It’s win or go home as the United States meets Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. We’re in Miami sharing our World Baseball Classic odds series, making a USA-Venezuela prediction and pick while showing you how to watch.
The USA national baseball team went 3-1 in their group stage. Initially, they defeated Great Britain 6-2 before suffering an 11-5 loss to Mexico. The USA bounced back by dominating Canada 12-1 in a 7-inning game and edging out Colombia 3-2.
Venezuela won all four of their games in the group stage. Initially, they defeated the Dominican Republic 5-1. The Venezuelans followed this with a 9-6 victory over Puerto Rico and a 4-1 win over Nicaragua. Finally, they defeated Israel 5-1 in their last contest. It earned them the top spot in their group.
The US has not played against strong competition, yet has only gone 3-1. Consequently, they might have fallen to Colombia had Mike Trout not clipped a two-run single to give the Americans the lead for good. Trout has done well in the World Baseball Classic, going 5 for 12 with a .588 batting average, one home run, and six RBIs. Now, the US needs him to continue his production. Venezuela played tough competition and defeated them all. Moreover, they combined for 23 runs across four games while allowing only four.
The USA will start Lance Lynn tonight, while the Venezuelas will go with Martin Perez on the mound. Consequently, both pitchers will face immense pressure to perform as the loser goes home. Who will have the better game?
Here are the WBC odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
2023 WBC Odds: USA-Venezuela Odds
USA: -1.5 (+122)
Venezuela: +1.5 (-150)
Over: 8.5 (-134)
Under: 8.5 (+112)
How To Watch USA vs. Venezuela
Time: 7 PM ET/4 PM PT
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Why USA Could Cover The Spread
The Americans have their backs against the wall. Regardless, they are still the defending champions and will look to stay alive as they face a tough Venezuelan team that has not shown any signs of weakness.
Kyle Schwarber is 1 for 6 with a .167 batting average, one home run, and three RBIs this season. Unfortunately, Schwarber has continued his ‘boom-or-bust’ style, not making an impact aside from his home run. Nolan Arenado is batting .333 (5 for 15) with no home runs and four RBIs. Meanwhile, Mookie Betts is batting .235 (4 for 17) and has not driven in a run. Paul Goldschmidt is batting .273 (3 for 11) and also does not have a home run. Can any of these megastars break out of their slumps?
Tim Anderson is batting .364 (4 for 11) and has four RBIs. Likewise, Trea Turner is batting .273 (3 for 11) with one home run and two RBIs. Kyle Tucker is batting .200 (2 for 10) with no home run but two RBIs. Sadly, Pete Alonso has failed to garner a hit in nine at-bats. These sluggers must make contact with the ball and generate offense at a higher rate.
The USA will cover the spread if they can hit the ball more efficiently. Then, they must find a way to prevent Venezuela from teeing off on them. Lynn must do his part and keep Venezuela in check.
Why Venezuela Could Cover The Spread
Venezuela is one of the bigger surprises in the World Baseball Classic. Thus, they have not lost a game and are beginning to look like favorites. They are thriving despite struggles from some of their better players. Unfortunately, Ronald Acuna is batting only .200 (3 for 15) with one RBI. Andres Gimenez is batting .286 (4 for 15) with one RBI. Jose Altuve is batting only .167 (2 for 13) and has yet to hit a home run or drive a run in. Additionally, the legendary Miguel Cabrera is batting .111 (1 for 9) and also has not driven in a run.
But there are some bright spots in the lineup. Significantly, these players have helped carry the Venezuelan national team into the elimination round. Anthony Santander is batting .462 (6 for 13) with two home runs and five RBIs. Also, David Peralta is batting .400 (4 for 10) with four RBIs. Salvador Perez is batting .500 (5 for 10) with one home run and five RBIs. Can these players continue their run of success?
Venezuela will cover the spread if they can get to Lynn early. Then, Perez must keep the American hitters in check, especially Trout. They will shine if they can take an early lead.
Final USA-Venezuela Prediction & Pick
It is difficult to go against the defending champions. However, they have not played well recently and are not in a good position to succeed. Expect Venezuela to take advantage of the recent American struggles and find a way to advance. Sadly, it means the defending champions will go home.
Final USA-Venezuela Prediction & Pick: Venezuela: +1.5 (-150)