Pool B for the World Baseball Classic is one that many baseball betting fans probably won’t look closely at, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some quality baseball being played. Still, three of the four teams in Pool B are listed in with the field when it comes to the odds.
The Aussies have a few players who are toiling in the MLB minor leagues, and they have yet to finish higher than 12th in either of the first two editions of the World Baseball Classic. That means there aren’t high expectations for Australia, which is included in the field and just getting out of the pool would be enough to satisfy their fans.
Taipei is the one team that has odds to win the World Baseball Classic as they’re rated at +1800 on the betting lines, which means they have to be considered the favorites in Pool B, but you never know is going to happen in an international competition. They have three players that play in the MLB minors, but there will be many more looking to put on a show for the many scouts that are bound to be in the stands watching for the next great talent out of Taipei. They weren’t part of the 2009 tournament after finishing 12th in 2006. This could be their best chance to get out of a pool stage.
The Dutch are known primarily for their free-flowing style of soccer, but their baseball program is coming along and they actually have a few players that are in the major leagues. Jair Jurrjens is the name that most will likely recognize the easiest as he pitched very well for Atlanta before he was injured. Jurrjens just signed with Baltimore in January, and he’ll want to show his new team that he still has the stuff to make an impact in the big leagues. Shortstop Jurickson Profar has been listed as one of the top prospects in baseball and he would like to use this tournament as a springboard to more playing time with the Texas Rangers. Holland finished 12th in the 2006 World Baseball Classic before moving up to seventh in 2009.
All but one of South Korea’s players are playing in their home country right now, so there isn’t a lot of information out there on them. However, they have fared very well in the World Baseball Classic in the past, finishing third in 2006 and then second in 2009. This could be a team to watch if you’re looking for a dark horse and many people aren’t talking about them because they have no players even in the MLB minors. The baseball scouts in the know are saying that the South Koreans could stir things up in this tournament if they get rolling. Remember, this is a program that won the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, so they’re used to success on the international stage, so keep an eye out for South Korea.