Mexico achieved the feat of advancing to the semifinals for the first time in the history of participating in the World Baseball Classic (WBC). Relatively, the value of the name is lower than that of the United States or other Latin American countries, but the players are united and are achieving the best results.
Mexico, which belongs to Group C in the first round of the finals, started off shaky, losing 4-5 in the first round against Colombia, but later defeated the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada in succession to advance to the quarterfinals as first place in the group. In particular, defeating the United States, the host country and one of the most likely candidates for the championship, 11-5 was one of the surprises of the tournament. Then, in the quarterfinals, they beat strong Puerto Rico 5-4 and joined the semifinals.
Although they have already exhausted their ace, Julio Urias (LA Dodgers), they are riding a formidable momentum, and Patrick Sandoval (26, LA Angels), one of the most reliable starting pitchers in the team, is predicted to appear in the semifinals. Sandoval started 27 major league games last year and recorded 6 wins and 9 losses with an ERA of 2.91. As a left-hander, he shows stable control and various breaking balls.
But bettors are skeptical of Mexico’s chances of reaching the final. The opponent in the quarterfinals, which will be held at Londippo Park in Miami, Florida, on the 21st at 8:00 am (Korean time), is Japan. They passed Group B of the finals with all wins (4 wins), and in the quarterfinals, they defeated Italy 9-3, and the momentum is burning.
In fact, even Japan can’t use its two most reliable starting pitchers for this game. These are Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) and Yu Darvish (San Diego). However, Japan is determined to go to the final by tying the two best pitchers in its league. While Rocky Sasaki (Chiba Lotte), who has already thrown a fastball of up to 164 km in this tournament, is highly likely to start, Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix), the best pitcher in Japanese professional baseball, is expected to support him.
According to ‘FOX BET’, odds makers in North America are making so-called buzzwords in Japan. Japan’s dividend is -227. If you bet $10, you get $14.41 back. Conversely, Mexico’s dividend is +175. If you bet $10, you get $27.50. The fact that Japan’s dividend is tight means that the probability of Japan’s victory is high. Still, even though it was the semifinals and Mexico was not the underdog, the gap widened wider than expected. 안전놀이터
‘FOX Sports’ commented on the odds difference, saying, ‘Ohtani can’t play, but 21-year-old Sasaki will start for Japan. Looking at his previous pitches, 21 out of 66 pitches were recorded at over 100 miles per hour (161 km),” paying attention to Sasaki’s fastball, saying, “Even if Sandobal can safely pass 3/4 innings, Japan has an answer for anything. It seems to be there,’ he said, highly evaluating Japan’s overall strength.
‘FOX Sports’ reported: ‘Masataka Yoshida hit a couple of extra hits against Italy, while Kensuke Kondo is looking for productive ways to hit and walk. Of course, Shohei Otani is, as always, elite,” he said. “The mix of MLB talent and young stars in the Nippon Professional Baseball League is so good.” He pointed out that even if he had bad luck in the bullpen, he had the ability to make up for it.