2023 World Baseball Classic Day 1 best bets for Tuesday, March 7: The Netherlands keeps up with Cuba
Welcome to the World Baseball Classic! The tournament finally returns after a 6-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament begins with Cuba facing the Netherlands starting at 11:00 pm ET on Tuesday night. For those wanting to watch the game, it will be on FS1. I’ve analyzed the projected starting lineups and starting pitchers and have decided on a best bet for the matchup which pays out at plus-money odds. So without further ado, let’s get into my World Baseball Classic Day 1 best bet.
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Netherlands vs Cuba Predictions World Baseball Classic 2023: Netherlands +1.5 (+110)
Available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing
The World Baseball Classic begins with Cuba facing the Netherlands in Taiwan. The probable pitchers are Yariel Rodríguez for Cuba and Tom de Blok for the Netherlands, but they are subject to change. Rodríguez has been pitching professionally since 2015 and has been in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball since 2020. He was excellent in the 2021 season as the 25-year-old posted a 1.64 ERA in 33 innings and followed that up with a 1.15 ERA in 54.2 innings last season. As for De Bok, he’s been around the block when it comes to professional baseball leagues. He’s been in the Minor Leagues, Dutch Major League, Indy Ball and most recently the Mexican League. Based on De Bok’s career stats, he seems to be a little wild with the tendency to give up walks.
These are the best 2 teams in Pool A, and I expect both teams to be moving on to the next round. But this game is crucial for who will be decided as the winner of the pool, and I expect both teams will be playing as if it is a must-win game. While I give Cuba a slight edge in starting pitching, the Netherlands has the advantage in the starting lineup. The top 4 in their lineup is expected to be Jurickson Profar, Didi Gregorius, Xander Bogaerts and Jonathan Schoop who combine for decades of MLB experience. Admittedly, the bottom half of their order falls off, but that’s the same for Cuba.
Having White Sox teammates Yoan Moncada bat 2nd and Luis Robert bat 3rd is a dangerous duo, but the rest of their lineup does not give me much confidence. Oddsmakers have listed Cuba as a heavy favorite, but I think this matchup is more balanced than many think. I’ll take the Netherlands +1.5 at plus-money odds, as I believe they can keep the game close as the home team.
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