It’s the World Baseball Classic final, and the two best teams in the tournament are facing off. Pitcher keep reading to find out which prop bets we think are the best for tonight’s matchup at LoanDepot Park.
It’s time for the 2023 World Baseball Classic final, and the battle between Japan and the United States is exactly what baseball fans and gamblers have been waiting for.
It’s safe to assume that the final game will have the same exciting atmosphere as the rest of this year’s World Baseball Classic. Let’s up the ante with some no-risk baseball prop bets.
While facing Mexico in the semis, Japan’s batters were silenced early on, but can that happen again when they face American right-hander Merrill Kelly? The start of this matchup is also a potential occurrence. Who is most likely to successfully defuse a bomb?
The finest prop bets I think you can make on the World Baseball Classic final are listed below. Before the first pitch, you should also read Josh Inglis’ entire predictions for the game between the USA and Japan.
USA vs Japan prop picks
Lineup runs deep
Munetaka Murakami’s walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Japan a 6-5 victory over Mexico in the semi-finals. The Japanese powerhouse offense struggled to get going, but eventually managed to score six runs.
Los Angeles Angels starter Patrick Sandoval was superb, keeping the Japanese hitters quiet for the first several innings. In the semifinals, the left-hander was nasty, limiting the Japanese to just four hits while striking out six in the first four and a third innings of the game.
The lefty’s hit-and-miss stuff allowed him to be quite successful against a Japanese lineup that is stacked with lefties. It’s possible that Merrill Kelly, the opening pitcher for the United States, won’t do as well.
The right-handed pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks has a 7.8 K/9 and lasted only three innings in his debut World Baseball Classic start against Columbia, giving two runs on four hits with one strikeout.
It’s not just Kelly, either; the American team’s pitching has been its downfall so far. The team’s ERA is 4.33, and their opponents are hitting.265 against them.
Shohei Ohtani, Lars Nootbar, Masataka Yoshida, and Munetaka Murakami are just a few of the MLB and NPB players that populate Japan’s deep lineup. The team’s 8.8 runs per game and first-place OPS both lead the tournament.
The Over on their team total of 4.5 seems like a good bet tonight, as they have scored at least six runs in each of their six tournament games.
It’s been pointed out that Merril Kelly may have a tough time navigating the Japanese squad. The right-hander ranks in the bottom third of Major League Baseball in both barrel percentage and whiff rate because he just doesn’t miss many bats. Kelly will now play against Japan, the squad with the most hits in the tournament.
Shota Imanaga, a left-handed pitcher who relies on contact, will start for Japan, where they have arguably the strongest collection of right-handed hitters ever assembled. He’ll face off against some of baseball’s best hitters, including Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Paul Goldschmidt, and Nolan Arenado, in the opening inning. No. 9 batter Trea Turner is likely the team’s hottest hitter right now, so things won’t improve much farther down the lineup.
Also, in half of Japan’s games, a run has been scored in the first inning, while it has happened in all but one of the United States’ games.
Both of these lineups look formidable, and they’ll be facing starters who may struggle early on.
Realmuto Housewives of the WBC
Trea Turner is having a World Series-caliber tournament. He has hit.368 with a 1.429 OPS and four home runs in his last four games of the tournament.
Yet that doesn’t make him my preferred home run hitter in the finals.
J.T. Realmuto, with a plus-600 bet, takes the cake. The catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies is completely focused on his at-bat. Despite not having hit a home run yet in the WBC, Realmuto leads the United States with a 1.511 OPS and is third in slugging percentage at.875, after going 5-for-8 with a walk in his first three games.
Over the past few years, Realmuto has established himself as one of MLB’s top hitters from behind the plate. Throughout his three full seasons with the Phillies, he has hit an average of 21.3 home runs per year while maintaining an OPS of.811.
Tonight, he’ll be squaring off against Imanaga, who last season in the NBP struck out only 8.6 batters per nine innings. This could be important information for your baseball betting strategy.