The second round of the 2023 World Baseball Classic is underway and Team USA will play a win-or-go-home contest against Venezuela on Saturday. Venezuela went a perfect 4-0 and swept its way through Pool D to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. USA went 3-1 in Pool C to earn its spot in the second round.
We are now in the single-elimination portion of the WBC. The winner of Saturday night’s USA-Venezuela game will face Cuba in the first semifinal game Sunday. The winner of that game advances to the WBC Championship Game. You can view the full tournament schedule by clicking here. Now let’s move on to how you can watch Team USA’s clash with Canada.
Team USA vs. Venezuela how to watch
Date: Saturday, Mar. 18 | Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: loanDepot Park (Miami, Florida)
TV channel: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Odds: USA -135; VEN +105; O/U: 9
Starting pitchers: RHP Lance Lynn (USA) vs. LHP Martín Pérez (VEN)
Players to watch
Ronald Acuña Jr., Venezuela’s most dynamic player, had a relatively quite first round, going 3 for 15 without an extra-base hit. He also grounded into three double plays, and one of his three hits was an infield single. Venezuela’s other two outfielders picked up the slack — David Peralta and Anthony Santander are a combined 10 for 23 with three doubles, a triple, two homers, and 9 RBI through four games — but eventually Acuña must contribute. He’s a game-changing talent and Venezuela needs him against USA.
For the Americans, Mike Trout has done everything, combining standout center field defense with a thunderous performance at the plate (5 for 12 with a homer, five walks, and four strikeouts). Mookie Betts, Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, and Nolan Arenado have hit 1-2-3-4 in that order in every game and they are a combined 17 for 55 (.309) with four doubles, a triple, and a homer. The rest of the lineup has been a bit of a revolving door and hasn’t really gotten going though. Normally I would say USA is too talented for that continue, but in one single game, who knows? The bottom of the lineup could be the difference Saturday night.
I had USA being eliminated in the second round in my WBC bold predictions and I’m sticking with it. Venezuela steamrolled through a difficult Pool D — they trailed for a total of three innings in their four games and never by more than one run — while USA turned in a few uninspired performances in a not terribly imposing Pool C. For whatever reason the whole has been less than the sum of the parts for the Americans.
Pick: Venezuela 7, USA 3