Australia vs Cuba Prediction WBC 3/15/23

Australia vs Cuba Prediction WBC 3/15/23

 

WBC: Australia vs Cuba 

The World Baseball Classic quarterfinals are here, and Australia is set to take on Cuba in what promises to be an exciting matchup. The game is scheduled to take place on March 15, 2023, at the Tokyo Dome, Japan, with coverage on FS2 starting at 3:00 AM. Both teams have shown their capabilities in the previous rounds, and now they are looking to secure a place in the semi-finals. This article will provide an extended preview of both teams, including their strengths and weaknesses, probable pitchers, and recent performances. In the end, we will make a final prediction.

 

Australia

Australia has had an impressive run in the World Baseball Classic so far, winning three out of their four games in the group stage. They started their campaign with a dominant 12-2 win over China before losing to the tournament's hosts, Japan, 7-1. They bounced back with a thrilling 8-7 win over Korea before ending the group stage with an 8-3 win over the Czech Republic. The team has shown its batting prowess, scoring an average of 7.25 runs per game in the group stage.

Pitching has been one of Australia's strengths, with the team boasting of a solid rotation that can go toe-to-toe with any team in the competition. Steven Kent is expected to start the quarterfinal game against Cuba, and he will be looking to continue his excellent form in the tournament. Kent is a left-handed pitcher with a lot of experience, having played for several teams in the Australian Baseball League. In his last game against the Czech Republic, Kent pitched five scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and striking out four batters. He has not given up a run in the tournament yet, and his control and ability to change speeds make him a challenging pitcher to face.

Offensively, Australia has been led by a couple of players who have been exceptional in the tournament. Mitch Edwards has been the standout player, hitting .400 with a home run and four RBIs in four games. He has been well-supported by Aaron Whitefield, who has hit .375 with two home runs and six RBIs. If these two players can continue their form, Australia will be a tough team to beat.

 

Cuba

Cuba is a team that has a rich history in international baseball, having won three Olympic gold medals and several World Baseball Classic tournaments. The team has been impressive in the group stage, winning three out of their four games. They started their campaign with a dominant 13-4 win over Panama before losing to Italy 6-3. They bounced back with a 7-1 win over Taipei before ending the group stage with a 4-2 loss to the Netherlands. Cuba has shown its batting prowess, scoring an average of 7.25 runs per game in the group stage.

Yariel Rodriguez is expected to start the quarterfinal game against Australia, and he will be looking to continue his good form in the tournament. Rodriguez is a right-handed pitcher who has played for several teams in the Cuban National Series. In his last game against Taipei, Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits and striking out six batters. He has not given up a run in the tournament yet, and his control and ability to change speeds make him a challenging pitcher to face.

Offensively, Cuba has been led by a couple of players who have been exceptional in the tournament. Yoelkis Cespedes has been the standout player, hitting .500 with two home runs and five RBIs in four games. He has been well-supported by Frederich Cepeda, who has hit .308 with a home run and three RBIs. These two players will be crucial for Cuba's chances of advancing to the semi-finals. However, the team will need other players to step up and contribute if they want to beat a strong Australian side.

One area where Cuba might have a slight advantage over Australia is in their defense. The Cuban team has shown excellent fielding skills, committing only two errors in their four games in the group stage. In contrast, Australia has committed five errors in their four games, which could prove costly in a knockout game.

 

Prediction

One of the primary reasons why we predict a Cuban victory is their exceptional pitching, with Yariel Rodriguez expected to start the game. Rodriguez has been in outstanding form in the tournament, with a perfect record and an impressive 2.25 ERA. He has also shown excellent control, striking out an average of six batters per game. With Rodriguez on the mound, Cuba's pitching staff will pose a significant challenge to Australia's batting lineup.

Cuba's offense has also been red hot in the tournament, scoring a whopping 20 runs in their last two games. Yoelkis Cespedes and Frederich Cepeda have been instrumental in their team's success, providing consistent hitting and scoring opportunities. If these two players can continue their impressive form, Cuba's offense will be tough to stop.

While Australia has had a solid run in the tournament so far, their batting has not been as impressive as Cuba's. They have scored an average of 7.25 runs per game in the group stage, which is significantly lower than Cuba's 9.25 runs per game. Additionally, their probable starting pitcher, Steven Kent, has not been in the same form as Rodriguez, with no record and a relatively high ERA of 4.50. This could be a disadvantage for Australia, especially if they fail to provide enough run support for Kent.

In conclusion, Cuba has a strong chance of winning this game and covering the -2.5 spread. With an exceptional pitcher on the mound and a hot offense, they are poised to give Australia a tough challenge. 

 

Pick: Cuba -2.5 

 

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