Friday, February 27, 2009

World Baseball Classic betting – Are the Dominicans still a favorite?

World Baseball Classic betting is less than a week away, so it’s hard to believe a major contender’s online betting chances could change so dramatically in the few days before the event starts. But that seems to be the case for the Dominican Republic, which has lost some major names leading up to the WBC odds.

An All-Star team of sluggers – Albert Pujols, Vladimir Guerrero, Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Pena – not to mention dynamic young hurler Francisco Liriano – pulled out before the final World Baseball Classic betting rosters were announced on Feb. 24. Whom does that leave to keep the Dominican Republic a strong sportsbook contender?

The hitting lineup should still mash enough; Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes will set the table while David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez – who clearly has a lot to prove – can drive ‘em in. Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and the suddenly aging Miguel Tejada can provide pop at the bottom of the order.

The Dominicans’ big question mark in the World Baseball Classic odds is pitching. Liriano’s drop-out leaves the nation without a true ace in the tournament. The Dominicans have no shortage of guys with electric stuff, including Juan Cruz, Johnny Cueto and Ubaldo Jimenez, but they’ll need Edinson Volquez to match his MLB success of last year and a comeback performance from Pedro Martinez, who’ll be auditioning for a major-league job, would go a long way.

Sports Betting blog reports: Online betting fans certainly can’t write the Dominican Republic off in WBC betting, but Team USA may now be the tournament favorite.

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