The 2017 World Baseball Classic first-round pool play should conclude on Sunday. There are two games in Pool C and two in Pool D. The only way we see it bleed into Monday would be if there were tiebreaker games necessary. The big one here in North ...
The 2017 World Baseball Classic first-round pool play should conclude on Sunday. There are two games in Pool C and two in Pool D. The only way we see it bleed into Monday would be if there were tiebreaker games necessary. The big one here in North America will be USA facing off against our neighbor to the north, Canada. There are major implications in this game, too. And we’ll get to those. Here’s how you can watch the game: How to watchTeams: Canada vs. USADate: Sunday, March 12Time: 7:00 p.m. ETTelevision: MLB NetworkStreaming: MLB.tv PreviewConsider this a must-win game for both teams. Canada is 0-2 and obviously done with a loss, but if they win and Dominican Republic beats Colombia (which seems likely), then we’d have three teams sitting at 1-2 behind the 3-0 Dominican Republic. Then it all comes down to the tiebreakers, which starts with runs allowed. So we can’t know until the games are over on Sunday how things will stand, but we do know that Canada needs a win with as few runs allowed to USA as possible. For USA, it’s pretty simple. A win, in all likelihood, moves them on to the second round. The Dominican Republic is possibly the best team in the world and Colombia is just coming off its first-ever WBC victory on Saturday and that was over Canada. The best assumption is that Colombia will have lost by the time USA takes the field, meaning a win moves them on to the second round and a loss gets them caught in the quagmire of a tiebreaker scenario. USA has gotten huge pitching performances from Chris Archer and Marcus Stroman so far and that will probably continue on Sunday with Danny Duffy getting the ball. The 28-year-old lefty was 12-3 with a 3.56 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 161 2/3 innings as a starter last season for the Royals. He likely tired down the stretch as a result of his move back to the rotation, as his ERA was 2.61 as a starter through Aug. 21 (19 starts). He’ll be fresh now. On the opposite end, Canada will again send Ryan Dempster to the hill. He hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since 2013 and gave up four runs on seven hits in two innings to the Dominican Republic in the first game of pool play during the WBC this past week.
Needless to say, things heavily favor the United States on paper. They still need to play the game, though. Prediction:USA doesn’t screw around here and gets the job done, moving on to round two. I’ll say it’s 7-2. Here is
the full 2017 WBC schedule
as well as
the full rosters
. The championship game will be played March 22 at Dodger Stadium.
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