Get Ready-Some Of The Best Baseball Stars In The World Will Shine In The World Baseball Classic
Some fantastic baseball stars return to the world stage this week.
The highly anticipated World Baseball Classic will feature teams from 20 countries, four more since the Classic was last held in 2017.
The United States won the last World Baseball Classic in 2017, defeating Puerto Rico for the title.
Beginning with the first edition of The World Baseball Classic in 2006, the games are growing in popularity as well as celebratory names emerging.
The Classic has seen the following winners so far:
2006: Japan defeats Cuba
2009 – Japan defeats South Korea
2013 – Dominican Republic defeats Puerto Rico
2017 – USA defeated Puerto Rico.
This year odds makers have targeted the United States and Dominican Republic for the best odds.
The United States is in Pool C along with Canada, Colombia, the United Kingdom and Mexico.
All Pool C games will be played at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Dominican Republic is in Pool D along with Israel, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
All Pool D games are scheduled to be played at LoanDepot Park in Miami.
Pool C and Pool D games will be played between March 11th and March 15th.
Two teams advance from each pool.
About the contribution of the Dominican Republic:
The Dominican Republic will feature some of the game’s biggest stars.
First, how about an infield featuring Manny Machado (Padres), Rafael Devers (Red Sox), Wander Franco (Rays), Willy Adames (Brewers) and Jeremy Soto (Astros)?
Would you consider this group to be your star-studded outfield? The Dominican Republic will play outfielders in the Classic against Julio Rodriguez (Mariners), Juan Soto (Padres), Eloy Jimenez (White Sox) and Teoscar Hernandez (Mariners).
pitch? Not too shabby either. Led by Sandy Alcantara (Marlins), Luis Garcia (Astros), Johnny Cueto (Astros) and Christian Javier (Astros).
The Dominican bullpen is also loaded. You will be able to find Camilo Doval (Giants), Carlos Estevez (Angels), Jose LeClerc (Rangers), Gregory Soto (Phillies), Hector Neris (Astros), Rafael Montero (Astros), Enyel De Los Santos (Guardians) and challenging Yimi Garcia (Blue Jays), to name a few helpers.
Catchers include free agent Gary Sanchez and Francisco Mejia (Rays).
The United States is releasing some stars of its own:
The United States squad will try to compete with the Dominican Republic by adopting a very balanced approach at all positions.
Starting pitchers include Adam Wainwright (Cardinals), Miles Mikolos (Cardinals), Merrill Kelly (Diamondbacks), Lance Lynn (White Sox), Nick Martinez (Padres), Kyle Freeland (Rockies) and Brady Singer (Royals).
In the United States bullpen are Devin Williams (Brewers), Brooks Raley (Mets), Ryan Pressly (Astros), Adam Ottavino (Mets), Jason Adam (Rays), Daniel Bard (Rockies), David Bednar (Pirates) and Kendall Graveman (White Sox) to see.
JT Realmuto (Phillies), Will Smith (Dodgers) and Kyle Higashioka (Yankees) will handle the catching.
The infield includes stars like Pete Alonso (Mets), Tim Anderson (White Sox), Jeff McNeil (Mets), Bobby Witt (Royals), Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals) and Nolan Arenado (Cardinals).
The US team’s outfielders include Mookie Betts (Dodgers), Kyle Tucker (Astros), Kyle Schwarber (Phillies), Cedric Mullins (Orioles) and Mike Trout (Angels).
When it comes to a final between the Dominican Republic and the United States, baseball fans can witness an incredible lineup of the game’s best and brightest pitted against each other for bragging rights to the world.
Interesting World Baseball Classic rules and tidbits:
New MLB rules and regulations will not be applied at the World Baseball Classic. So look for the three-hour+ games we’ve seen a lot in the recent past. The bases will be reverted to the size they were prior to this spring training session – 15 inches square.
However, if a game is tied after nine innings, a runner starts each half-inning at second base, similar to MLB’s regular season rule.
To protect their arms, all World Baseball Classic pitchers will conduct strict pitch counts. A pitcher has a maximum of 65 pitches in a game during pool rounds.
A pitcher can throw a maximum of 80 pitches in one game in the quarterfinals and 95 pitches in the semifinals.
A pitcher must have a maximum of four days off after a 50-pitch game and a maximum of one day off after a 30-pitch game.
A pitcher may under no circumstances pitch three consecutive games.
A pitcher must face at least three batters or complete an inning before being removed, similar to Major League Baseball.
Managers may request a retest during the pool game and quarterfinals. This number increases to two resits in the semi-finals and finals.
During pool play, if a team leads by 15 or more runs after five innings or by 10 or more runs after seven innings, the game is called. In all other rounds, however, no “mercy” rules are applied. Teams are given a chance to get back into the game.
Some of MLB’s greatest players will compete in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
For this author, a possible clash between the Dominican Republic and the United States would result in an incredible final series.
Can a US team featuring Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Bobby Witt, Paul Goldschmidt and more stars from a similar galaxy bring out the best in Dominican Republic players like Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Julio Rodriguez and Rafael Devers?
We’ll find out soon.
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