Czech Republic played their first professional baseball game in 2019, but could very well upset the No. 1 ranked national baseball team in the world.
Japan defeated an experienced and hardened South Korea to go 2-0 in Pool B – can they even be stopped?
Inform your 2023 World Baseball Classic predictions with insights from Pinnacle.
World Baseball Classic 2023: Czech Republic vs. Japan predictions
When: March 11, 2023
Where: Tokyo, Japan
World Baseball Classic 2023: Czech Republic vs. Japan
Both teams kick-started their campaigns by posting dominant victories over China. Japan with an 8-1 victory, and Czech Republic with an equally impressive 8-5 triumph.
Japan outclassed China
This is the first major tournament outside of Europe for the Czech Republic and their debut at the World Baseball Classic.
Regardless, they instantly impressed, taking a commanding 4-1 lead against China following four no-hit innings from Daniel Padysak. They sealed the deal with a clutch three-run homer in the ninth innings.
Japan completely outclassed China, and Shohei Ohtani dominated with four shutout innings and a two-run double at the plate.
In what was largely considered the most anticipated match of the tournament, Japan triumphantly defeated South Korea 13-4. Shohei Ohtani was once again the star of the show.
Czech Republic vs. Japan: Who will win?
Czech odds to win: TBC*
Japan odds to win: TBC*
Czech Republic could be writing the ultimate underdog story, and a win over Japan would be huge. The European team closed at odds of 100.000 to win the championship compared to the strong 3.480 odds for Japan.
Will we witness the ultimate underdog story?
In a tournament filled with the biggest stars in all of baseball – most of them in Team USA and Japan – the majority of the Czech team still maintain day jobs. In fact, there is only one major league player on their roster.
There are genuine amateurs on the team. For example, pitcher Martin Schneider is a firefighter, and misses one out of three games in the amateur Czech ExtraLiga because he has 24-hour shifts. Now, he could be hurling at greats like Choi Jeong.
Unfortunately for Czech fans, Japan looked deadly in a hard-fought battle against South Korea who are substantially stronger.
An upset would certainly be exciting, but the only value will be in a well-placed totals or a handicap bet as Japan should win this game comfortably.
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