After a sensational World Baseball Classic, the United States and Japan will battle it out Tuesday night for the World Baseball Classic championship. This game will be played at loanDepot Park in Miami, Florida, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.
The United States is the slight favorite to win this one. They are -120 to win, while Japan’s moneyline sits at -102. The spread features Japan as 1.5-run underdogs (-192), and the over/under for total runs is 9.5.
Let’s have a look at our 2023 baseball update so you can continue placing your bets on the World Baseball Classic Odds.
2023 World Baseball Classic Championship Game
Host Countries: Japan, Taiwan, United States
When: March 8–21, 2023
Teams: 20 teams
How Did They Get Here?
In the semifinals, the United States was able to take down a strong Cuba team 14-2. In the win, shortstop Trea Turner went three for five with two home runs, four runs batted in, and two runs scored. Paul Goldschmidt and Cedric Mullins also homered in the win.
On the mound, St. Louis Cardinals’ teammates Adam Wainwright and Miles Mikolas combined to pitch eight innings, giving up two runs on 11 hits and striking out four.
For Japan, they won in amazing walk-off fashion Monday night as they beat Mexico 6-5. Trailing by one heading into the final innings, Munetaka Murakami hit a two-run double, scoring Shohei Ohtani and Ukyo Shuto, to win it for Japan.
Reliever Taisei Ota picked up the win in relief, throwing a scoreless inning and striking out one.
Starters Monday Night
For the United States, Merril Kelly is expected to get the start in the championship game. In three innings for team USA, he has given up two runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out one. He will certainly look for an improved performance in this one.
For Japan, the starter is expected to be Shota Imanaga. In four innings for Japan, Imanaga has allowed one run on three hits and has struck out five.
Offensive Bright Spots
For the United States, Trea Turner has been absolutely lights out during the World Baseball Classic. In 19 at bats, he is hitting .368/.429/1.000 with four home runs, 10 runs batted in, and five runs scored.
Paul Goldschmidt (.333 avg, HR, 5 RBI, 8 R), Cedric Mullins (.333, HR, 2 RBI), Mike Trout (.318, HR, 7 RBI), Kyle Tucker (.333, HR, 4 RBI), and Tim Anderson (.313 avg, 5 RBI) have all had great tournaments as well.
For Japan, Masataka Yoshida has been on fire. In 19 at bats, he is hitting .474/.571/.842 with two home runs and 13 runs batted in.
Shohei Ohtani has also been electric, hitting .450 with a home run, eight runs batted in, nine runs scored, and nine walks during the tournament.
Who Will Win?
This one is a tough one to call. Neither Merrill Kelly nor Yu Darvish have impressed much during the World Baseball Classic, and both of these offenses are capable of putting runs up in bunches if the other side isn’t careful.
The secret weapon could be Shohei Ohtani. The Japanese manager wasn’t very forthright on whether Ohtani could pitch in this one, but having Ohtani could be a significant x-factor. After all, he has gone 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 8.2 innings of work.
Don’t be surprised if this one goes either way, and for that reason, the most value in this one is taking Japan and the +1.5 runs (-192).
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