With first-round play underway at the 2013 World Baseball Classic, we're beginning to see which countries will be making the cut to the second round.
But what's their potential following the first round?
With a double-elimination format in the second round, the tournament becomes more competitive and strenuous for nations to advance.
Here are three teams that won't make it out of the second round of the 2013 WBC.
For a complete look at the 2013 WBC bracket, click here.
Chinese Taipei has come out of the gates scorching, thanks in large part to excellent pitching.
It allowed just five hits to Australia in a 4-1 win in its first game and then put together a collective gem against Netherlands, allowing just one hit between six pitchers.
Assuming that Japan and Cuba advance from Pool A, I believe both of those sides have more talent and experience than this Chinese Taipei team.
I have Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands making it out of Pool B, but between those four teams in the second round, the Japanese and Cubans have the clear advantage.
It's been a surprisingly impressive start for this squad, but that will come to an end for Chinese Taipei in the second round.
As previously discussed, the Dutch will make it past the first round but it will be all downhill from there.
Which team has the best chances of making it past the second round?
I didn't expect much from this Netherlands team, but after watching it shut out South Korea in its first game, it definitely has the firepower to advance from Pool B.
That's when it will meet experienced teams like Cuba and Japan, the latter of which has won each of the only two WBCs.
The Dutch's performance against Chinese Taipei on Sunday showed that Netherlands doesn't have the offense or the pitching to make a deep run, as it surrendered eight runs and mustered just one hit at the plate.
It'll need a win over Australia just to get out of the first round, but don't expect much from the Dutch after that.
With MLB studs like Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez, Elvis Andrus and Pablo Sandoval, Venezuela shouldn't have any issue making its way from Pool C into the second round.
That's where it will have issues, though, as fellow Pool C contender Dominican Republic and Pool D's Team USA will likely be waiting for Venezuela.
While the Venezuelans should get out of the first round just fine, it will need better pitching against teams like the D.R. and the U.S. as the tournament progresses.
It certainly has the offense to contend past the first round of the tournament, but I like the odds of a team like USA's pitching to beat the Venezuela offense.
Of course, I could be wrong—Anibal Sanchez and Jhoulys Chacin could make me eat my words and put on a clinic in the WBC—but I believe the U.S. and Dominican Republic are the favorites to advance.
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