Betting Odds and Contender Analysis for the Olympic Baseball Tournament in Tokyo

| July 23, 2021 3:19 am PDT

After not being part of the Rio Games in 2016, baseball is back at the Summer Olympics. All the action is set to take place at Yokohama Stadium – I’m here to bring you up to speed on how to bet on the action.

The format has been modified for this edition because of just six teams qualifying for upcoming games, but that won’t stop the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from handing out three medals.

As far as who’s in line to stand on the podium, let’s take a look.

Olympic Baseball Odds To Win

Japan+115
USA+300
South Korea+400
Mexico+800
Dominican Republic+900
Israel+4000

Be sure to shop your lines when betting on the Tokyo Olympics. The prices above reflect SportsBetting.ag, however, I’ve seen South Korea at +500 at a couple of the best places to bet on the Olympics online.

No matter where you’re placing wagers, Japan is the overwhelming favorite and Israel’s chances are slim to none.

Keep in mind, this is your last opportunity to bet on baseball at the Olympics until at least 2028 after the announcement that America’s Pastime is out in 2024.

About the Tokoyo Olympics Baseball Tournament

I mentioned the modified format in Tokyo, here’s what the upcoming tournament looks like. It starts with the six teams being placed into two groups.

Group A Group B
Japan Israel
Mexico South Korea
Dominican Republic United States

Each team plays the two others in its respective group to determine the seeding as the tournament progresses into a double-elimination bracket. It gets a bit complicated trying to spell out the details from there, so please refer to this page.

The key is a team must be knocked out twice before they’re officially out of the running. The round-robin groups get underway on July 28th; the knockout stage culminates with the Gold medal game on August 7th.

Assessing the Top Baseball Contenders in Tokyo

No offense to Ian Kinsler and his teammates but backing Israel to win a gold medal on the diamond would be the same thing as lighting money on fire – only less stimulating.

On the other hand, it’s a pretty wide-open race among the five other participants.

Japan Olympic Baseball Team

Skipper Atsunori Inaba fits the mold of leaders in Japan – he’s punctual and to the point. Armed with a loaded 24-man roster featuring a “who’s who” from the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball League), Inaba isn’t in Tokyo simply to soak up the atmosphere.

“Despite the unforeseen postponement of the Games by one year, my goal is to win the gold medal. That will not change. We have chosen 24 people to make that happen.”

Shortstop Hayato Sakamoto and former Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will be leaned on to perform, as will outfielder and 2019 WBSC Premier12 MVP Seiya Suzuki. Suzuki has batted .300+ in each of the last six seasons.

United States Olympic Baseball Team

With no active MLB players to speak of on the roster, the Americans are fighting an uphill battle in Tokyo. Manager Mike Scioscia wants fans to be excited about the addition of Todd Frazier – allow me to rein the listeners back to reality.

Frazier was hitting .083 (3-35) this season in Pittsburgh before being released by the Pirates in May.

The fact of the matter is the United States Olympic baseball roster consists of a bunch of AA and AAA players mixed in with washed-up former big-leaguers.

South Korea Olympic Baseball Team

Technically still the defending champs after winning a gold medal in Beijing (2008), South Korea strolls into Tokyo as the third betting favorite. As opposed to appointing recognizable names like Shin-Soo Choo and Seeing-hwan Oh, manager Kim Kyung-moon opted for mostly younger players who are in their prime.

In other words, the current faces of the KBO League are the ones representing South Korea in the Summer Olympics.

Of all the baseball players to watch at Yokohama Stadium, make sure to keep an eye on first baseman Baek-Ho Kang. The 21-year-old phenom is going bonkers this season slashing a video-game-like .398/.495/.571 across 309 plate appearances.

Mexico Olympic Baseball Team

The Mexican team is here by virtue of besting the Americans in the third-place game at the 2019 Premier12. Guided by a roster littered with players with extensive MLB resumes, I’d be intrigued to toss a few bucks down on Mexico landing on the podium.

Adrian Gonzalez might be 39 and well past his prime, but his left-handed bat can still provide timely hits on the big stage.

Outfielder Joey Meneses currently plays in the Red Sox farm system and is amid a fantastic campaign in AA. In just 186 ABs, Meneses is hitting .301 and has accounted for 10 homers and 43 RBI.

Dominican Republic Olympic Baseball Team

Melky Cabrera blasted a two-run jack against Venezuela in the WBSC Final Qualifier (6/26/21) to help the D.R. secure their first trip to the Summer Olympics since 1992. The final team to stamp their ticket to Tokyo, this Dominican Republic team is for real. Specifically in the outfield.

Joining Melky in one corner of the OF is Jose Bautista. Rejuvenated for this experience, this is the same Jose Bautista who once hit 54 homers in a Major League season.

Perhaps the most electrifying bat in the Dominican Republic lineup belongs to the third member of the starting outfield, Julio Rodriguez. The Mariners outfield has been balling out and is up to #5 on the latest board of the top 100 MLB prospects.

Betting on Other Sports at the Olympics

Betting on baseball at the Olympics is just the tip of the iceberg. The number of betting opportunities in Tokyo is endless as there are tons of new sports at the Summer Games.

We’re covering the Olympic basketball games here and have writers digging knee-deep into other events. Here’s a taste of some of the other Olympic sports you can bet on.

Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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