United States vs. Japan in 2023 World Baseball Classic final FAQ

MIAMI – It’s the match every fan and gamer imagined at the start of the competition: Samurai Japan vs. Team U.S.A. in the World Baseball Classic last. 

“[I’m] proud to be wearing Japan across my chest, proud to be playing against the U.S., and I think it’s good for baseball,” Japan outfielder Lars Nootbaar stated ahead of the contest. “I think it’s good that Japan versus the U.S. is going to be in the finals. And personally, I’ve got some friends and got some teammates over there too, so it’s even more special and more exciting.”

Echoed U.S.A. outfielder Kyle Schwarber, “You obviously come for the experience and you come to play with this team. This group, it’s an exciting group. But you don’t come here just for that — you come to win.”

Japan is trying to find its 3rd title while Team U.S.A. is intending to go back-to-back after winning in 2017.

When is the video game and how can I see it?

Tonight at 7 p.m. ET on FS1 and the FOX Sports App. For worldwide seeing alternatives, click on this link. Live audio protection will be continued Sirius XM, TuneIn, MLB.com and in the MLB App.

Who are the beginning pitchers?

U.S.A.: This has actually not been formally revealed, however after the semifinals win on Sunday, supervisor Mark DeRosa stated, “Obviously, it looks like it’s Merrill Kelly’s day. We’ll discuss that a little bit more.”

Japan: There were reports that Yu Darvish may get the start — or possibly even Shohei Ohtani — however rather the group will rely on Shōta Imanaga. The southpaw has actually appeared in 2 video games in relief this competition, quiting one run in 4 innings and starting out 5. He pitched 143 2/3 innings for Yokohama last season, publishing a 2.26 AGE.

What are the predicted beginning lineups?

U.S.A. is dealing with a lefty starter for the 3rd video game in a row. While they have actually fine-tuned their beginning lineups throughout the competition, this order provided success on Sunday versus Cuba.

Mookie Betts, RF
Mike Trout, CF
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Nolan Arenado, 3B
Kyle Schwarber, LF
Will Smith, C
Pete Alonso, DH
Tim Anderson, 2B
Trea Turner, SS

Other than moving Munetaka Murakami out of the clean-up area — in spite of his game-winning double, we can’t picture supervisor Hideki Kuriyama will tinker a good idea — Japan’s lineup has actually primarily remained the exact same. Barring catcher Yuhei Nakamura being rested, this is as near a surefire lineup as can be. 

Lars Nootbaar, CF
Kensuke Kondoh, RF
Shohei Ohtani, DH 
Masataka Yoshida, LF
Munetaka Murakami, 3B
Kazuma Okamoto, 1B
Tetsuto Yamada, 2B
Sosuke Genda, SS
Yuhei Nakamura, C

Turner followed up his quarterfinals-winning grand slam on Saturday with 2 crowning achievement in the semifinals on Sunday. The brand-new Phillies shortstop set a WBC record with 2 straight video games of 4 RBIs. He goes into the national championship slashing .368/.429/1.000 with a 1.429 OPS.

“Early in this, me, J.T. [Realmuto], and Schwarber were talking about Spring Training numbers, and I haven’t hit a homer in Spring Training in like four or five years or something like that,” Turner stated on Sunday. “So it’s kind of funny how it works out, but I don’t ask questions. I just go up there, and hopefully it continues on. We need one more win, so let’s get that last one.”

After being ice cold throughout the competition, the 3rd baseman appeared like the gamer coming off a historical 56 crowning achievement season in his last at-bat. He simply hardly missed his very first homer of the competition, however his deep blast sufficed to drive in 2 runs in Japan’s walk-off triumph. If this is the indication that his swing is back on track, Japan’s lineup simply got a lot much deeper.

Anything else fans might would like to know?

“Mentally, I will be prepared to throw,” Ohtani stated after Monday’s remarkable triumph. “But I’m obviously DHing, so it’s going to be hard to find a time to get hot in the bullpen.”

Sosuke Genda likewise has a damaged finger, however Kuriyama depends on his abilities on defense and has actually asked him to play through the injury.  

Sunday’s pitching efforts assisted keep U.S.A.’s bullpen fresh for the title video game. Had DeRosa contacted Kendall Graveman, Ryan Pressly or Devin Williams in the semifinals, they would not have actually been ensured to be offered on Tuesday.

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