<![CDATA[MLB RSS Feed]]> en 120 <![CDATA[MLB 2017 Preview: World Series Picks, Predictions, Odds, Dark Horses]]> http://sportschatplace.com/mlb-picks/2017/04/01/mlb-2017-preview-world-series-picks-predictions-odds-dark-horses#comments We’re about a week away from the 2017 MLB season taking place, which means it’s time to seriously take a look at some future bets. Of course, with futures, I look at longshot odds because if my money is going to be tied up nearly a full year, I want a chance to make a big return on my investment. I see little value in money being locked up for seven months to possibly make $800 betting on the overall favorite.

So, with that said, here’s five teams I’m looking at to place money on for World Series odds in 2017.

Houston…

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We’re about a week away from the 2017 MLB season taking place, which means it’s time to seriously take a look at some future bets. Of course, with futures, I look at longshot odds because if my money is going to be tied up nearly a full year, I want a chance to make a big return on my investment. I see little value in money being locked up for seven months to possibly make $800 betting on the overall favorite.

So, with that said, here’s five teams I’m looking at to place money on for World Series odds in 2017.

Houston Astros - You can get the Houston Astros with +1100 odds, which is worth the play. Lots of people like to talk about the Astros lack of starting pitching, and it is a concern. However, with a lineup of Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, Josh Reddick, George Springer and others, you just need the pitching to not completely fall apart. The Astros are going to put up tons of crooked numbers and will look a lot like the cities basketball team. Who needs stops when you can simply outscore the other team? Not many clubs are going to be able to match Houston’s offensive output. I really like this Astros club and think the value is there with these odds.

New York Yankees - The New York Yankees are going to have lower odds than they should simply because the public bets them heavily. Odds of +2200 aren’t accurate when it comes to a Yankees World Series in 2017, but I’ll still bite. The Yankees showed last season there's a lot of young talent on this roster and could have things take off if Luis Severino is more consistent and Didi Gregorius continues to improve. The return of Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen also helps and will secure games for a team that already had 48 saves. The Yankees could overachieve this season if everything comes together, and I’d love to have those odds in my pocket come late September.

Miami Marlins - While everybody is mentioning the death of Jose Fernandez, and yes, it’s a big loss, people seem to forget the Miami Marlins won 79 games last season and just missed a playoff spot. That was with Giancarlo Stanton playing just 119 games, Dee Gordon playing just 79 games and Justin Bour playing in just 90 games. Fernandez was also on an innings restriction and pitched just 182.1 before his tragic death. The fish have one of the more talented lineups in baseball when healthy and the additions of Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa give them a deep and talented bullpen. It’s just a matter of staying healthy. The Marlins at +8000 is a solid play and provides room for hedging later in the season.

Seattle Mariners - The Seattle Mariners just missed out on the playoffs last season and now added players such as Mitch Haniger, Jarrod Dyson, Jean Segura and Drew Smyly to help get over that hump. The Mariners have the look of a very balanced team and will be even more dangerous if Felix Hernandez returns to form and Robinson Cano builds on his success from last season. Regardless, Seattle has offense for days and can go toe-to-toe with any team in the American League. I like the Seattle Mariners to make the playoffs and odds of +3000 to win the World Series is worth a wager before the season starts.

Pittsburgh Pirates - The Pittsburgh Pirates have been a trendy World Series pick the last couple of years but one bad season and oddsmakers seem to be giving up on them, dropping their odds to +4500. Thank you. The Pirates dealt with injuries on top of injuries last season and a poor year from Andrew McCutchen didn't help. I’m not ready to give up on the star outfielder and I also think Gerrit Cole is due for a bounce back season as well. Pittsburgh has also found two rising stars in Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte, who can form a talented lineup when McCutchen is swinging the bat well. The Bucs also have talented arms in Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow who could have breakout seasons. Lots of questions with the Pirates, but the talent is there as it has been the last few years. I’m still on the bandwagon.

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Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:42:11 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=81302
<![CDATA[United States vs. Puerto Rico - 3/22/17 WBC Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/mlb-picks/2017/03/22/united-states-vs-puerto-rico-3/22/17-wbc-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The United States and Puerto Rico meet Wednesday night in the World Series Baseball Classic Championship at Dodger Stadium.

The United States is coming off a pitchers duel against Japan in which they won, 2-1. The loaded US roster has shown it can win with its lineup that’s stacked from top to bottom or can grind out victories with a deep pitching rotation that produces timely outs and limits damage. In fact, the US has allowed three or less runs in four of its last five games. The one team during that stretch to break the streak was in fact Puerto…

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The United States and Puerto Rico meet Wednesday night in the World Series Baseball Classic Championship at Dodger Stadium.

The United States is coming off a pitchers duel against Japan in which they won, 2-1. The loaded US roster has shown it can win with its lineup that’s stacked from top to bottom or can grind out victories with a deep pitching rotation that produces timely outs and limits damage. In fact, the US has allowed three or less runs in four of its last five games. The one team during that stretch to break the streak was in fact Puerto Rico. What stood out to me from the United States after Tuesday’s victory was a lack of celebration, as this team is clearly focused on winning the WBC for the first time and isn’t satisfied with just making the big game. This is a focused group that has one goal. If the US gets off to a fast start and gets the crowd into it, it will be a tough hill to climb for the underdog Puerto Rican team.

Puerto Rico has had an extra day to prepare for this game after beating Netherlands in extra innings Monday, 4-3. Of course, Puerto Rico has yet to lose a game all tournament and is riding high with confidence, especially after already earning a win over the United States. Puerto Rico has relied on its offense all tournament as this is a team that’s scored no less than three runs in each game and has scored a combined 23 runs in its last three games. Carlos Beltran and Francisco Lindor have combined for 20 hits and nine RBI, while Carlos Correa has three home runs. If those hot bats continue, the United States could be in for a serious battle that will certainly be tough to win. The key for Puerto Rico is to draw blood first and create pressure for what will be the home team.

This should be a hell of a game between two solid teams hungry for a victory, as this tournament clearly means a lot to both clubs. It’s hard to pick against Puerto Rico, a team that hasn’t lost a game this tournament. However, talent usually prevails in championship games and it’s no question the United States is the better roster. Adam Jones also said after the game that the US is looking at this rematch as unfinished business. It kind of seems like the Americans wanted to face PR in the final showdown.

With a nice advantage in overall talent and the crowd being heavily in favor of the US, you have to like the United States to win its first WBC crown.

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Wed, 22 Mar 2017 01:05:40 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=81278
<![CDATA[China vs. Japan - 3/10/17 WBC Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/mlb-picks/2017/03/10/china-vs-japan-3/10/17-wbc-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments We have some Pool B action out of the World Baseball Classic on Friday morning as Japan take on China at the Tokyo dome.

Japan comes into this matchup with a 2-0 record following a 4-1 win over Australia in their last outing. Tomoyuki Sugano went 4.1 inning giving up just 4 hits and an earned run while striking out 4, but did not factor in the decision. Kodai Senga pitched 2 innings in relief with 4 strikeouts, picking up the win to keep Japan’s perfect record in tact through 2 games. Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh picked up his 2nd home run in as many games, bringing his RBI total to 5 RBI, tying…

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We have some Pool B action out of the World Baseball Classic on Friday morning as Japan take on China at the Tokyo dome.

Japan comes into this matchup with a 2-0 record following a 4-1 win over Australia in their last outing. Tomoyuki Sugano went 4.1 inning giving up just 4 hits and an earned run while striking out 4, but did not factor in the decision. Kodai Senga pitched 2 innings in relief with 4 strikeouts, picking up the win to keep Japan’s perfect record in tact through 2 games. Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh picked up his 2nd home run in as many games, bringing his RBI total to 5 RBI, tying him for the tournament lead to this point. Seiya Suzuki went 2 for 3, while Nori Aoki went 1 for 4, giving him the worst batting average in the starting lineup, hitting just .125 through the first two games.

China comes into this matchup winless, getting mercy ruled by Australia in their last outing by a final score of 11-0. For those of you who don’t know, The mercy rule in the WBC in enforced when a team is up by 10 or more runs when the opposing team has batted in at least 7 innings, or by 15 or more when the opposing team has batted in 5 innings. China combined for a team batting average of just .172, going 5 for 29 as a team. With Fujia Chu, Ray Chang, Joey Wong, Ning Li and Xiaolei Du each recording a single hit. Kwon Ju took the loss for China, giving up just 2 earned runs in 3 innings. Andrew Chin and Chao Lu gave up a combined 6 runs over just 2 innings, swelling both men’s ERAs to 27.00, essentially eliminating China from the tournament.

This game is pretty much for pride at this point, with Japan having already clinched pool B, even with a loss as the own the head-to-head over both Australia and Cuba. I’d like to think China would put forth some effort again here, but it’s hard to have faith in a team that hasn’t scored a single run in the tournament, which is why I’ll back Japan to put on a show in front of the home crowd and possibly even mercy rule China here.

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Thu, 09 Mar 2017 22:39:25 -0500 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=80084
<![CDATA[Cuba vs. Australia - 3/9/17 WBC Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/mlb-picks/2017/03/09/cuba-vs-australia-3/9/17-wbc-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments Cuba and Australia meet in the 2017 World Baseball Classic Thursday night in the Tokyo Dome.

Cuba puts itself in great position to advance with a victory, after losing to Japan but bouncing back with an impressive 6-0 win over China. Cuba has produced 12 runs in its first two games and has five different players with at least three hits. The Cubans have shown they clearly have a potent lineup and can produce runs quickly and often, but the deciding factor in them making a championship run is the pitching staff that’s still a bit of a mystery. Cuba…

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Cuba and Australia meet in the 2017 World Baseball Classic Thursday night in the Tokyo Dome.

Cuba puts itself in great position to advance with a victory, after losing to Japan but bouncing back with an impressive 6-0 win over China. Cuba has produced 12 runs in its first two games and has five different players with at least three hits. The Cubans have shown they clearly have a potent lineup and can produce runs quickly and often, but the deciding factor in them making a championship run is the pitching staff that’s still a bit of a mystery. Cuba allowed 11 runs in its loss to Japan but pitched a shutout against China. Finding a happy medium and being consistent as the games gain more importance will be great news for Cuba. Cuba has advanced out of the first round in all three of its previous World Baseball Classic appearances.

Australia is also in a position to advance, as it heads into this game with a 1-1 record after falling to Japan but blowing the doors off of China. In its 11-0 victory over the Chinese, Australia received a combined eight RBI from James Beresford and Luke Hughes while David Kandilas had two hits. That type of offensive production makes Australia a dangerous team heading into this matchup despite playing on a quick turnaround. Also, the Aussies pitching staff has more than held its own thus far, allowing a combined four runs, 13 hits and striking out 15 batters. Australia has failed to make it out of the first round in each of its three previous World Baseball Classic appearances, so this team has a chance to make history and shake the field up a bit.

Australia is already having its best WBC, as the previous three teams were hammered in terms of runs allowed and stood no chance. Getting a victory and hanging around in the chase is a success. However, beating Cuba with a chance to advance on the line is highly unlikely due to the overall talent gap and lack of experience. The Cubans know how to win big international games and have multiple players who have been in these spots in the past. It’s hard to trust Australia until you actually see it done.

I like Cuba to get the victory here.

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Thu, 09 Mar 2017 10:42:00 -0500 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=79994
<![CDATA[Puerto Rico vs. Venezuela - 3/10/17 WBC Pick, Odds and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/mlb-picks/2017/03/10/puerto-rico-vs-venezuela-3/10/17-wbc-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments In Pool D action from Estadio Telmex in Jalisco in the 2017 World Baseball Classic on Friday, we’ve got a great matchup between Puerto Rico and Venezuela. 

This will mark the first WBC outing this year for both teams. Puerto Rico has made three appearances in this tournament, making it to the second round each time. The best finish for Puerto Rico came in 2013, when they knocked off two-time defending champion Japan in the semifinals and would finish as the runner-up. 

As for Venezuela, they’ve also got three World Baseball Classic appearances…

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In Pool D action from Estadio Telmex in Jalisco in the 2017 World Baseball Classic on Friday, we’ve got a great matchup between Puerto Rico and Venezuela. 

This will mark the first WBC outing this year for both teams. Puerto Rico has made three appearances in this tournament, making it to the second round each time. The best finish for Puerto Rico came in 2013, when they knocked off two-time defending champion Japan in the semifinals and would finish as the runner-up. 

As for Venezuela, they’ve also got three World Baseball Classic appearances under their belts, and their best result was a third-place finish in 2009. Venezuela will be looking for revenge in this one, as during their last appearance in 2013, they were bounced out in the first round by Puerto Rico. 

Both of these teams are bursting with talent, and they’ve each got a ton of MLB players on their respective rosters. Venezuela boast such big names as Jose Altuve (Astros), Asdrubal Cabrera (Mets), Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), Alcides Escobar (Royals), Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies), Felix Hernandez (Mariners), Victor Martinez (Tigers), Rougned Odor (Rangers), Salvador Perez (Rangers), Martin Prado (Marlins) and Bruce Rondon (Tigers). 

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico is no slouch in the MLB department either. Puerto Rico’s team consists of big-name guys like Javier Baez (Cubs), Carlos Beltran (Astros), Carlos Correa (Astros), Edwin Diaz (Mariners), Francisco Lindor (Indians), Yadier Molina (Cardinals), TJ Rivera (Mets), Eddie Rosario (Twins), Hector Santiago (Twins) and Giovanni Soto (White Sox). 

This should be a great game to watch, and a heck of a way to kick off the WBC for both countries. Watching Venezuela and Puerto Rico go at it will be almost like watching an MLB game, as there will be so many familiar faces in attendance. Pick-wise, I like Venezuela here in a relative upset, as they’ll be keyed up after that premature 2013 exit. Venezuela also seems to have slightly more of an improvement in talent overall (though it’s a close call—and Venezuela’s pitching is still pretty blah). Regardless, this one should be a real “classic.”

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Thu, 09 Mar 2017 09:14:54 -0500 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=79985
<![CDATA[United States vs. Colombia - 3/10/17 WBC Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/mlb-picks/2017/03/10/united-states-vs-colombia-3/10/17-wbc-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The United States and Colombia meet in the 2017 World Baseball Classic Friday night at Marlins Park.

The United States enters this tournament as one of the favorites but is still looking for its first ever World Baseball Classic title. Team USA will be managed by World Series champion Jim Leyland, who is also a three-time Manager of the Year and racked up 1,769 wins over 22 years. As for the team itself, the US is loaded from top to bottom and has little to no flaws. If you’re looking for pitching, the United States can throw out Chris Archer, Andrew…

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The United States and Colombia meet in the 2017 World Baseball Classic Friday night at Marlins Park.

The United States enters this tournament as one of the favorites but is still looking for its first ever World Baseball Classic title. Team USA will be managed by World Series champion Jim Leyland, who is also a three-time Manager of the Year and racked up 1,769 wins over 22 years. As for the team itself, the US is loaded from top to bottom and has little to no flaws. If you’re looking for pitching, the United States can throw out Chris Archer, Andrew Miller and Marcus Stroman. Need hitters? The US has Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew McCutchen, Adam Jones and Paul Goldschmidt. Team USA also has defense with Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey and Nolan Arenado. There’s talent on top of talent for the United States and at this point the only reason not to win gold would be guys caving into the pressure.

Colombia will be making its first World Baseball Classic appearance and hopes its debut can go as well as Israels. Colombia will be managed by Luis Urueta, who coached the AZL Diamondbacks for two years before taking on the job with the Reno Aces back in 2015, and he’s been with the Colombians since the 2013 WBC qualifiers. As for the team itself, Colombia will have a fighting chance early with a pitching combo of Julio Teheran and Jose Quintana, two veteran major league pitchers who are known to produce a high number of strikeouts. The problem with Colombia is that’s about all the major league experience you’re going to find on this roster, which means you have a ton of young players who have never faced this caliber of talent or been on a stage this big. Regardless, this is a nice stepping stone for the Colombian baseball team.

Colombia is a young team that has a bunch of guys who have never played in a game this big and have never seen talent like this. A lot of these players are in the minor league system, and it’s going to be a drastic step up in competition when Archer is throwing heat or Stanton is standing in the box. You’d like to see the Colombians build some momutem in their first WBC apperenace, but this game is sure to get ugly.

The United States will win this game big.

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Thu, 09 Mar 2017 02:47:19 -0500 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=79982
<![CDATA[Mexico vs. Italy - 3/9/17 WBC Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/mlb-picks/2017/03/09/mexico-vs-italy-3/9/17-wbc-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments We have some Pool D action from the World Baseball Classic on Thursday night, as Mexico takes on Italy to kick off both team’s 2017 WBC tournament.

Italy comes into the 2017 edition of the tournament as a formidable squad after shocking the world, making it to the 2nd round of the 2013 WBC, defeating Canada and Mexico with a 9th-inning rally and massive upset. Marco Mazzieri leads the Italians into the field of battle, who have a lot of major league experience coming into the tournament, with guys like Pittsburgh’s Francisco Cervelli and Kansas City’s Drew Butera behind the plate, along…

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We have some Pool D action from the World Baseball Classic on Thursday night, as Mexico takes on Italy to kick off both team’s 2017 WBC tournament.

Italy comes into the 2017 edition of the tournament as a formidable squad after shocking the world, making it to the 2nd round of the 2013 WBC, defeating Canada and Mexico with a 9th-inning rally and massive upset. Marco Mazzieri leads the Italians into the field of battle, who have a lot of major league experience coming into the tournament, with guys like Pittsburgh’s Francisco Cervelli and Kansas City’s Drew Butera behind the plate, along with Mets’ up-and-comer Brandon Nimmo. And some strong help in the pitching department with Yankees’ reliever Tommy Layne joining the fray. Cervelli and Butera might be one of the strongest 1-2 punches behind the plate in the tournament. The problem is that one major difference from the 2013 squad is the loss of Chicago Cubs’ star, Anthony Rizzo, who decided to skip this year’s tournament in favour of getting ready to help the Cubs defend their World Series championship, meaning Italy’s power is going to have to come from other sources. Another trip to the 2nd round isn’t out of the question for Italy, however one has to wonder if they’ll be able to replicate past success without key pieces like Rizzo on the field.

The Mexicans come into this one looking to avenge their early exit four years ago at the hands of the Italians. Mexico will be looking to make it past the second round for the first time after getting stopped in round 2 in 2006 and 2009, while being knocked out early in 2013. The Mexican team, thanks to not making it out of the first round last time out, had to go through the qualification process, defeating the Czech Republic by a score of 2-1, and beating Nicaragua twice by a combined score of 23-1 to qualify for the tournament. Edgar Gonzalez takes charge of a Mexico squad that is chock full of MLB talent, with key pieces such as pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Miguel Gonzalez, and bats like those of Dodgers’ first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Mexico boasts a strong core of relievers like 22-year old Toronto Blue Jays’ phenom, Roberto Osuna, who owns a 2.63 ERA and 56 saves in his first two seasons in the majors. The problem for Mexico is that Osuna’s teammate, Marco Estrada, could be out for the first round if not more, due to a herniated disk in his back, which could throw off the Mexican starting rotation. Meixco will be looking to at the very least, crack the top-8, so that they don’t have to go through the qualification process all over again, after that? With all of the question marks surrounding the team it’s hard to say how far the team could really go.

While I don’t doubt that Mexico hasn’t forgotten about how they fell to the Italians last time around, I can’t knowingly back Mexico until I know what’s going on with the pitching rotation. Italy has shown that they can hang with the best, and could steal another one from Mexico if El Tri doesn’t come out in full force.

I’ll give my lean to Italy, but not by a whole lot.

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Wed, 08 Mar 2017 17:58:18 -0500 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=79784
<![CDATA[Dominican Republic vs. Canada - 3/9/17 WBC Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/mlb-picks/2017/03/09/dominican-republic-vs-canada-3/9/17-wbc-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments We have pool C action in the World Baseball Classic on Thursday as Canada takes on the defending WBC champion, Dominican Republic, at Marlins Park in Miami.

Canada will be coming into this one looking to make it to round 2 of the tournament for the first time after failing to get out of the opening round in each of their first 3 World Baseball Classics. Ernie Whitt is the manager of the Canadian side. Whitt, a major-leaguer for the better part of 15 seasons, posted a career batting average of .249 with 134 home runs and 534 RBI before retiring and joining the coaching ranks of Team Canada,…

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We have pool C action in the World Baseball Classic on Thursday as Canada takes on the defending WBC champion, Dominican Republic, at Marlins Park in Miami.

Canada will be coming into this one looking to make it to round 2 of the tournament for the first time after failing to get out of the opening round in each of their first 3 World Baseball Classics. Ernie Whitt is the manager of the Canadian side. Whitt, a major-leaguer for the better part of 15 seasons, posted a career batting average of .249 with 134 home runs and 534 RBI before retiring and joining the coaching ranks of Team Canada, leading the Canucks to a gold medal at the 2011 Pan-Am games. The roster has quite the amount of young, up-and-coming talent, with the likes of Toronto’s Dalton Pompey and Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman, opposing pitchers could be in for a bumpy ride if the bats get going. The problem for Canada is keeping runs at a premium, and if they start to give up some runs, opposing pitchers in the group (USA’s Max Scherzer and Colombia’s Jose Quintana for example) may not have as much work to do. Canada no doubt has a long way to go to shake up arguably the toughest group in the WBC, but anything is possible.

The Dominican Republic will be looking to start their title defense on a high note when they take on the Canadians. Team DR became the first team to run the table in the WBC, going 8-0 in the 2013 edition of the tournament, outscoring the opposition by 22 runs over that stretch. Yankees’ first base coach Tony Pena is the manager for the Dominican Republic. Pena amassed a career .260 batting average with 107 homers and 708 RBI while playing for 6 different teams over his 17-year major league career. The Dominican Republic come into this tournament as probably the most sound defensively athletic group, boasting a team total of 11 gold glove awards, including 5 from Texas Rangers’ slugger, Adrian Beltre, who returns to the WBC after missing the previous two tournaments. Along with the likes of Orioles’ third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado, along with Pittsburgh’s Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte. Team DR brings plenty of pop to their bats as well, brining 5 players who hit at least 30 home runs in the 2016 season, along with Yankees’ rookie sensation, Gary Sanchez, who cranked out 20 homers just 53 games for the Bronx Bombers last season. Where the Dominicans can struggle is pitching late, as Yankees’ flamethrower Dellin Betances is the only reliever that’s committed to the team. Betances looked tired and gassed at points near the end of the season for the Yanks in 2016, going 0-2 with a blown save and an ERA over 9.50 in his last 11 appearances. If the Dominican Republic can figure that part of the equation out, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Team DR make a deep run once again.

I’m tempted to take Canada here based on the fact that they probably know they have one chance to end a statement and get off to a strong start, but this Dominican Republic team that’s out to defend their championship is a far from ideal matchup and I think the Dominicans get in the win column first here.

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Wed, 08 Mar 2017 17:52:53 -0500 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=79781
<![CDATA[South Korea vs. Chinese Taipei - 3/9/17 WBC Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/mlb-picks/2017/03/09/south-korea-vs-chinese-taipei-3/9/17-wbc-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments South Korea and Chinese Taipei meet Thursday morning in the 2017 World Baseball Classic at the Gocheok Sky Dome.

South Korea are in must-win mode after back-to-back disappointing performances in losses to Israel and Netherlands. The main issue for South Korea is the lack of offense, as it’s scored just two runs in its first two games and has 13 hits overall. Yongkyu Lee is coming off a solid performance, but that doesn’t matter when you consider South Korea is just 2-14 with runners in scoring position in its first two games. It makes it even worse…

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South Korea and Chinese Taipei meet Thursday morning in the 2017 World Baseball Classic at the Gocheok Sky Dome.

South Korea are in must-win mode after back-to-back disappointing performances in losses to Israel and Netherlands. The main issue for South Korea is the lack of offense, as it’s scored just two runs in its first two games and has 13 hits overall. Yongkyu Lee is coming off a solid performance, but that doesn’t matter when you consider South Korea is just 2-14 with runners in scoring position in its first two games. It makes it even worse for South Korea when you consider they’re playing at home and were one of the favorites to make it out of a manageable group. At this point advancing is probably the last thing on South Korea’s mind, this is a team that just wants to put together a complete performance and play to its potential.

Chinese Taipei is another team playing for pride in this spot after losing its first two games to Israel and Netherlands. However, unlike South Korea, Chinese Taipei has shown more promise in this tournament after making a respectable comeback against Israel and losing to Netherlands in heartbreaking fashion despite scoring five runs. In the recent loss, Chinese Taipei got a combined five hits and two RBI from Chih-Hao Chang and Chin-Lung Hu, while Chih-Hsien Chiang had two hits. Chinese Taipei has been by far more impressive than the host team, and while not the true home team, it does have decent crowd support at the Gocheok Sky Dome. Although it may be hard to bounce back from such a loss on a quick turnaround.

I’ve backed South Korea twice this tournament just to be disappointed. And Chinese Taipei has looked like the more inspired and better team through the first two games. However, neither of these teams is playing for a spot in the next round, so it comes down to pride. South Korea should have the advantage not only with rest, but also being at home. I’m also not sure how Chinese Taipei rebounds from its loss to Netherlands.

I’m backing South Korea one more time but am obviously weary based on the first two games.

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Wed, 08 Mar 2017 11:50:04 -0500 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=79775
<![CDATA[Israel vs. Netherlands - 3/9/17 WBC Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/mlb-picks/2017/03/09/israel-vs-netherlands-3/9/17-wbc-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments Israel and Netherlands meet Thursday morning in the 2017 World Baseball Classic at the Gocheok Sky Dome.

Israel continues to be the surprise of the tournament after starting its first ever appearance with victories over South Korea and Chinese Taipei. In its last outing, Israel put up 15 runs, as Nate Freiman and Tyler Krieger combined for seven RBI while Ike Davis had three hits. Israel has shown it can win with great pitching as it did in its opening win over South Korea, and it showed it has the offensive firepower to win a shootout. Most didn’t…

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Israel and Netherlands meet Thursday morning in the 2017 World Baseball Classic at the Gocheok Sky Dome.

Israel continues to be the surprise of the tournament after starting its first ever appearance with victories over South Korea and Chinese Taipei. In its last outing, Israel put up 15 runs, as Nate Freiman and Tyler Krieger combined for seven RBI while Ike Davis had three hits. Israel has shown it can win with great pitching as it did in its opening win over South Korea, and it showed it has the offensive firepower to win a shootout. Most didn’t give Israel much of a chance to do anything this tournament given the lack of experience and the fact it’s simply lucky to be here, but this has turned out to be a great story and now they’re a serious team to keep an eye on moving forward. However, this will be easily Israel’s steepest test in the tournament yet.

Netherlands finds itself already in the next round thanks to a walk-off victory over Chinese Taipei. In the victory, Netherlands had 13 hits, struck out just once and was led by three RBI from Yankees Didi Gregorius. Netherlands has now scored 11 runs in its first two games and is looking more and more like the dark horse contender thanks to a deep lineup that can produce offense from top to bottom. Although with a berth to the next round already clinched, it will be interesting to see just how serious Netherlands takes this game. So far, along with Israel, Netherlands has been the most consistent team in this tournament.

This should be a fun battle between two of the more impressive teams in this tournament, and it’s hard to bet against an Israeli team that has shown it can win with pitching and hitting. Israel is also extremely confident and has a nice rest advantage with the Netherlands playing yesterday. However, Netherlands is the more talented team overall and this will be the steepest challenge for Israel yet. Yes, beating South Korea and Chinese Taipei has already surpassed expectations, but Netherlands is in a different class.

Assuming both play their starters, I’m backing Netherlands to win the game.

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Wed, 08 Mar 2017 11:38:23 -0500 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=79772