The World Baseball Classic is the Holy Grail for international baseball fans. Every four years we are graced with some of the best talents in the world. Now, heading into the classic, who are five upsets that could shock us all?
I am beyond excited for this World Baseball Classic. The last classic was the first I really latched onto, as I was 14 at the time, and I instantly fell in love. Now, four years later, the same unpredictability and mystique has returned. Of course, we all expect the United States, Dominican Republic, or Japan to win it all. However, there are some shockers, some upsets, that we should also expect. Some of these upsets are realistic as they may actually win it all, and some may only happen when pigs fly. However, if the Cubs can win it all after 108 years, anything can happen.
Israel – Bovada Odds: +20,000 (200/1)
Honestly, a week ago I would not have regarded Israel as a potential upset to win it all. They have some notable big league talent, but nothing spectacular. However, after their two victories in Pool A, they look to be in prime position to make a push and have gained much traction. I am sure I’m not alone in saying that I root for Israel to make it as far as they possibly can, being the least favored team to win it all must leave some sort of chip on their shoulder.
Riding off of two consecutive wins Israel finds themselves atop Pool A in the perfect position to advance to the knockout stages. First, Israel upset South Korea with a 2-1 win in extra innings. Then, Israel jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning against Chinese Taipei en route to a 15-8 victory. Now, Israel leads in their pool and has a very slim chance of not advancing into the next stages.
An Israel upset would be monumental. Having the highest odds in the tourney, 200/1 odds at that, causes Israel to be everybody’s favorite. Much like other sports upsets in the past (Leicester City for you soccer fans) this would be one of the greatest moments in sports history. Someone, somewhere out there likely put a small ten-dollar bet on this Israel squad. Lets all hope they can win it all and they can win an easy $2000.