- 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|
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.
Home to the Little League World Series United States champs. pic.twitter.com/GIfQu5Cpkp
— ESPN (@espn) August 26, 2017
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|
|Southeast||Europe and Africa|
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|
|2016||Maine-Endwell, New York|
|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.