2023 World Baseball Classic best bet for Friday, March 10: Darvish takes the mound, but Japan's bats can lead the way
Day 4 of the World Baseball Classic includes the second games in Pool A and Pool B. The most notable one features Japan, which is 1-0 so far and is sending Yu Darvish to the mound. Up next for the Japanese juggernaut is South Korea, which is hoping to rebound from a tough loss to Australia.
Let’s take a look at my best bets for Day 4 of the World Baseball Classic.
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Japan vs South Korea predictions in the 2023 World Baseball Classic 2023: Over 7.5 (-115)
Available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing
It was a tale of 2 different games for these 2 teams in their respective openers. Japan gave up only 1 run in a rout of China. South Korea, on the other hand, came out on the losing end of an 8-7 thriller against Australia.
I think Friday’s contest will be more along the lines of what transpired for South Korea in its 2023 World Baseball Classic debut. Japan had Shohei Ohtani on the mound in its opener and was facing an unspectacular Chinese squad. It’s no surprise that China was limited to just a single run. The Japanese will now turn to Yu Darvish, who is another solid option but isn’t Ohtani. He is also gong up against a much more formidable lineup in South Korea compared to China. Center fielder Jung-Hoo Lee, for example, hit .349 with 23 home runs in the KBO this past season.
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Of course, Japan will probably do most of the heavy lifting on Friday. Kwang-Hyun Kim is taking the mound for South Korea only because manager Lee Kang-chul is desperate in what amounts to be a must-win situation following the loss to Australia. Lee wants a veteran who can steady the ship, although he expressed concern that the Japan team knows Kim very well. Kim hasn’t had much success of late in this particular matchup and Japan is loaded with the likes of Ohtani, Munetaka Murakami and Masataka Yoshida.
I’m expecting a high-scoring affair on Friday and a 7.5 number isn’t particularly large. The over is the play to make.
Check out our World Baseball Classic preview for team analysis and best bets
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