The 2023 World Baseball Classic is here and will provide us with some meaningful baseball games before spring. China will take on Australia at the Tokyo Dome in Japan on Friday night. With that said, it’s a good time to check out our WBC odds series, which includes a China-Australia prediction and pick, laid out below.
China’s roster is severely lacking of any minor leaguers, with just one gracing their roster, Alan Carter. China lacks any semblance of a professional league, leaving their players at a bit of a disadvantage. Manager Dean Treanor has experience as a big-league coach. China has gone 0-2 in pool play.
Australia’s roster is made up of a few lower-level MLB prospects, and then a bunch of Australian League players or Independent League players. Former big leaguer Dave Nilsson, who hit 100 career home runs, will be the manager of the squad. Former big leaguer Graeme Lloyd is among the coaching staff. Australia won a thriller in their opener.
Here are the China-Australia WBC odds, courtesy of DraftKings.
2023 WBC Odds: China-Australia Odds
China: +1.5 (+160)
Australia: -1.5 (-190)
Over: 9 (-105)
Under: 9 (-115)
How To Watch China vs. Australia
TV: FOX Sports Two
Stream: FOX Sports GO
Time: 10:00 ET/7:00 PT
*Watch sports LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why China Could Cover The Spread
Ray Chang is a China baseball legend, and now the 39-year-old is splitting his time between playing and coaching. Chang spent 12 seasons in the minor leagues, hitting .270 with 165 doubles, reaching Triple-A. Yusuke Masago also spent time in the Nippon Professional League, hitting .257 across 10 seasons. Masago represents the team’s main threat on the basepaths, totaling over 100 stolen bases across his playing time in Japan.
Alan Carter is the lone current minor leaguer, signing with the Los Angeles Angels this offseason. Carter’s fastball sits in the mid-90s, signing with the Angels based on his work with Tread Athletics this offseason. Carter tossed three shutout innings with four strikeouts in China’s last game. The bullpen is of some concern.
Why Australia Could Cover The Spread
Aaron Whitefield is the lone Australian position player on the roster with big-league experience. Whitefield debuted in 2020 with Minnesota and has failed to register a hit in 12 at-bats. Across his seven minor league seasons, Whitefield has stolen 180 bases while hitting 34 home runs. A group of prospects headlines the rest of the lineup. Robbie Glendenning, who spent 2022 in Double-A with the Royals, seems to have come into some power recently, slugging a career-high 19 home runs in 2022. Philadelphia Phillies farmhand Rixon Wingrove has reached High-A in the United States. Coming back to his home for winter ball, Wingrove has hit 16 home runs in 109 foreign games. Wingrove’s best attribute is his substantial power. Liam Spence turned in a dominant college career at Tennessee and is now a member of the Chicago Cubs.
Warwick Saupold has pitched over 100 innings across three big league seasons, turning in a 4.98 ERA. Saupold also comes with two years of experience in the KBO, but has been pitching in his native Australia since 2020. Daniel McGrath ascended to Triple-A while a member of the Boston Red Sox organization, and has been back in Australia since 2020. Five other members of the staff are current minor leaguers.
Final China-Australia Prediction & Pick
China hasn’t looked great so far giving up 16 runs. Take Australia to cover to improve to 2-0.
Final China-Australia Prediction & Pick: Australia -1.5 (-190)