The 2023 World Baseball Classic is in its definitive stage and that is why this coming Monday we will enjoy an impressive semifinal game when Mexico vs Japan face each other.
The Mexicans made it to this stage of the tournament for the first time in history after defeating Puerto Rico in the round of 16 by a score of 4-5, while the Japanese have become regular contenders and defeated Italy 3-9 in their last match.
Without further ado, at JefeBet we bring you the best preview of the semifinal match of the World Classic between two baseball powerhouses such as Mexico vs Japan.
Predictions and Betting Preview for the Mexico vs Japan WBC Game on March 20, 2023
Where will the Mexico vs Japan WBC game be played?
The game between Mexico vs Japan for the semifinal of the 2023 World Baseball Classic will be played at LoanDepot Park in Miami.
When will the Mexico vs Japan WBC game be played?
Mexico vs Japan for the semifinal of the World Baseball Classic 2023 will be played next Monday, March 20 at 7:00 PM E.T.
All quotes are courtesy of DraftKings.
Betting on Mexico
- WBC 2023 Record: 4-1
- Best Position: 6th place (2006)
- Runline: (+1.5, +115)
- Moneyline: (+205)
- Over/Under: 8
Mexico made history last weekend by reaching the semifinals of the World Classic for the first time, and they can continue to extend that legacy when they face Japan. The team coached by Benjamín Gil has only one loss in the championship and has already beaten favorite teams such as the United States, also a semifinalist, and Puerto Rico.
Before the latter, the Mexicans showed great grit by coming from behind after allowing four runs in the same first episode. Starter Julio Urias was quickly attacked, but from then on, the pitching completely shut down the Puerto Rican attack.
Proof of this good performance is that Mexico’s pitching staff remains the fourth most effective in the tournament with 3.33 and opponents are hitting just .211. His main problem, however, has been keeping the ball in the park, as he has hit six homers so far.
On the offensive side, the runs have come at the right time for Mexico. Without devastating records, the offense has scored 32 goals in the tournament and are the fourth country with the most tickets received with 22.
In the batters’ box, Randy Arozarena, who not only made a great play in left field to seal the victory against Puerto Rico, but he is one of the best hitters of the championship with a .479 average (17-8) with five doubles, nine tows, and a 1.556 OPS.
As for the starter for this game, Gil opted for left-hander Patrick Sandoval, who is part of the Anaheim Angels and was the winner of the duel against the USA. In that game he worked three episodes of three hits, one clean run, two tickets, and two strikeouts.
Starting Pitcher: Patrick Sandoval (1-0, 3.00).
Betting on Japan
- WBC 2023 Record: 5-0
- Best Position: Champion (2016, 2009)
- Runline: (-1.5, -135)
- Moneyline: (-245)
- Over/Under: 8
With the loss of the Dominican Republic, Japan joined the United States as the two favorites to win this edition of the World Baseball Classic. The Japanese have been a true steamroller, remaining undefeated so far and leading the main offensive and pitching categories in the championship.
On the mound, they are the leaders in effectiveness with 1.80 after 45 innings of work and have a WHIP of 0.69 thanks to the fact that they have only given up five tickets and fanned 43 opponents. However, like Mexico, their biggest weakness is keeping the ball in the ballpark, as they have hit five home runs.
Offensively, things don’t change much. So far, they collectively average .313 and no one has scored more than their 47 runs. In addition, they have six home runs and a .996 OPS after getting more tickets (49) than strikeouts (42).
In the batting box, manager Hideki Kuriyama has counted on the support of two big stars: Shohei Ohtani and Masataka Yoshida. The Angels star is hitting .438 with a home run and eight RBIs, while the new Red Sox outfielder is averaging .400 and leading the Classic in RBIs with 10.
To face Mexico on Monday, Kuriyama announced young sensation Roki Sasaki. The 21-year-old right-hander is capable of throwing over 102 miles per hour (164.15 km/h), and last season he pitched 17 perfect innings in his home league. In his only appearance in the tournament he worked 3.2 innings, with one earned run, two walks and eight strikeouts against the Czech Republic.
Starting Pitcher: Roki Sasaki (1-0, 0.00).
This Monday, we will have a tough matchup between two great baseball countries that have proven to have great pitching in the championship.
Mexico dominated offenses such as those of the United States and Puerto Rico, while Japan, despite playing against much more accessible opponents, showed their talent by not conceding anything to their opponents.
As for the pitching duel, Sandoval has major league experience and Sasaki has done what few have accomplished on the mound in a league as complicated as Japan’s, including a perfect game.
With balanced arms, everything will be defined by the offense, where Japan’s offense is much more compact with only the presence of the best player in MLB today: Shohei Ohtani. The Japanese have not disappointed in the batting box, although they will now face the best pitching they have seen in the tournament. Something that I don’t really think will affect them much.
Prediction: Japan wins (MEX 2 – JAP 5).