This tournament has been absolute chaos so far. Teams have been blown out and upsets have occurred in every pool. From Italy making a surprisingly deep run into the quarterfinals, to China going defeated throughout all of the pool play, this World Baseball Classic has been nothing short of exciting. However, it’s now down to 3 teams. With the United States clinching their spot in the championship round last night in an absolute blowout against Cuba last night, it is up to either Mexico or Japan to punch their ticket and face the powerhouse in their own backyard of Miami, Florida.
The two remaining games of the World Baseball Classic are going to be extremely close. Mexico vs. Japan tonight might be the closest game of them both. Both of these teams have stellar pitching and very productive offenses. 9 of the 16 position players on team Japan is hitting .280 or better. One of the more notable ones is Kensuke Kondoh, who is hitting .389, with 7 hits, 7 walks, and 5 RBIs. And then of course you can’t forget about the boy, Shohei Ohtani. He has completely dominated this tournament both on the dump and in the batter box. He is currently 2-0 while rocking a 2.02 ERA, and 10 strikeouts. He is hitting .450, with 8 RBIs and 9 walks. The man Shohei will not be stopped and will continue his greatness into the game against Mexico. With these superstars, it’s hard to not see Japan beating Mexico and advancing to the championship round.
With all that being said, with the United States facing Japan in the championship round of the World Baseball Classic, the United States team is going to successfully defend its world title. Although the United States’ pitching is not very good, and that has definitely shown throughout the tournament, their offense is just too powerful. They only have 1 less run scored than Japan who has scored the most out of anyone in the tournament. If America scores anywhere close to as many runs as they did against Cuba and has similar pitching, they will be looking great for Japan. Japan is also tossing Yu Darvish of the San Diego Padres, who faces America’s lineup all year. So he is no stranger to these men and will have a great scouting report on them. Mike Trout is hitting .317 life time against Darvish with 8 walks and 4 ding dongs.