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Italy vs Japan Predictions, Picks, Odds, and Betting Preview | Mar 16 2023

Italia vs Japon
Shohei Ohtani of Japan, center, celebrates with teammate Lars Nootbaar after hitting home run against Australia during their Pool B game at the World Baseball Classic at the Tokyo Dome Sunday, March 12, 2023, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

The second match of the World Baseball Classic 2023 quarterfinals first knockout stage will be played this coming Thursday with this Italy vs Japan game.

The Europeans qualified with a 2-2 record in the hard-fought Group A, as they finished with the second-best ratio of clean runs allowed per outs made. For their part, the Asians fulfilled their role as favorites by topping Group B undefeated.

Without further ado, at JefeBet we bring you the best preview of the stellar Italy vs Japan match. Keep reading to find out more.

Predictions and Betting Preview for the Italy vs Japan WBC Game on March 16, 2023

Italy vs Japan Predictions Picks Betting Odds WBC Mar 16 2023

Where will the Italy vs Japan WBC game be played?

Italy vs Japan, corresponding to the World Baseball Classic 2023 quarterfinals, will be played at the Tokyo Dome in Japan.

When will the Italy vs Japan WBC game be played?

Italy vs Japan, corresponding to the World Baseball Classic 2023 quarterfinals, will be played next Thursday, March 16, at 6:00 AM E.T.

Betting on Italy

Italy vs Japan Predictions Picks Betting Odds WBC Mar 16 2023
  • WBC 2023 Record: 7-12
  • Best Position: 7th place (2013)
  • Runline: (+4.5, -130)
  • Moneyline: (+800)
  • Over/Under: 8

In its fifth participation in the World Baseball Classic, the Italian team qualified for the second time to the second round of the tournament after finishing second in Group A.

When all seemed lost on the last day of the group stage against the Netherlands, the Europeans relied on their experience participating in the event to win the match 1-7 and finish the round with 15 clean runs allowed in 36 episodes.

That performance propelled the Italians into what is so far considered the tightest group in the history of the tournament after the five nations finished with a record of two wins and two losses.

However, the joy will probably be short-lived for Mike Piazza’s team. Having one of the worst offenses in the first part of the event, this Thursday not only will they have to face one of the favorites to win the Classic, but they will also see Shohei Ohtani’s face on the mound.

Along with Israel, the Azzurri finished their first five games without a home run and only three of the eight batters took at least 10 at-bats surpassing .300.

On Wednesday, Piazza announced that Ryan Castellani, the Oakland Athletics’ big-league right-hander, will be the starting pitcher. He opened the game against Chinese Taipei and allowed three hits with two runs and one walk in two innings.

Starting Pitcher: Ryan Castellani (0-0, 9.00 ERA)

Betting on Japan

Italy vs Japan Predictions Picks Betting Odds WBC Mar 16 2023
  • WBC 2023 Record: 27-8
  • Best Position: Champion (2006, 2009)
  • Runline: (-4.5, +110)
  • Moneyline: (-1250)
  • Over/Under: 8

Japan comes into the game as the clear favorite to reach the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic not only because it finished undefeated in Group B, but also because it will be playing in front of its home fans and against an Italian team with not much offensive firepower.

Actually, this last fact will be key in the development of Thursday’s game, since the Japanese finished the group stage with an incredible 1.50 efficiency, the best of the tournament, allowing only six clean runs in 36 episodes pitched.

Japan’s pitching was so dominant that only South Korea scored more than two runs against it, and it totaled 54 strikeouts for only drew four walks.

But, as if the solidity on the mound were not enough, Hideki Kuriyama’s team had one of the most powerful offenses of the round, scoring 38 runs, two less than the 40 runs scored by Korea after a 22-2 thrashing against China.

The Asians also hit for a .326 average, with four home runs, an OPS of 1.001 and drew an absurd 41 walks. The best hitter was Shohei Ohtani, who finished with a .500 average (12-6) with three doubles, a home run, and eight runs.

Ohtani will be Japan’s starting pitcher on Thursday. The Anaheim Angels’ star was consecrated as the MVP of the first round in Group B after his offensive display and the great start he made in the game against China, where he worked four blank innings, with only one hit allowed and five strikeouts.

Starting Pitcher: Shohei Ohtani (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

JefeBet Prediction

There is not much to be said about this Italy vs Japan game. Italy is a respectable opponent indeed, but it doesn’t have enough offense to pose a threat to Japan’s stellar pitching.

The Europeans were one of the two teams that failed to hit a home run in the first round. Plus, when considering the teams that made it to the quarterfinals, they scored the second-fewest runs, pending the Dominican Republic’s performance against Puerto Rico.

Japan, on the other hand, has a very complete team. Not only do they have a very solid pitching staff, but their offense is also completely insane, scoring seven or more runs in every game.

Prediction: Over (ITA 2 – JAP 7)

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