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World Baseball Classic: USA vs Puerto Rico Finals Preview

World Baseball Classic USA vs Puerto Rico Geoff Livingston via Flickr


World Baseball Classic USA vs Puerto Rico
Championship Game

New Blood

World Baseball Classic USA vs Puerto Rico: Team USA has advanced to their first final in the fourth installment of the World Baseball Classic. The USA knocked off defending champions, the Dominican Republic, in a win-or-go-home game during the second round, with 6-3 thriller. With a loss in Pool E to Puerto Rico, the USA will look to avenge. The USA has knocked out the only other two champions in WBC history. Led by a line up of major league All-stars, team USA was one of the early favorites in the tournament. Although, it took a little bit of Adam Jones magic to advance this far. Relying on strong showings from their starting pitchers, team USA has won most of their games as a result of giving up just one earned run in 21 innings pitched, in their wins. They’ve also showed their ability with the bat, as they have had timely hits to cash in runners. Other than one bad play, the USA has shined on defense, especially with Adam Jones robbing Manny Machado of a crucial home run.

The Surprise

Puerto Rico has gone undefeated in the tournament, which has had many somewhat surprised. After rolling through their first pool, many felt they would be on the outside looking in for the Semi-Final. After defeating both the USA and the Dominican Republic in the second group, fans started to believe. Puerto Rico would walk off against the Netherlands in an extra innings affair of the semi-finals. Puerto Rico has flourished on the backs of players like Lindor, Baez, Correa, and Molina. These leaders have been all team Puerto Rico has needed to help them advance to their second finals of the WBC.


Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman will take the mound against New York Mets pitcher Seth Lugo. Stroman has pitched twice in the tournament, going 0-1 but only allowing 4 ER in 9.1 IP. Stroman took a no decision after masterfully slicing his way through the Dominican all-star line-up, while not allowing a run. He would go on to lose against Puerto Rico in one of the few off-starts for the USA starters. Seth Lugo has pitched to a 2-0 record allowing only 3 runs in 11 innings pitched. Tonight’s game could be a strong pitchers duel, but the way the offenses are built it could be a relay.

Where To Watch

MLB Network: 9PM ET


Rogers Sports Net One

Rogers Sports Net* Scheduled to pick up at 10pm

*After completion of Toronto vs Colombus NHL Game