Can Anyone Stop Japan?

World-Baseball-Classic1

The 2013 World Baseball Classic is about to get underway as the best team in the world will once again be determined. The WBC has been an awakening, of sorts, in the baseball world as the tournament has shocked the original thought of the best teams in the world. Before 2006 many just assumed that the USA was were the best players came from with the Caribbean countries producing some very good talent as well. Then the 2006 tournament came about and the Asian countries bucked the system showing their talents. The Japanese would win the first WBC with Cuba, South Korea, and The Dominican Republic rounding out the top four spots. The USA was nowhere near the top and that would change everything people once thought about the baseball world. The first tournament would lead to an increase in international scouting and would give birth to sensations like Daisuke Matsuzaka and Yu Darvish. After one tournament the baseball world would change completely with an entirely new world opened up and the game becoming a truly international sport. The process would continue in 2009 when the Japanese would once again win the tournament with South Korea, Venezuela, and the USA rounding out the top four. The tournament has become something more than just a way to determine the best team in baseball though, as it has become a way for nations to showcase their talent. Countries have been getting better and better every year with place like Venezuela, Japan, Dominican Republic, all boasting more and more MLB players every year. The 2013 tournament will be no different as teams look to showcase their talent and try to make an impression in the sport. Many countries will not see a lot of success in the tournament but will show that they belong. Meanwhile the top teams will fight for superiority with Japan looking to make it three for three at the World Baseball Classic. As Japan looks for their third straight title the USA, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela will be looking to challenge them. Meanwhile Cuba, Korea, The Netherlands, and Canada are all looking to enter the top-tier of the tournament and surprise everyone. It will be another great tournament with plenty of great storylines but who will come out on top in the 2013 World Baseball Classic?

 

Pool 1

Pool 1

Pool 1 will pit the best of the Asian side of the pool together and will include a number of big teams. Japan will be the leader as they are always a favorite to win the tournament after two straight WBC titles. They will be back but not as strong as the past two tournaments with some of their top players remaining in the USA for spring training. In fact the team will likely not win their pool as the Cubans will have a very deep team that will challenge them. The Cubans are looking to a very deep pool of talent to get back to the top four this year and maybe even further. The battle between Japan and Cuba will be an entertaining one but the fact is that both teams will likely make it to the second round in pool 1. Joining them will be a surprise team in the Netherlands who many would not see as a great team but one that has won the European Championships more than any other country. They will not dominate the pool but will squeak in just behind the powerhouse Korean team. Korea has been a factor in every WBC and this year will be the same as they will take the pool and earn a spot in the second round. As these four teams face off in the double elimination round the matchups will be key as it only takes two loses to be eliminated. The Netherlands will have had a good tournament but the fact is they will not be able to match up against the other teams in Pool 1. The pool will come down to three teams as the Cubans, Japanese, and Koreans will have to avoid losing their games to move on into the semi-finals. In the end it will be the Pool A teams who make it through as Japan will get their revenge for losing the opening pool beating Cuba while the Koreans will not be able to keep up with a very powerful Cuban team. In the end it will be Japan and Cuba into the Semi-Finals while the Netherlands and Korea will see their tournaments end.

Prediction:
1. Japan
2. Cuba
3. South Korea
4. Netherlands

 

Pool 2

Pool 2

Pool 2 will be a little different from the first pool as teams in this pool will have the luxury of staying in the USA to play all of their games. These teams will also represent some of the most powerful lineups in the tournament. Both the Venezuelans and Dominicans have a lineup that most teams envy with a lot of power that will be on display in the pool stages. The Dominicans will likely come out on top in the pool although their game against the Venezuelans is a must watch. Venezuela will take the second spot although they will be a very dangerous team in Pool 2. Joining these two teams will be the Americans and Canadians who would move on from Pool D. The USA has a team completely made up of MLB players and although they are not as explosive as the Dominicans or Venezuelans but they are a very solid team. They also have some added motivation as they have not won the tournament and yet are the birthplace of the sport. The Canadians have the best roster they have ever put on the field with more MLB players than ever and are looking to finally make an impact in this tournament.  They do not have the top tier talent that other teams have although they have a reputation of never giving up and could pull off an upset. This pool will be an exciting one to watch with some of the best players in the MLB all taking the field at the same time. The games will be exciting in Pool 2 with some very good talent throughout the teams but the cream will rise to the top. The Canadians are better than ever but they do not have the firepower to match up with these teams. They may get one win in Pool 2 but they will be eliminated as their tournament will be ended. The USA will have a few good battles in the pool but again they will not match up to the power held by the other team teams. In the end it will be the Dominican Republic and Venezuela who will overpower the USA and Canada for a berth in the semi-finals.

Prediction:
1. Venezuela
2. Dominican Republic
3. USA
4. Canada

 

Semi-Finals
Venezuela 8 – 4 Japan
– The Japanese are a good team but they are not as strong as they once were and this year their reign as WBC champions will end against a very powerful and very good Venezuelan team who will overpower the Japanese pitching

Dominican Republic 6 – 4 Cuba
– The Dominicans likely have the best roster in the tournament while the Cubans are a bit unknown as this game will be a close one with the Cuban pitching staff throwing hard to try to stop the Dominicans but it won’t happen that easily as they will break through to win the game

 

Third Place Game
Japan 2 – 1 Cuba
– Japan will have a disappointing tournament as they will not win another title but that won’t stop them from finishing near the top as they take on the Cubans in what should be a good pitching battle with the Japanese coming out on top

 

Finals
Venezuela 12 – 11 Dominican Republic
– The finals will come down to two teams that will battle throughout the entire tournament with both taking their wins and losses against each other but in the end it will be Venezuela who will come out on top in a big offensive battle

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Comments
One Response to “Can Anyone Stop Japan?”
  1. cflsteve says:

    Just like we began to see in basketball when pros were allowed from the NBA the US best players did not want to play. Now that we are getting the best players to play and many top countries players who now play in the NBA are beginning to stop playing as they get older the US comes back on top again.
    For the world baseball classic it does not hold as much prstige as the Olympics so we may indeed see Japan as the favorite as they do have the second best pro baseball league in the world which is made up of Majority of Japan players allowing only two imports per team. Where as the MLB there are no rules it is not a US baseball league as it accepts players from around the world with no limits

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