Pool C in this year’s World Baseball Classic features two teams that are considered baseball betting favorites to win it all, one more dark horse and another making their first appearance in this tournament. Some might consider this the group of death, so it should be an entertaining pool to watch.
The DR is favored to win the entire tournament and they’re loaded from top to bottom in the lineup. Their entire roster plays in Major League Baseball, so they’re no slouches and they’re going to be a handful for any team at this event. From Adrian Beltre to Robinson Cano, from Jose Reyes to Nelson Cruz, this lineup is stacked. The question will come from the pitching staff, and whether or not they can keep up with the bats. Wandy Rodriguez and Edinson Volquez leads that part of the team.
The Puerto Ricans would have better odds in any other group, but being drawn with the Domincan Republic and Venezuela is simply bad luck. Carlos Beltran and Alex Rios will lead the bats out, while Yadier and Jose Molina will help to steer a pitching staff that has a lot of experience, but it may not have the talent of the top two teams in Pool C. A lot would have to go right in order for the Puerto Ricans to make it out of this powerful group, but anything can happen in the world of sports.
Spain failed to qualify for the first two editions of the tournament, but they managed to make it in this time and have nothing to lose when it comes to the World Baseball Classic. The Spanish have a few players scattered throughout the major leagues on their roster, along with a few more that are playing in the minors, so it isn’t like they’re completely devoid of talent and this tournament will be an excellent stepping stone for the program. Young outfielders Engel Beltre and Fernando Martinez will have a chance to shine on the big stage and that can only help their major-league careers.
The Venezuelans are also in the mix on the betting lines to win the World Baseball Classic and like the Dominican Republic, they’re loaded with major-league players. The lineup is led by Miguel Cabrera, the American League MVP who hit for the Triple Crown this season and he has the ability to dominate this tournament at the plate. He’ll be joined by Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutero and Carlos Gonzalez, so the Venezuelans should be fine at the plate. It is simply a matter of whether or not the pitching will be able to hold up their end of the bargain. Former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez just signed a monster deal to stay in Seattle, but there were concerns surrounding his elbow, so keep a close eye on that. Carlos Zambrano is always one step away from getting kicked out of a game, while Henderson Alvarez and Anibal Sanchez are inconsistent at best.