Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will not play in this month’s World Baseball Classic for the Dominican Republic, per Keegan Matheson. He is dealing with minor knee inflammation and has pulled out from the tournament to heal up for the start of the MLB regular season at the end of March.
Guerrero initially underwent an MRI on Friday night that revealed the minor inflammation. The good news is that there was no structural damage, meaning he needs some time off to rest it. The Dominican Republic is participating in Pool D in the World Baseball Classic, which will play its games in Miami, Florida. Getting him to the tournament eventually isn’t a huge undertaking, but the first baseman has decided to forego the event entirely. The good news for Team Dominican Republic is that their roster is stacked, and they still have the best odds at DraftKings Sportsbook to win at +200.
Guerrero will be heading into his fifth major league season. He played in 160 games last year, hitting .274 with 35 doubles, 32 home runs and 97 RBI. Guerrero is the backbone of the Toronto batting order, surrounded by George Springer, Matt Chapman and Alejandro Kirk. He is part of why the Blue Jays have the second-best odds to win the AL East this year, installed at +215. Toronto has +650 odds of winning the American League Championship and +1300 odds of winning the 2023 World Series.