Team USA advanced last night to their first ever World Baseball Classic Final, after defeating 2-time WBC champ Japan with a score of 2-1. The United Sates will play Puerto Rico, who is undefeated throughout the tournament. The title game will be played Wednesday night at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. First pitch is scheduled for 6 pm MT.
Marcus Stroman pitcher of the Toronto Blue Jays is set to start for USA. Stroman had previously started against Puerto Rico in pool play allowing four runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. The key to Stroman succeeding tonight is keeping his emotions in check from both the previous game as well as choosing to pitch for Team USA rather than Puerto Rico where his mother comes from. Paul Goldschmidt of The Arizona Diamondbacks is scratched from tonights starting lineup, although he is considered to be one of the top-5 first baseman in MLB. The reasoning behind Goldschmidts absence remains unknown. The Diamondbacks themselves perhaps may have asked Team USA to limit his actions in order to keep him fresh for opening day.
Team Puerto Rico:
This team is dangerous both defensively and offensively with 2-3-4 batters, Fransisco Lindor, Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran. This trio is the heart of Team PR and will create the most damage. Once Stroman is able to control them, the rest of the lineup should be manageable. This will be the biggest test that Team USA had throughout the entire tournament.