Who Oddsmakers Peg As Favorite In United States-Japan WBC Title Game

It's quite the showdown for the WBC crown


Mar 20, 2023

It will be a matchup of baseball titans in the championship bout of the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday night.

While the United States coasted to the title game by routing Cuba, Japan came from behind with some help from Boston Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida to earn a thrilling 6-5 walk-off victory over Mexico on Monday night.

The United States is looking to claim back-to-back WBC titles while Japan will be on a mission to add to their trophy collection after they won the first two WBC tournaments.

Oddsmakers see it obviously as a tight matchup, but are leaning toward the United States as a favorite and making Japan a slight underdog. FanDuel Sportsbook gave the United States -145 odds to win while Japan has +115 odds as of Monday night at 11 p.m. ET.

The team in red, white and blue is expected to send Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Merrill Kelly to the mound to start the game. It doesn’t seem like Kelly will be opposed by Japanese two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, who didn’t rule out making an appearance in relief, or even Yu Darvish for that matter. Instead, Japan plans to go with lefty Shota Imanaga, per reports.

The United States will try to keep their offense humming against the 29-year-old as their bats have really come alive during the knockout round. They combined to score 25 runs in their wins over Venezuela and Cuba.

It’s setting up to be quite the showdown to a tournament that has already delivered plenty of big-time moments. And it wouldn’t be a surprise if there’s one more on deck.

Thumbnail photo via Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports Images

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