Team USA thumped Cuba on Sunday night to earn a berth in the 2023 World Baseball Classic final. On Monday night, it's time to figure out the Americans' next opponent. That brings us to the other semifinal between Japan, who's undefeated in 2023 WBC play thus far, and Mexico. Japan earned their way to the "final four" of the WBC with a 9-3 win over Italy. Meanwhile, Mexico made it the semis for the first time ever with a tense 5-4 upset victory over Puerto Rico.
You can view the full tournament results and schedule by clicking here. Now let's move on to how you can watch Japan-Mexico.
Japan vs. Mexico how to watch
Date: Monday, March 20 | Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: loanDepot Park (Miami)
TV channel: FS1 | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Odds: Japan -250; Mexico +200; O/U: 8.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Starting pitchers: RHP Roki Sasaki (Japan) vs. LHP Patrick Sandoval (Mexico)
Players to watch
The 21-year-old Sasaki makes the start for Japan. He regularly hits triple digits with his fastball, and in addition to multiple flavors of breaking ball he's also got a devastating splitter. The expectation is that one day Sasaki will make his way to MLB, but for now his full focus is on getting Japan to the finals. He's coming off a dominating start against the Czech Republic in pool play.
The lefty Sandoval, of the Los Angeles Angels, gets the nod for Mexico, but we'll shout out Randy Arozarena of the Rays as the one to watch for Mexico. The outfielder came into this WBC with a career MLB postseason line of .333/.417/.705 in 31 playoff games and a 2020 ALCS MVP award. Arozarena's knack for delivering when it matters most has continued in this WBC, as he enters the semifinals with a slash line of .471/.625/.941 for the tourney, and that's to say nothing of his game-saving catch against Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals. Given Japan's big edge in pitching, Arozarena will probably need to conjure up another big moment in order for Mexico to pull off the upset.
As just noted, the pitching matchup definitely figures to favor Japan in this one, and we'll say that expectations hold. Sasaki turns into a dominating performance, and Japan moves on to face the U.S.
Pick: Japan 4, Mexico 1