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Previewing Pool A at 2023 World Baseball Classic

We go through Pool A for the 2023 World Baseball Classic with background info and odds on each team.

2017 Puerto Rico Verses Netherlands During World Baseball Classic Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

The World Baseball Classic is back in 2023 after the 2021 event was nixed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The field is slightly bigger this year, with 20 teams spread out through four pools. Each pool has five teams in it, with the top two teams in each pool moving on to the quarterfinals. Every team in Pool A has made it to the WBC before, but Panama is returning after a 14-year absence.

Here’s a full breakdown of Pool A of the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

2023 World Baseball Classic: Pool A Preview

Chinese Taipai

Odds to win: +5000

The team has never made it out of the second round in four tries, but this group has a solid offense and could make some noise in pool play. They’re led by Chinese Professional Baseball League MVP Li Lin and league HR leader Kungkuan Giljegiljaw.


Odds to win: +6500

The Netherlands always comes to play in the WBC, having finished in fourth place in two straight competitions. They bring some slick fielding defenders with them, with Xander Bogaerts, Jonathan Schoop, Didi Gregorius and Andrelton Simmons on the roster.


Odds to win: +2500

Cuba is the favorite in this pool and that shouldn’t be shocking. The group features a ton of big-league talent like Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert. Former MLB slugger Yoenis Cespedes will also be on the roster. Cuba has never won a WBC, but was the runner-up in 2006.


Odds to win: +15000

Italy has competed in every WBC so far, but they’ve never made it further than the second round of the competition. They have several Americans on the squad, but not many with big-time MLB experience, so it might be a tough ask to get out of the pool.


Odds to win: +15000

This is the third time Panama has participated in the WBC, but it’s the first since 2009. Panama will be a long shot to make it out of the pool.