Upcoming Match-ups

An International Team is Favored to Win the 2019 Little League World Series

Little League World Series
International teams have been dominating the Little League World Series since the late 1950's. Photo by Desiree N. Palacios, Air Force News Service.
  • An International team is heavily favored to win the 2019 Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • The event has been won by a foreign team six times in the last 10 years
  • Five of the last seven Little League World Series champions have been from Asia

Baseball may have been invented in America, but it’s being perfected in countries around the world.

That’s been apparent for the past 50 years at the Little League World Series, where foreign teams have made a habit of steamrolling their American peers. Squads comprised of players from outside the U.S. have won three of the last five Little League World Series titles and they’re likely to win again in 2019 according to the latest odds from 5Dimes.

The online sportsbook believes there’s a 63 percent chance an international group will be the last team standing when the final out is recorded on August 25th.

2019 Little League World Series Odds

Who Will Win the 2019 Little League World Series? Odds at 5Dimes
International Team -170
U.S. Team +130

What is the Little League World Series?

The Little League World Series is an amateur baseball tournament for players aged 10 to 12 years old. The event features 16 teams, eight of which are drawn from regional qualifying events in the U.S., and eight of which are drawn from qualifying events from around the world.

The groups are further divided into two pools of four teams each. The winner of each pool squares off in a single-elimination game to determine which U.S. team and which international team will play for the Little League World Series championship.

Little League World Series Regions

U.S. Regions International Regions
New England Asia-Pacific and Middle East
Mid-Atlantic Australia
Midwest Canada
Great Lakes Caribbean
Southeast Europe and Africa
Southwest Japan
Northwest Latin America
West Mexcico

The Little League World Series has been held annually in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania since 1947 and is broadcast around the world on ESPN.

How Have International Teams Fared in the Past?

Very, very well. International teams weren’t allowed to compete in the Little League World Series until 1957, but they’ve been making up for lost time ever since. Mexico won back-to-back titles in 1957 and 1958 and Taiwan won 15 titles from 1969 to 1991. Japan has since become a powerhouse, winning five of the last nine Little League World Series titles.

Past Winners of the Little League World Series

Year Location of Championship Team
2018 Honolulu, Hawaii
2017 Tokyo, Japan
2016 Maine-Endwell, New York
2015 Tokyo, Japan
2014 Seoul, South Korea

Why Are International Teams So Much Better?

That’s a little harder to answer. In some cases it’s a matter of demographics, as cities like Tokyo and Seoul both have populations exceeding nine million. Last time we checked that’s far more than you’ll find in Billings and Boise.

In other cases, it’s a matter of national pride. Taiwan’s government invested vasts sums of money and resources into its Little League programs in the 1970’s and 80’s in an attempt to legitimize itself as a global entity and a sporting power. The result was nine championships in 11 years and an astounding 31-game winning streak in Little League World Series competition.

Who Will Win the 2019 Little League World Series?

It’s still too early to determine which team will win, but if history has taught us anything it’s that it won’t be a squad from the U.S. International teams have been dominating the Little League World Series for five decades and 2019 isn’t likely to be an exception.

This bet is open until August 1st, 2019 at 5Dimes.

Author Image

Ryan Murphy began his love affair with sports journalism at the age of nine when he wrote his first article about his little league baseball team. He has since authored his own column for Fox Sports, and now serves as SBD’s resident NBA and MLB expert.