United States vs. Venezuela: World Baseball Classic Odds, Picks and Predictions
United States vs. Venezuela Odds
|United States ML||-125|
|Date||Sat, Mar. 18|
On Saturday, the United States and Venezuela will meet in the quarterfinals of the 2023 World Baseball Classic, with the winner advancing to the semifinals against Cuba. The United States will hand the ball to Lance Lynn, who will be opposed by Martin Perez. Oddsmakers have these two teams priced as close to a pick’em on the market, with the United States listed as -125 favorites on the moneyline ahead of first pitch. The over/under on the total is set at 9 runs.
Lynn takes the hill
In his lone pool play start, Lance Lynn delivered five innings of one-run ball, allowing only two baserunners. Lynn got off to a slow start in 2022 with the Chicago White Sox after starting the season on the injured list, but got better as the campaign progressed. Across his final 10 turns through the rotation, he had a 2.18 ERA and a 3.05 FIP.
Throughout his career, Lynn has been much tougher on right-handed batters compared to left-handed batters. Since his MLB debut, he owns a 4.48 FIP and a 1.48 WHIP against lefties, compared to a 2.88 FIP and a 1.08 WHIP against righties.
What to expect from the United States offense
In four pool play contests, the United States had nine different players post an .800 OPS or better. Mike Trout led the way with a .417 batting average and a 1.421 OPS, driving in six runs in the process.
Overall, the United States ranks fifth out of 20 teams in the Classic this year in OPS. Impressively, they have also struck out the third-fewest number of times among all teams.
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Perez takes the hill
Martin Perez made one appearance during pool play, allowing one run on four hits across 3.1 innings of work. Perez was excellent in 2022 for the Texas Rangers, posting a 2.89 ERA, 3.59 xERA, and a 3.27 FIP in 196.1 innings. Still, he is much tougher on left-handed batters than he is against right-handed batters. Last season, he had a 2.64 FIP, 4.4% walk rate, and a 1.00 WHIP against lefties, compared to a 3.40 FIP, 9.2% walk rate, and a 1.31 WHIP against righties.
Facing a United States lineup that has the ability to stack seven or more high-quality right-handed hitters, Perez could be in trouble in the early going.
What to expect from Venezuela’s offense
During pool play, Venezuela had a top-heavy offense, with four players posting a 1.138 OPS or better, but nobody else had an OPS above .662. Even more concerning, two of Venezuela’s four best hitters thus far in the tournament thus far are right-handed, making their task against Lance Lynn a tall one.
Jose Altuve, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Gleyber Torres are three hitters who have gotten off to a slow start in this year’s Classic, but are star players in Major League Baseball. Still, all three are also right-handed batters, making tonight a less than ideal matchup for them.
United States vs. Venezuela – Picks & Predictions
In this matchup, the United States has the better starting pitcher and their offense matches up better against Martin Perez than Venezuela’s lineup matches up against Lance Lynn. Assuming that the United States stacks their starting lineup with at least seven right-handed hitters, they should be able to put runs on the board in the early portion of this contest, quickly getting into Venezuela’s bullpen. If the United States can get five innings out of Lynn, they will have a great opportunity to advance to the semifinals against Cuba.
PICK: United States ML (-125, DraftKings)
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