The World Baseball Classic championship game will be held on Tuesday, March 21. Team USA will take on Team Japan. First pitch from LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the game will air on FS1. Arizona Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly will start for the US, while Shoto Imanaga takes the mound for Japan.
The United States advanced to the championship game with a dominant semifinal win against Cuba. They won 14-2 and clobbered four total home runs. Trea Turner went deep twice, and Paul Goldschmidt and Cedric Mullins each sent a ball into the outfield seats. Kelly last pitched against Colombia in pool play. He threw three innings and gave up four hits and two earned while striking out one. The USA is the defending champion of the tournament.
Japan needed some late-inning theatrics to earn their win over Mexico in the semifinals. They were down one heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Shohei Ohtani doubled in the outfield gap, and new Boston Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida drew a walk. NPB hitting phenom Munetaka Murakami hit a ball off the wall, scoring two for the walk-off win. Japan won the first two tournaments and finished third in the two most recent.
Team USA is the moneyline favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. They have -140 odds, while Team Japan is the narrow underdog installed at +120.
USA vs. Japan
Date: Tuesday, March 21
Start time: 7 p.m. ET
TV channel: FS1
Live stream: Fox Sports Live, Fox Sports App, Sling TV