The United States may be out, but the World Baseball Classic will carry on for three more days in San Francisco. Japan, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are the four teams left standing. They will compete in semifinal action on Sunday and Monday night, and the two winners will play for the championship on Tuesday night.
It has been a great tournament, and the championship round will be no different. Here is a complete breakdown of the final three games of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
You can continue to see all the games on MLB Network, and all games from the championship round will take place from AT&T Park in San Francisco, California.
Semifinal No. 1
Puerto Rico vs Japan - March 17, 9 p.m. EST
Puerto Rico pulled off a big upset by knocking off the United States on Friday night, now they draw a very tough test against Japan.
Japan has only lost one game so far through the first two rounds of the World Baseball Classic, and their offense caught fire in the second round of the tournament. Pitching is always the strong point of the Japanese side though, and they could definitely give Puerto Rico's lineup some problems.
Puerto Rico has struggled offensively at times this season and their only win against a truly elite team came against the United States.
The Puerto Rico side is very good, and they could certainly win a single elimination game against Japan, but right now this Japanese side is just too strong.
Prediction: Japan 6 Puerto Rico 3
Semifinal No. 2
Netherlands vs Dominican Republic - March 18, 9 p.m. EST
The Dutch have surprised many fans by making it all the way to the semifinals at this year's World Baseball Classic. They now have to face one of their toughest tests though as they take on the star studded Dominican Republic squad.
The Dominican side has a very explosive lineup and has yet to lose a game in this year's tournament. Their pitching is the weak point though, but so far it has not been a weak point. It has allowed only one run in the last two games against two very good offenses.
The Dutch side has struggled with its pitching at times in this tournament, and that will prove to be disastrous against the Dominican side. This is the best offense it has faced so far, and ultimately, it will be too much for the Dutch to overcome.
Prediction: Dominican Republic 8 Netherlands 5
Dominican Republic vs Japan - March 19, 8 p.m. EST
The two best teams coming into this tournament were Japan and the Dominican Republic. Now the two-time defending champions from Asia will take on the Dominican side for the 2013 title.
Japan brings in a great pitching staff that has also featured a very strong offense, while the Dominicans bring in a great offense that has also featured a strong pitching staff. So who wins out?
Japan's pitching, or the Dominican Republic's offense?
This year it will be the Dominican Republic's offense. There are simply too many great hitters in this lineup for Japan to slow them down.
Prediction: Dominican Republic 5 Japan 3
Make sure to check back and see all the previews for each game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
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