The World Baseball Classic is back! The games will start on March 8 and run through the Championship on March 21. This year’s event starts with 20 teams separated into four different pools. The top two finishers of each pool will advance to the quarterfinals.
Below, we’ll take a look at the five teams in Pool C, which will run from March 11-15 in Phoenix, Arizona.
2023 World Baseball Classic: Pool C Preview
Odds to win: +275
Team USA won the last World Baseball Classic, which took place in 2017. This year’s squad has an excellent chance to defend that title. There’s high-end talent at every position, led by NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt along with other superstars like Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, Trea Turner, and Nolan Arenado in the field. Oh yeah, guys like Pete Alonso, Kyle Schwarber, and Kyle Tucker are on the roster as well.
The pitching isn’t as strong, but Lance Lynn, Miles Mikolas, and Adam Wainwright will headline the rotation after Clayton Kershaw and Nestor Cortes withdrew from consideration. Anything short of another title will be considered a disappointment for the United States.
Odds to win: +2000
This could be a fun team to watch, as Mexico has several big-league stars to do the heavy lifting. MLB enthusiasts will recognize Julio Urias, Jose Urquidy, Patrick Sandoval, Alex Verdugo, and Randy Arozarena on a roster loaded with talent.
Mexico doesn’t have the same depth at every position like the United States, but this rotation and lineup is fully capable of going toe-to-toe with any team in Pool C.
Odds to win: +13000
Colombia made its first World Baseball Classic last time around in 2017. Despite failing to advance past pool play, Colombia turned a few heads in that tournament after beating Canada and then taking both the United States and Dominican Republic to extra innings.
In 2023, Jose Quintana is back to lead the rotation while Harold Ramirez, Oscar Mercado, and Gio Urshela are notable MLB players in the field.
Odds to win: +5000
Canada had a tough time in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. The team from the north went 0-3 in that event, scoring just three runs and giving up 21. There’s a good chance they’ll be more competitive this time around, led by big leaguers Freddie Freeman, Tyler O’Neill, Nick Pivetta, and Cal Quantrill.
Odds to win: +20000
There’s a reason Great Britain has the longest odds of any team in Pool C. Simply put, the Brits don’t have many household names compared to their competition. However, catcher Harry Ford — who is a top prospect for the Seattle Mariners — and Trayce Thompson of the Los Angeles Dodgers lead the way. Former MLB veteran, Vance Worley, leads the rotation. Worley held a 4.02 ERA while pitching in the big leagues from 2010-2017.