Cuba vs. United States: World Baseball Classic Odds, Picks and Predictions

Cuba vs. United States Odds

Cuba ML +330
United States ML +410
Over/Under 9.5
Date Sun, Mar. 19
Time 7:00 p.m.

On Sunday, Cuba and the United States will meet in the quarterfinals of the 2023 World Baseball Classic, with the winner advancing to finals on Tuesday, facing the winner of Mexico versus Japan. Roenis Elias will take the ball for Cuba, who will be opposed by Adam Wainwright.

Oddsmakers expect the United States to win this contest comfortably, pricing them as -410 favorites on the moneyline ahead of first pitch. The over/under on the total is set at 9.5 runs.


Elias gets the start

During pool play, Roenis Elias tossed seven innings across two appearances, allowing two earned runs on four hits. He struck out three batters and permitted one free pass.

Elias spent the majority of 2022 pitching in Triple A for Tacoma as part of the Seattle Mariners organization. In 65 innings of work, he posted a 5.12 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 19.8% strikeout percentage, and a 6.8% walk rate.

Throughout his career, Elias has done a better job limiting baserunners against right-handed hitters compared to left-handed hitters. This held true last year in the minors as well, where he had a 1.28 WHIP against righties, compared to a 1.56 WHIP against lefties.

What to expect from the Cuba offense

In four pool play games, Cuba’s offense ranked seventh out of 20 teams in OPS. Individually, six different players who had at least five at-bats posted a .900 OPS or better for Cuba, with Luis Robert not being part of that list.

Expect this lineup to relatively even balance between right- and left-handed batters on Sunday, with a likely five-to-four split in the order. Despite being significant underdogs, there is reason to believe this group will be able to put runs on the board this evening.

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United States

Wainwright gets the ball

In his lone pool play start, Adam Wainwright lasted four innings, allowing one run on five hits against Great Britain. Wainwright finished 2022 with a 3.71 ERA, 4.53 xERA, and a 3.66 FIP in 191.2 innings for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Wainwright’s biggest vulnerability in this matchup is against left-handed batters. Last season, he had a 3.88 FIP, 16.1% strikeout percentage, 10.0% walk rate, and a 1.44 WHIP against lefties, compared to a 3.48 FIP, 19.3% strikeout percentage, 3.8% walk rate, and a 1.16 WHIP against righties.

Facing a lineup that is likely to have at least four left-handed bats, it is far from a certainty that Wainwright will deliver a strong performance in this matchup.

What to expect from the United States offense

On Saturday, Trea Turner hit a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning to give the United States a 9-7 lead against Venezuela, marking the second time in three games that this lineup has scored at least nine runs.

Entering play on Sunday, the United States has nine different players with an .881 OPS or better for the tournament. Expect another big day from these bats against a Cuba team that lacks significant depth on their pitching staff.

Cuba vs. Venezuela – Picks & Predictions

The United States is rightfully favored in this matchup, but the moneyline is too juiced to play individually. Following a thrilling win on Saturday, the United States could have a difficult time reigniting the fire emotionally, which could lead to a slow start.

Expect both of these starting pitchers to find a moderate amount of success in the early going of this contest. Take the under on the total for the first three innings.

PICK: Under 3.5 runs – First 3 innings (-155, Bet365)

Image Credit: Getty Images

About the Author

  • Nick Galaida (nickgalaida)

  • A failed high school pitcher, Nick discovered that he has a higher aptitude for analyzing and writing about sports than he does playing them. To his friends, he is better known as “The Commish.” When he’s not organizing a fantasy league, placing a bet, or writing an article, he’s probably nose-deep in a book—further illustrating the point that his niche in this world is as a nerd rather than an athlete.

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