2023 World Baseball Classic Pool D: Who will advance? Teams, schedule, venue, top players
Some of the strongest baseball teams in the world make up Pool D, including the country expected by many to take home the title: the Dominican Republic.
The World Baseball Classic is about to begin after a break made longer by the pandemic. The wait has only made the anticipation that much greater, especially with so many excellent players being fielded this year.
The team highly touted to win this year’s competition, the Dominican Republic, is part of Pool D, which also includes other very strong countries.
Which teams are competing in Pool D?
Twenty teams are fighting it out in the Classic this year, up from 16 of previous years. They are divided into four pools of five, and the two best teams will move on to the knockout round.
Pool D is considered to be the group with the most talent in the 2023 Classic. It is composed of number one team Dominican Republic, Israel, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. The games will be held at LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida.
When are Pool D’s games taking place?
Pool D’s games will be held from March 11 to 15, 2023.
Who are the top players of the Pool D teams?
The Dominican Republic boasts a formidable lineup, which is why they are favored by oddsmakers to emerge the winner of the World Baseball Classic. Talented infielders Manny Machado, Rafael Devers, and Jeremy Pena as well as AL Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez make up a tough team to beat.
The underdogs that pulled off surprise upsets in 2017 have San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson on their roster this year. Pederson is fresh from an outstanding season, where he recorded .274/.353/.521 when he debuted with the Giants.
Nicaragua will be banking on their talented pitching unit, and most especially on the New York Yankees’ Jonathan Loáisiga, in their World Baseball Classic campaign. He bears an 18-9 tally with a 3.55 ERA.
Francisco Lindor is the main weapon of Team Puerto Rico. He has already signed a huge new contract with the New York Yankees. Lindor posted excellent numbers at the 2017 WBC, and he will try to have the same success this month.
Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves has been hounded by injuries for the past two seasons. Despite the lack of playing time on the field, he still racked up 39 home runs and 46 bases stolen during that period.
Which teams will advance in Pool D?
The lineup of the Dominican Republic looks rock-solid and extremely difficult to beat. Venezuela may not have the quantity of big league stars that other teams do, but their deep group of pitchers could spell the difference.
Prediction: Dominican Republic and Venezuela