diaz, Jose Berrios, and Marcus Stroman — who pitched for the United States in 2017.
Odds to win: +1000
Venezuela finished third in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, its highest finish since the tournament began in 2006. However, the 2023 version has a chance to reach even higher. Venezuela features a well-balanced roster with the likes of Ronald Acuna Jr., Jose Altuve, Luis Arraez, Salvador Perez, David Peralta, and Anthony Santander. The pitching staff is led by Pablo Lopez and Eduardo Rodriguez.
Odds to win: +15000
Israel checks in as a true underdog in Pool D without a fraction of the talent listed for the previous nations in this article. However, Israel nearly made it out of their pool in its first WBC in 2017, so perhaps we shouldn’t dismiss this team. Joc Pederson is the most noteworthy name on the roster, while MLB enthusiasts will recognize players like Alex Dickerson, Danny Valencia, and Dean Kremer.
Odds to win: +20000
This is the first time Nicaragua has qualified for the World Baseball Classic. Even though this team has some of the longest odds to win the tournament, Nicaragua could remain competitive with big league pitchers Jonathan Loaisiga and Erasmo Ramirez leading the way.