The 2023 World Baseball Classic is set to take place in March, the first time in six years that the event will go on. The WBC is set to much of the world’s best players suit up for their countries, in pursuit of winning a championship for their nation. Now that the rosters are set, let’s take a look at which teams have the best chance of winning the World Baseball Classic this spring.
We’ll start off with the defending World Baseball Classic champions. The United States won it all for the first time in 2017, and could go back-to-back with a very deep roster. Although Bryce Harper won’t be a part of this team, the U.S. will have superstar OF Mike Trout for the first time in the WBC. Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt — the reigning NL MVP — is also set to be a part of this team, as are Nolan Arenado, J.T. Realmuto, Trea Turner, and Mookie Betts.
The Venezuelan national team for the 2023 World Baseball Classic could be the most lethal. A lineup that includes Ronald Acuña Jr., Jose Altuve, Anthony Santander, Gleyber Torres, and Andrés Giménez could be a nightmare for opposing pitchers, but this group also possesses a solid pitching staff. Jesús Luzardo, Pablo López, Ranger Suárez, and Martín Pérez should form a solid group of starters, alongside reliever Jose Alvarado.
For those asking, Shohei Ohtani will be a member of two-time WBC winner, Team Japan. The international sensation will headline the Japanese national team, along with Nippon League MVP Munetaka Murakami, Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbaar, Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida, Seiya Suzuki, and Padres ace Yu Darvish. With Pool B set to take place in Tokyo, Japan should be in a solid position to advance in the tournament in front of the home crown. From there, Japan could clinch WBC title #3 in the United States.
Out of all the team that have the best chance of dethroning the U.S., it just might be the Dominican Republic. The Dominican national team is stacked for the 2023 WBC, headlined by a pitching staff that includes the reigning NL Cy Young award winner in Sandy Alcantara, Cristian Javier, Johnny Cueto, and Roansy Contreras. Not to mention, the Dominican Republic may have the best bullpen in the tournament, with Camilo Doval and Gregory Soto part of a stout group. And as for the lineup, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Rafael Devers, Manny Machado, Juan Soto, and 2022 AL Rookie of the Year winner Julio Rodriguez will comprise a deep lineup.
The Dutch don’t have a fantastic pitching staff, but it does include a couple of former MLB pitchers in Jair Jurrjens, Shairon Martis, and Pedro Strop. But, the Netherlands does own a deep lineup. Jonathan Schoop, Chadwick Tromp, Didi Gregorius, and Xander Bogaerts make up a Netherlands lineup that could be a real sleeper team come March.