By Edward Egro
FOX Sports MLB Betting Analyst
If it still hurts to bet on the Dominican Republic winning the World Baseball Classic, let’s hope they haven’t tried to make up for it by investing in Puerto Rico. This part of the bracket has been almost as shocking as any time in WBC history.
Sure, Mexico has star power like Randy Arozarena and Julio Urías, but having Joey Meneses and Rowdy Tellez as WBC stars, labeling them a “Team of Destiny” may be appropriate.
His toughest test, however, will come Monday night in Miami in a quarter-final against the reigning favorite in Japan. No team has a higher OPS (.996) or lower ERA (1.80).
So how should we bet on it? Odds courtesy of FOX Bet.
Mexico vs. Japan at LoanDepot Park, Miami, Monday at 7 pm ET, FS1 and Fox Sports App
Point difference: no line available
money line: Japan -213 favorite to win (bet $10 to win $14.69 total); Mexico +160 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $26 total)
Total score more/less than: no line available
Due to the number of pitches and MLB commitments, there may be more factors than usual for managers to consider when choosing starters. For example, we probably saw the last of Shohei Ohtani on the mound in the WBC. Because he is scheduled to start the Los Angeles Angels’ Opening Day on March 30, having him pitch in the semifinals or finals would be too close to that game, so the expectation was always to make Ohtani the starter. of quarterfinals.
Instead, 21-year-old Roki Sasaki will start for Team Japan. To put his previous WBC start into perspective: Out of 66 pitches, 21 of them were timed over 100 mph! When someone that young can throw that hard, stamina may be the last thing to worry about.
Shohei Ohtani & Japan vs Mexico World Baseball Classic Semifinal Preview
Ben Verlander and Alex Curry bring you everything you need to know about the semifinal game between Team Japan and Team Mexico. Roki Sasaki will be on the mound for Team Japan.
Mexico hasn’t faced that type of flamethrower very often in the WBC, except in their first match against Colombia. Guillermo Zúñiga was able to reach 102 mph, throwing two solid innings, striking out four and allowing just one hit. It was the only match that Mexico has lost so far in the tournament (5-4).
Mexico’s pitching will start with Patrick Sandoval, a lefty for the Angels who relies on a sinker who ranked in the top 20 in run value last season (-8), and is also a wizard whose spin on his curveball is ranked in the 87th percentile in the MLB last time out. season. He’s second in the Angels’ rotation for a reason, behind Ohtani (that matchup this game is going to be awesome).
Even if Sandoval can get out of three or four innings unscathed, Japan seems to have an answer for anything. Masataka Yoshida had a couple of hard-hitting balls against Italy, Kensuke Kondoh has been finding ways to be productive with extra-base hits and walks, and of course Ohtani has been his usual elite self with a .625 OBP. The mix of MLB talent and young stars from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League has meshed so well that they can afford to be patient until they can attack a hapless reliever.
If you want another reason to back the favorites, Yu Darvish, one of the most world-renowned pitchers on his staff, came out of the bullpen in the quarterfinals. Japan wanted to ensure that Italy could not mount a serious comeback. You know a pitching staff is deep when one of the most dangerous pitchers in MLB this season was the setup man. As expected, Darvish was effective, allowing one earned run in two innings of work.
Mexico has been a fantastic story, advancing more than ever in this WBC. However, my top-tier pick to win this tournament hasn’t given me any reason to walk away from them now, especially if the payout is favourable. Traveling around the world doesn’t bother me. Facing a “Team of Destiny” doesn’t faze me either.
I’m betting on Japan on the money line.
CHOOSE: Japan (-213 money line on FOX Bet) to win outright
Edward Egros is a sports analysis broadcaster/writer, sports betting analyst, data scientist, and adjunct professor of statistics at Pepperdine University. These passions have led him to become a fan of cold beer. Edward previously worked on local television, especially on the Fox affiliate in Dallas, covering the Rangers, Cowboys, and high school football. follow him on youwitter @EdConSports.
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