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World Baseball Classic odds

The World Baseball Classic starts today and even though some of the biggest names in baseball are sitting out, there are still plenty of MLB stars in action and plenty of early baseball betting opportunities for fans.

Here are the top 5 teams in terms of World Baseball Classic futures odds at bodog:

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WBC odds - Dominican Republic (3.67/1)

The Dominican Republic has a stellar lineup with IF Hanley Ramirez (Marlins), IF Alex Rodriguez (Yankees) and OF Alfonso Soriano (Cubs), but do they have the pitching? There is talent on the mound, but it is young talent with RHP Edinson Volquez (Reds), LHP Francisco Liriano (Twins) and RHP Fausto Carmona (Indians).

If their hurlers can pitch well the Dominican Republic will be tough to beat.

WBC odds - USA (3.67/1)

The big question for the U.S. is, do they care enough about this tournament to give it their all? Manager Davey Johnson has a tall order to control the egos on Team USA and get the players fired up. How the pitching goes for the U.S. will determine their outcome with starters Jake Peavey and Roy Oswalt. The Americans offense is legit, as they have Chipper Jones, Kevin Youkilis, Grady Sizemore, and Derek Jeter.

In the last World Baseball Classic the U.S. found out that they need to actually play hard or they will get beat, even though they had, and still have, the most talented roster.

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WBC odds - Japan (4/1)

The 2006 champions boast an offensive lineup led by four legit MLB players in C Kenji Johjima (Mariners), 2B Akinori Iwamura (Rays), OF Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners) and OF Kosuke Fukudome (Cubs). Their staff is led by Dice-K of the Red Sox and they have a solid bullpen with LHP Hideki Okajima (Red Sox) and RHP Masahide Kobayashi (Indians).

The Japanese play in the weakest pool and they should get through, but after Dice-K their starting pitching is a concern.

WBC odds - Cuba (7/1)

Cuba is also in a weak pool, but they may be hurt bythe defections of RHP Yadel Marti, OF Alexei Ramirez, and OF Yasser Gomez. However, OF Frederich Cepeda and Osmany Urrutia will lead a potent offense and RHP Pedro Luis Lazo is an ace of a very deep pitching staff.

The Cubans are a team built on speed and they will be exciting to watch.

WBC odds - Venezuela (13/1)

Venezuela would have better odds, but LHP Johan Santana (Mets) and RHP Carlos Zambrano (Cubs) decided not to participate. Their starting pitching is a worry, but if the Venezuelans can hold a lead they will have Francisco (K-Rod) Rodriguez nailing the coffin shut in the 9th.

Their offense is decent led by OF Magglio Ordonez and IF Miguel Cabrera, but since their starting pitching is weak they may battle it out with host Canada for the second spot in this group behind the U.S.

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