What is the World Baseball Classic?

Similar to the FIFA World Cup, the World Baseball Classic is an international professional baseball tournament held every four years. The 16 top-ranked national baseball teams worldwide were chosen to participate in the competition, with the remaining four positions put up for grabs in qualification tournaments.

As of 2023, the tournament will expand from 16 to 20 national teams, and the nations that participated in the 2017 edition will automatically qualify.

In 2023, the fifth edition of the World Baseball Classic will play out through four locations – Miami, Phoenix, Taichung, and Tokyo.

World Baseball Classic arrives at Chase Field

The Arizona Diamondbacks were joyous with a schedule announced last week. Chase Field, the home of the Diamondbacks, will be one of two U.S. stadiums selected to host the World Baseball Classic in 2023.

Team USA is the defending WBC champions and will begin the first round of action on March 11 at Chase Field. In addition, the D-backs will also host Team Canada, Team Mexico, Team Colombia, and one added team that wins their qualifying stage between March 11-15.

With a notable North and South American presence in Arizona, the arrival of Colombia and Mexico is hyping the Phoenix locals, who’ll undoubtedly be rushing to the sportsbooks to support their favorite teams in the form of a sports wager. BetMGM Arizona is a regular go-to for baseball betting, so we shouldn’t expect this to change when the WBC is underway.

While the USA is mainly considered the home of baseball, some of the best Major League Baseball players stem from surrounding American nations. This makes sports handicappers eager to get involved in the betting action and attempt to predict who might take the crown from U.S. champions.

For the Diamondbacks, the news that Rodrigo Lopez will be the manager of Team Mexico has delivered a sense of pride. Rodrigo is a former pitcher and is the D-backs Spanish radio analyst.

This is inspiring news for the Arizona Diamondbacks family,” said Derrick Hall, the Diamondbacks President & CEO. “I am so proud of Rodrigo as an accomplished pitcher and broadcaster for our organization. I salute the Mexico Baseball Federation for its selection of such a passionate, experienced, and knowledgeable leader. Undoubtedly, his commitment and preparedness will make the roster he creates a competitive one to be reckoned with. We wish him and his team the best of luck during the prestigious tournament.” 

Great Britain qualify for the WBC for the first time in history

The 2023 World Baseball Classic qualifying stages are underway, as teams such as Great Britain, Colombia, Mexico, and Canada have already booked their ticket to next year’s tournament. 

Baseball isn’t a word you’ll often hear amongst British sports fans, but this notion could be a thing of the past. Yes, the British play baseball, and they’re getting better at it.

The Great Britain national team will compete at the 2023 World Baseball Classic for the very first time after a 10-9 victory over Spain last week secured their ticket to the tournament finals.

As the second-lowest ranked team from Pool A, team G.B. weren’t expected to snatch one of the two qualification places. However, with three consecutive victories, an impressive British team sailed through the round to claim their qualification spot.

With a glance at the World Rankings, nobody would’ve believed that G.B. stood a chance of qualifying for the WBC. However, this British team presents no fewer than 10 MLB club professionals. Harry Ford – a Seattle Mariners’ prospect – is the standout player for Britain, and with 5 for 11 returns, eight RBI, and three home runs during the qualifiers, his elite ability was displayed.

While Great Britain is undoubtedly evolving in the world of baseball, they’ll face a challenging group when heading to Taichung in Taiwan. Competing in Pool A, G.B. will be faced with the world No.2 ranked Chinese Taipei, No.8 ranked Netherlands, No.9 ranked Cuba, and Italy (No.17). The top two teams from Pool A will advance to Tokyo and compete against the best two from Pool B. The first and second-best teams from that round will reach the semi-finals in Miami on March 19 and 20.