Professional Baseball Leagues Around the World

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While it’s true that for many decades baseball was considered “America’s favorite pastime,” it’s really grown into a global sport since those days. While North America’s Major League Baseball is still the premier organization in the world and the highest level at which the game is played, there are now plenty of professional associations elsewhere as well.

The main hubs for the sport are in Latin America and Southeast Asia, notably South Korea, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Japan.

In this article, we’re going to look into some of the other professional baseball leagues around the world. We’ll examine how many teams they employ, who their winningest franchises are, and how many years they’ve existed.

Tons of MLB talent get their start overseas or spend their offseason sharpening their skills in winter leagues. Let’s explore where it is they play before and after making it to the big show.

Also, it’s wise to remember that many online bookmakers take bets on leagues other than the MLB. So, if you’ve been missing your sports gambling in the offseason, we may have some decent options for you during the winter.

Keeping up with the different pros from around the world will not only give you an advantage when players finally do make the jump to Major League Baseball, but it will keep your baseball handicapping sharp in the MLB offseason.

Major League Baseball

  • Location: North America (29 teams in US, 1 in Canada)
  • Number of Teams: 30
  • Championship: World Series
  • Years Active: 1903 – Present
  • Teams:
Team Name Location Home Stadium Championships Won
Baltimore Orioles Baltimore, Maryland Oriole Park at Camden Yards 3
Boston Red Sox Boston, Massachusetts Fenway Park 8
New York Yankees New York City, New York Yankee Stadium 27
Tampa Bay Rays St. Petersburg, Florida Tropicana Field 0
Toronto Blue Jays Toronto, Ontario Rogers Centre 2
Chicago White Sox Chicago, Illinois Guaranteed Rate Field 3
Cleveland Indians Cleveland, Ohio Progressive Field 2
Detroit Tigers Detroit, Michigan Comerica Park 4
Kansas City Royals Kansas City, Missouri Kauffman Stadium 2
Minnesota Twins Minneapolis, Minnesota Target Field 3
Houston Astros Houston, Texas Minute Maid Park 1
Los Angeles Angels Anaheim, California Angel Stadium 1
Oakland Athletics Oakland, California Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 9
Seattle Mariners Seattle, Washington Safeco Field 0
Texas Rangers Arlington, Texas Globe Life Park in Arlington 0
Atlanta Braves Atlanta, Georgia SunTrust Park 3
Miami Marlins Miami, Florida Marlins Park 2
New York Mets New York City, New York Citi Field 2
Philadelphia Phillies Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Citizens Bank Park 2
Washington Nationals Washington, D.C. Nationals Park 0
Chicago Cubs Chicago, Illinois Wrigley Field 3
Cincinnati Reds Cincinnati, Ohio Great American Ball Park 5
Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee, Wisconsin Miller Park 0
Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PNC Park 5
St. Louis Cardinals St. Louis, Missouri Busch Stadium 11
Arizona Diamondbacks Phoenix, Arizona Chase Field 1
Colorado Rockies Denver, Colorado Coors Field 0
Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles, California Dodger Stadium 6
San Diego Padres San Diego, California Petco Park 0
San Francisco Giants San Francisco, California AT&T Park 8

Major League Baseball is the pinnacle of the sport. The enormous salaries guarantee that the North American top-tier organization will continue to attract the most exceptional talent from around the world and field the best teams that money can buy. The MLB is comprised of two separate leagues, the National League (NL) and the American League (AL).

At the moment, the two leagues operate under slightly different rulesets and only compete in interleague games a set number of times each year. But the two legal entities attached to the NL and AL were dissolved in recent years, making them more like two conferences under the MLB umbrella rather than the independent corporations they were in the past. Over time, it’s expected that they’ll standardize their rules and play each team an equal number of times each season.

As it stands, there are fifteen teams in each league, for a total of 30 Major League teams.

They are divided into three divisions per league, with five teams per division. The team with the best record in each division earns an automatic spot in the playoffs, while the two teams with the best records despite not winning their divisions get wildcard berths. They then compete through a total of four rounds of playoffs, culminating in the best-of-seven World Series between the NL and AL champs.

The MLB season begins in the spring when they prepare for the season and play through the summer. When fall rolls around, it’s playoff time! The season traditionally ended in October, though that’s been pushed back to early November in recent years.

KBO League

  • Location: South Korea
  • Number of Teams: 10
  • Championship: Korean Series
  • Years Active: 1982 – Present
  • Teams:
Team Name City Home Stadium Championships Won
Hanwha Eagles Daejeon Daejeon Hanbat Baseball Stadium 1
Kia Tigers Gwangju Gwangju-Kia Champions Field 11
LG Twins Seoul Jamsil Baseball Stadium 2
NC Dinos Changwon Masan Baseball Stadium 0
Nexen Heroes Seoul Gocheok SkyDome 0
Doosan Bears Seoul Jamsil Baseball Stadium 5
KT Wiz Suwon Suwon Baseball Stadium 0
Lotte Giants Busan Busan Sajik Baseball Stadium 2
Samsung Lions Daegu Daegu Samsung Lions Park 8
SK Wyverns Incheon Munhak Baseball Stadium 3

The KBO League is the top level of professional baseball in South Korea. It’s also the most popular of all the professional sports associations in their country. Their season is 144 games long for every team, with each franchise playing every other squad a total of 16 times during the regular season. This equals a total number of 720 games each KBO campaign.

The sport of baseball is believed to have been introduced to Korea by missionaries in the 19th century. The popularity of the game gradually grew over time, with the KBO being founded in 1981. It wasn’t until Korean pitcher Chan Ho Park signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers that things really exploded. Since Park’s 1994 debut, the country has produced numerous star players, many of whom have made legitimate impacts in the MLB. Some examples of Korean-born players who made the jump to Major League Baseball are Hyun-jin Ryu, Hee-seop Choi, Bong Jung-keun, Byung-hyun Kim, Shin-Soo Choo, and Jung-ho Kang.

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At the conclusion of the KBO League’s regular season, five teams advance to the playoffs, based on their overall record. The post-season is arranged a bit like a video game, with the lowest-seeded teams forced to keep working their way up the ladder against tougher opponents. Meanwhile, the top-ranked teams just wait for their competitors to reach their level.

First, the fifth-place team and the fourth-place side face off in the Wild Card round. The fourth-place team can advance with a single win, but the club with the fifth-best record must win twice in a row. The Wild Card winner then goes up against the franchise which finished in third. This round is a best-of-five series, so the first to three wins moves on. The winner of that round then matches up with whoever finished in second place. Again, the first side to three wins moves on.

The team with the best regular-season record waits to compete in the KBO Korean Series championship. Whoever wins between the second-place squad and their opponent then moves on to the last round. The championship series is a best-of-seven ordeal, with the winner receiving the honor of being named that season’s champion. Some years, they’ll go on to face the champs from other Asian organizations, but this is not always the case.

Nippon Professional Baseball

  • Location: Japan
  • Number of Teams: 12
  • Championship: Japan Series
  • Years Active: 1950 – Present
  • Teams:
Team Name City Home Stadium Championships Won
Chunichi Dragons Nagoya, Aichi Nagoya Dome 2
Hanshin Tigers Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Hanshin Koshien Stadium 2
Hiroshima Toyo Carp Hiroshima, Hiroshima MAZDA Zoom-Zoom Stadium Hiroshima 3
Tokyo Yakult Swallows Shinjuku, Tokyo Meiji Jingu Stadium 5
Yokohama DeNA BayStars Yokohama, Kanagawa Yokohama Stadium 2
Yomiuri Giants Bunkyō, Tokyo Tokyo Dome 22
Chiba Lotte Marines Chiba, Chiba ZOZO Marine Stadium 4
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks Fukuoka, Fukuoka Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome 8
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters Sapporo, Hokkaidō Sapporo Dome 3
Orix Buffaloes Osaka, Osaka Kyocera Dome Osaka 4
Saitama Seibu Lions Tokorozawa, Saitama MetLife Dome 13
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles Sendai, Miyagi Kobo Park Miyagi 1

Nippon Professional Baseball is the highest level of the game available in Japan. The twelve-team consortium was founded in 1950 as a result of the reorganization of the Japanese Baseball League. It was decided that the NPB would be divided into two separate leagues, similar to the MLB’s original setup.

Six teams play in the Pacific League, while the others play in the Central. Like Major League Baseball, the two groups use different rulesets. In the Pacific, teams use a designated hitter, while the Central does not. The actual rules for an average game are close but slightly different than in the US. The NPB uses a smaller ball, strike zone, and field. The ball is wound more tightly as well. Their games can also end in a tie, as there’s a cap on the number of extra innings allowed.

American scouts consider the top-tier Japanese organization AAAA, meaning it’s a higher level of play than AAA minor leagues in the States, but not quite as competitive as the MLB.

Japanese players really began to get some attention after Hideo Nomo left the Kintetsu Buffaloes to join the LA Dodgers, where he won Rookie of the Year and threw two no-hitters over 14 seasons in the States.

After Nomo, an exodus of Japanese talent rushed to Major League Baseball. Superstars like Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui went on to achieve massive success overseas, winning championships and MVP awards. In fact, since Hideo Nomo first jumped ship, over 60 Nippon Professional Baseball players have tried their hand at the MLB game. This eventually led to the “posting system,” which requires Major League clubs to compensate their home squads and negotiate reasonably with foreign talent.

The NPB’s historically most dominant team is the Yomiuri Giants. Playing out of Tokyo, the Giants have won 22 Japan Series. To reach this final series, teams must first endure a 146-game regular season, playing six games per week while getting every Monday off. At the end of the season, the second- and third-place clubs play a best-of-three series at the second-placed side’s home stadium. The winner moves on to a best-of-five matchup with the league’s top-seeded squad. The Pacific and Central champions then face off for the Japan Series.

Chinese Professional Baseball League

  • Location: Taiwan
  • Number of Teams: 4
  • Championship: Taiwan Series
  • Years Active: 1989 – Present
  • Teams:
Team Name City Home Stadium Championships Won
Chinatrust Brothers Taichung City Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 7
Lamigo Monkeys Taoyuan City Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium 5
Fubon Guardians New Taipei City Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium 3
Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions Tainan City Tainan Municipal Baseball Stadium 9

The Chinese Professional Baseball League is a four-team organization located in Taiwan. The CPBL was founded in 1989, and the sport’s popularity peaked in 1997 when there were two separate leagues and eleven total clubs. Since those days, several match-fixing scandals have rocked the game, turning many viewers off of the product entirely.

The season runs concurrent with the MLB, starting in March and playing until October. In June or July, the league takes a break for the all-star game, which marks the midway point of the season. Teams can win the first or second half of the season to qualify for the playoffs. Three teams are eligible for the post-season, which is played out over two rounds. The squad that wins the championship then moves on to the Asia Series, where they compete against top clubs from the KBO, Nippon League, and Australian Baseball.

Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League is quite a bit behind the rest of the world when it comes to their professional league. The low pay and lack of free agency leave very little power for the players. As such, the teams are mostly filled with Japanese minor leaguers and AA-level athletes from around Asia.

Puerto Rico Baseball League

  • Location: Puerto Rico
  • Number of Teams: 4
  • Championship: League Championship & Caribbean World Series
  • Years Active: 1938 – Present
  • Teams:
Team Name City Home Stadium League Championships Won Caribbean Series Won
Criollos de Caguas Caguas Parque Yldefonso Solá Morales 11 5
Gigantes de Carolina Carolina Roberto Clemente Stadium 2 0
Indios de Mayagüez Mayagüez Isidoro García Baseball Stadium 18 2
Cangrejeros de Santurce Santurce, San Juan Hiram Bithorn Stadium 14 5

The leading professional baseball league in Puerto Rico is called Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente, named after the all-time Puerto Rican great. There are currently only four teams competing in the association. Following each season, the champion advances to the Caribbean Series, where they match up against other championship sides from Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Venezuela.

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While the Puerto Rican league itself is small, an enormous amount of Major League Baseball’s top talent comes from the tiny island nation. This is a winter league, meaning it acts as a jumping-off point for athletes trying to climb their way to the big leagues.

In 1995, the Senadores de San Juan fielded a team that included Roberto Alomar, Carlos Delgado, Rubén Sierra, Carlos Baerga, Bernie Williams, Juan González, Edgar Martínez, Rey Sánchez, and Carmelo Martínez.

They were called “the Dream Team,” a fair name, as they’d most definitely give any MLB team a ton of trouble. In the Caribbean Series, the super-squad was unstoppable. They went 6-0 in the tournament, giving the Dominican Republic team, led by Pedro Martinez and Jose Rijo, their only two losses in the competition.

Dominican Professional Baseball League

  • Location: Dominican Republic
  • Number of Teams: 6
  • Championship: National Championship & Caribbean World Series
  • Years Active: 1951 – Present
  • Teams:
Team Name City Home Stadium League Championships Won Caribbean Series Won
Águilas Cibaeñas Santiago Estadio Cibao 21 5
Estrellas Orientales San Pedro de Macorís Estadio Tetelo Vargas 3 0
Gigantes del Cibao San Francisco de Macorís Estadio Julián Javier 0 0
Leones del Escogido Santo Domingo Estadio Quisqueya 17 4
Tigres del Licey Santo Domingo Estadio Quisqueya 24 10
Toros del Este La Romana Estadio Francisco Micheli 2 0

The “Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana” is another winter league in Latin America that works as a pipeline of talent to Major League Baseball in the US. The LIDOM is the Dominican Republic’s highest-level league, consisting of just six teams. Many of the prospects that start here end up in the MLB, though they also sign aging Major Leaguers to finish their career in the DR as well.

All six teams play a fifty-game round-robin schedule. The LIDOM season runs from October through December. The post-season consists of the teams with the top four records playing each other in another round-robin format, this time matching up against each opponent a total of six times. The two teams that finish their 18-game post-season with the highest records face off in a best-of-nine showdown for the championship. The winner goes on to the Caribbean Series.

Venezuelan Professional Baseball League

  • Location: Venezuela
  • Number of Teams: 8
  • Championship: League Championship & Caribbean World Series
  • Years Active: 1946-present
  • Teams:
Team Name City Home Stadium League Championships Won Caribbean Series Won
Águilas del Zulia Maracaibo Estadio Luis Aparicio El Grande 6 2
Bravos de Margarita Porlamar Estadio Nueva Esparta 0 0
Cardenales de Lara Barquisimeto Estadio Antonio Herrera Gutiérrez 4 0
Caribes de Anzoátegui Puerto La Cruz Estadio Alfonso Chico Carrasquel 3 0
Leones del Caracas Caracas Estadio Universitario 20 2
Navegantes del Magallanes Valencia Estadio José Bernardo Pérez 12 2
Tiburones de La Guaira Play in Caracas but representing La Guaira Estadio Universitario 7 0
Tigres de Aragua Maracay Estadio José Pérez Colmenares 10 0

The Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional is the highest tier of professional baseball attainable in Venezuela. The eight-team league was formed in 1945 after the game exploded in popularity after the world championships were played in Havana, Cuba. The South American country attracted players from all through the Caribbean and the US at this time, since their league was much more integrated. They even brought over Hall of Famer Satchel Paige.

Each team plays 63 games during the Venezuelan regular season. This means each of the eight teams plays every opponent nine times. At the conclusion of the campaign, the franchises are ranked in order of their records. The top six teams advance to the post-season.

In the playoffs, every series is a best-of-seven contest.

The first round sees the first-place team play the sixth, the second-ranked squad faces the fifth, while the third and fourth match up. The first three teams to win four games advance to the next round. Then, the two best teams that lost in the first round play each other for one last wildcard spot.

In the second round, the top-seeded team plays the wildcard, while the second- and third-ranked teams meet up with each other. The winners of those two best-of-seven series then match up in the finals. One last seven-game series is played before the Venezuelan League Champion is determined. That club then moves on to compete in the Caribbean Cup against other champs.

Colombian Professional Baseball League

  • Location: Colombia
  • Number of Teams: 4
  • Championship: League Championship
  • Years Active: 1948-1958, 1979-1988, 1994-present
  • Teams:
Team Name City Home Stadium League Championships Won
Caimanes de Barranquilla Barranquilla Estadio Tomás Arrieta 8
Tigres de Cartagena Cartagena Estadio Once de Noviembre 6
Leones de Montería Montería Estadio 18 de Junio 3
Toros de Sincelejo Sincelejo Estadio 20 de Enero 1

Colombia’s top baseball league consists of four teams and plays in the winter, from October to January. This association is quite a bit behind other Latin American countries when it comes to skill and talent. While they’ve been accepted into the Caribbean Confederation of Professional Baseball, their teams are not yet allowed to compete for the Caribbean Series until their level of play improves.

The winter league is owned by the Renteria Foundation, a charity created by former MLB shortstop Edgar Renteria. Initially, there were six franchises who would play 50 games each, with the top four advancing to an additional post-season round-robin. But now, with only four clubs, it’s unclear whether or not everyone qualifies for the playoffs.

In the playoffs, the remaining teams each play 12 more games. The squads that emerge with the two best records then face off in the league championship. Caimanes de Barranquilla is currently the most successful team in the league with eight titles, though they’ve yet to be able to test themselves against the Caribbean Series sides.

Mexican League

  • Location: Mexico
  • Number of Teams: 16
  • Championship: Serie del Rey
  • Years Active: 1925-present
  • Teams:
Team Name City Home Stadium League Championships Won
Acereros de Monclova Monclova, Coahuila Monclova 0
Algodoneros de Unión Laguna Torreón, Coahuila Revolución 2
Generales de Durango Durango, Durango Francisco Villa 0
Rieleros de Aguascalientes Aguascalientes City, Aguascalientes Alberto Romo Chávez 1
Saraperos de Saltillo Saltillo, Coahuila Francisco I. Madero 3
Sultanes de Monterrey Monterrey, Nuevo León Monterrey 9
Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas Laredo, Texas Nuevo Laredo, Uni-Trade 5
Toros de Tijuana Tijuana, Baja California Gasmart 1
Bravos de León León, Guanajuato Domingo Santana 1
Diablos Rojos del México Iztacalco, Mexico City Estadio Fray Nano 16
Guerreros de Oaxaca Oaxaca City, Oaxaca Eduardo Vasconselos 1
Leones de Yucatán Mérida, Yucatán Parque Kukulcán Alamo 3
Olmecas de Tabasco Villahermosa, Tabasco Centenario 27 de Febrero 1
Pericos de Puebla Puebla City, Puebla Hermanos Serdán 5
Piratas de Campeche Campeche City, Campeche Nelson Barrera 2
Tigres de Quintana Roo Cancún, Quintana Roo Beto Ávila 12

The Mexican Baseball League is a sixteen-team group that’s classified as an AAA minor-league organization. The sixteen clubs are split into two units of eight, divided by North and South divisions. Teams play 114 games each in the regular season. At the conclusion of the regular season, the teams with the five best records in each division advance to the playoffs.

The playoffs go on for four rounds with best-of-seven series all along the way. Once a champion is crowned in each division, the two squads meet up in the Serie Del Rey. One last best-of-seven showdown takes place, with the winner claiming that year’s Copa de Zaachila, the championship cup.

The winningest team in Mexican Baseball League history is the Diablos Rojos del Mexico.

They’ve won sixteen titles and 22 division championships since being founded in 1940. As an AAA league, the winner of their tournament does not go on to compete in the Caribbean Series.

Mexican Pacific League

  • Location: Mexico
  • Number of Teams: 8
  • Championship: Liga Mexicana del Pacífico Champion & Caribbean World Series
  • Years Active: 1945-present
  • Teams:
Team Name City Home Stadium League Championships Won Caribbean Series Won
Águilas de Mexicali Mexicali, Baja California B’Air 4 1
Cañeros de Los Mochis Los Mochis, Sinaloa Emilio Ibarra Almada 3 0
Charros de Jalisco Guadalajara, Jalisco Panamericano 0 0
Mayos de Navojoa Navojoa, Sonora Manuel “Ciclón” Echeverría 2 0
Naranjeros de Hermosillo Hermosillo, Sonora Sonora 16 2
Tomateros de Culiacán Culiacán, Sinaloa Tomateros 11 2
Venados de Mazatlán Mazatlán, Sinaloa Teodoro Mariscal 9 2
Yaquis de Obregón Ciudad Obregón, Sonora Yaquis 7 2

The Mexican Pacific League is an independent association that plays their ball in the winters. The eight-team league plays from October through December. Each year, the league champion advances to the Caribbean Series to compete with other Latin American countries from the Caribbean and South America.

Four different Pacific League franchises have advanced to the Caribbean Series and won on two separate occasions, most recently in 2002. The best team historically has been Naranjeros de Hermosillo, with sixteen titles including two Caribbean Series champions, the most recent of which came in 2014.

Italian Baseball League

  • Location: Italy
  • Number of Teams: 8
  • Championship: Italian Baseball Series (Scudetto)
  • Years Active: 1948 – Present
  • Teams:
Team Name City Home Stadium Scudettos Won
Polisportivo Padule Baseball Sesto Fiorentino Municipal Stadium 1
Parmaclima Parma Parma Stadio Quadrifoglio 10
Novara Baseball Club Novara Silvio Piola Stadium 0
T&A San Marino San Marino Stadio di Baseball di Serravalle 4
Rimini Baseball Club Rimini Stadio dei Pirati 13
UnipolSai Bologna Bologna Gianni Falchi Baseball Stadium 9
Angel Service Nettuno Nettuno Stadio Steno Borghese 17
Tommasin Padova Padova Stadio Euganeo 0

The Italian Baseball League is considered the highest level of play in all of Europe. There are eight teams, each of which plays 42 regular-season games. Their schedule is organized into a sequence of three-game series, and they compete in two rounds against each team, giving them a total of six games against each opponent.

The four teams that finish the season with the best record advance to the post-season. Those four clubs then do another round-robin playoff against only each other. When all the games are played, the two squads with the best records move on to the championship. The final series is best-of-seven, with the winner taking home the Scudetto.

There are three Major League Baseball players that competed in the Italian League. Jason Simontacchi pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals from 2002 – 2007 with a win-loss record of 26-17 and a 5.09 ERA. Chuck Carr played for Rimini before playing in the MLB for eight years. In 1993, he was the National League’s stolen base leader. The last noteworthy Italian League player is Junior Guerra. Junior is Venezuelan but pitched for T & A San Marino before he was picked up by the Brewers.

Australian Baseball League

  • Location: Australia and New Zealand
  • Number of Teams: 8
  • Championship: Championship Series – Claxton Shield
  • Years Active: 2009 – Present
  • Teams:
Team Name City Home Stadium Championships Won
Adelaide Bite Adelaide, South Australia Diamond Sports Stadium 0
Brisbane Bandits Brisbane, Queensland Holloway Field 3
Canberra Cavalry Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Narrabundah Ballpark 1
Melbourne Aces Melbourne, Victoria Melbourne Ballpark 0
Perth Heat Perth, Western Australia Baseball Park 4
Sydney Blue Sox Sydney, New South Wales Blue Sox Stadium 0
New Zealand TBD TBD N/A
Winterball Korea Geelong, Victoria TBD N/A

The Australian Baseball League was founded in 2009, though it carries the name of an earlier league that folded in 1999. Like the previous organization, the winners of the modern ABL are awarded the Claxton Cup. This league is another of baseball’s winter leagues, which gives MLB franchises another place to stash prospects and get them some reps during the offseason. In fact, prior to 2016-17, Major League Baseball owned 75% of the league.

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All ABL franchises are owned by the league itself, with all players getting paid directly from the league and a set pay scale determined by tiers and experience levels.

Coming into 2018, the group has expanded from six teams to eight, with one new club planned for New Zealand and an all-Korean team slated to play out of Geelong, Victoria.

Following the regular season, the top four teams based on record typically advance to the post-season. However, with the recent expansions and history of constant changes, it’s unclear what the plan for 2018-19 will be. It seems that the top two teams will be given home semi-finals series, while the league championship will be played wherever the highest-seeded remaining team wants to go. The eventual champion will receive the Claxton Cup.

The cup winner will then proceed to the Asia Series. There, the top Australian club will compete against the best teams from the top leagues in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. The series is held in November and follows a round-robin format, with each team only playing once. The top two teams finally face off in a single-elimination championship game to determine the entire series.

The Wrap-Up

As you can see, there is professional baseball being played all over the world for a variety of reasons. Some leagues are playing legitimately high-level ball, while others serve as feeder organizations to the more significant associations. Korea and Japan both produce a ton of great players, many of whom jumped to the MLB, but only after starting their careers in their home country. The influx of talent to the US is a bonus, but it’s not the purpose of those organizations.

These Latin American winter leagues, on the other hand, are almost exclusively used to find and develop prospects. Major League Baseball is chock full of Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Venezuelan players.

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In fact, many of the best players of all time come from those countries. They play in the winter to accommodate MLB prospects that will be with their minor-league teams during the summer. This way, they get experience throughout the entire year, playing against good competition.

While baseball may not have the foothold it once did with viewership in the United States, it’s apparently still spreading around the world. More and more countries are picking up the game and starting their own leagues, often with the financial backing of Major League Baseball. Between the many associations and the World Baseball Classic, it won’t be long until we see even more diversity in the MLB and on rosters for clubs all around the world.

Jim Beviglia
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About Jim Beviglia
Jim Beviglia has been a gambling writer at since 2018. During that time, he’s written just about every type of article related to gambling, including reviews of betting sites, guides to popular casino games, betting tips on both casino and sports betting, sports and casino blog posts, and game picks. In addition to online gambling, one of Jim’s other major interests is music. He has been doing freelance work for various music sites and magazines for two decades. Among his outlets past and present are American Songwriter, VinylMePlease, Treble, and The Bluegrass Situation. Jim has also written five books on music that were published by Rowman & Littlefield.