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World Baseball Classic 2023 Preview

Baseball, MLB article at Knup Sports

The 2023 World Baseball Classic kicked off on Tuesday March 7th. Read this article to see Ian’s take on who can win it, and also for a look into the exciting players competing in the event.

This year’s World Baseball Classic features 20 different teams loaded with tremendous talent from all across the globe. The three host countries are Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. This will be the fifth iteration of the World Baseball Classic.

The anticipation behind this event is quite impressive. On March 8th, Jon Morosi, an American sportswriter and reporter, shared this message on Twitter. “The Mexico vs. United States game Sunday at Chase Field is officially sold out.”

The capacity of Chase Field sits right around 48,500. Clearly, this makes the event one of the most awaited events in North America this year. The tournament, lasting two full weeks, is quite the way to kick off the baseball season, bringing in an abundance of top players from all over the earth.

The Favorite: Dominican Republic

As it stands now, there are three teams who separate themselves at the top in respect to the odds that they will win the whole thing. These teams, probably to nobody’s surprise, are the Dominican Republic, USA and Japan. In the WBC’s of the past, these are actually the only teams that have won it, with Japan being two-time champs.

First, we will look at this year’s favorite, the Dominican Republic team. They are loaded with talent in the lineup, including Juan Soto, Julio Rodriguez, Manny Machado, Rafael Devers, Wander Franco, Jeremy Pena, Willy Adames, Ketel Marte, and Jean Segura.

Some of the Dominican arms include 2022 NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara, Christian Javier, Camilo Doval, Diego Castillo, and Gregory Soto. To say this team is loaded is probably an understatement, as they definitely are capable of displaying fireworks throughout this WBC.

The Loaded US Lineup

Next up, the US team, which will have a tremendously dangerous lineup that is projected to lack any liability. The prospective leader of this team is Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout, and he will be accompanied in the lineup by a number of weapons. These bats include Mookie Betts, Cedric Mullins, Kyle Tucker, Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner, Tim Anderson, Paul Goldschmidt, Pete Alonso, Nolan Arenado, JT Realmuto, and Will Smith.

However, on paper, their pitching lacks the firepower that the Dominican has. Guys like Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Kendall Graveman, Devin Williams, and Ryan Pressley headline the pitchers on this roster. These guys, along with the pitchers I didn’t mention, will make or break the US chances at hoisting the trophy at the end of the WBC.

Team Japan’s Impressive Arms

When looking at Japan’s roster, you are probably more excited about their pitchers, and rightfully so. The MLB arms of Yu Darvish and Shohei Ohtani headline this group. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, an impressive hurler in the Nippon Professional Baseball league, and Roki Sasaki, a young sensation for the Chiba Lotte, round out some of the best pitchers on this 2023 roster.

Don’t forget about their bats however. Guys like Munetaka Murakami and Tetsuto Yamada
Are ready to make a lot of noise for Japan, along with St. Louis Cardinal Lars Nootbaar and of course the two-way star Shohei Ohtani. This Japan team may not get the attention they deserve, but that won’t phase them as they vie for the crown.

Truly a World-Wide Sport

With the talent I have mentioned above, it truly shows how universal the game of baseball is. There is talent all across the globe, and in an event as vast as this one, they get to showcase their skills for not only their country to see, but the whole world to see.

This year’s World Baseball Classic is lining up to be full of entertaining, and instant-classic games. If you aren’t tuning in, you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to watch talented ballplayers from around the world showcase their skills on national television.

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