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World Baseball Classic 2017: United States vs. Puerto Rico preview, start time, TV channel, and how to watch online

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It’s undefeated Puerto Rico against the United States for the 2017 WBC title

After 16 teams, 39 games, six venues, and three weeks, we are finally ready to determine the 2017 World Baseball Classic champion.

Puerto Rico won the first semifinal over the Netherlands on Monday, and the United States defeated Japan Tuesday night to set up the highly anticipated match up of All-Star caliber lineups. Tonight we find out who will prevail.

Puerto Rico is looking to finish what they couldn’t back in 2013, when they lost in the finals to the Dominican Republic at AT&T Park. The United States has never been in the WBC final; their most successful appearance came when they made it to the semifinals in 2009 before losing to eventual champion Japan.

Puerto Rico manager Edwin Rodriguez has announced that New York Mets prospect Seth Lugo will get the ball to start today’s game. Lugo was phenomenal in his first WBC start against a stacked Venezuelan lineup, going 513 shutout innings, allowing just one hit with three strikeouts. (Read more about Puerto Rico’s path to the final here).

Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman will take the hill for Team USA. He was brilliant in his first WBC start: four shutout innings with three hits and four strikeout against a very talented Dominican Republic squad. (Read more about Team USA’s path to the final here).

This will be the second game between Puerto Rico and the United States this tournament. They last played on Friday, March 17 in a Pool F game that featured these same starting pitchers. Lugo allowed three runs on five hits with two strikeouts and two home runs allowed over 523 innings but never pitched without the lead.

Stroman, who gave up four runs on six straight hits to start the game, will hope to rebound from an up-and-down outing. He went on to shut out Puerto Rico through the following 423 innings, allowing a total of four runs on eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts. It gave Team USA a chance to win, but ultimately their ninth inning rally fell just short when Josh Harrison struck out with Brandon Crawford on third to end the game, 6-5. Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado had his best game of the tournament, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, and two runs scored.

All that can go out the window, now. Everything is on the line and, with over a week’s worth of spring training games left to recover, both teams should have their entire bullpens at their disposal.

There’s nothing left but to play the game. May the best nation win.

★ ★ ★

WBC Championship Game for Wednesday, March 22

Puerto Rico vs. United States

Location: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California

Time: 7:00 p.m. MT

TV: MLB Network

Steaming: MLV.tv

Championship Round

WBC Championship Schedule

Date Team vs Team Time Venue
Date Team vs Team Time Venue
Semifinals
March 20 Netherlands (3) vs Puerto Rico (4) F/11 Dodger Stadium
March 21 United States (2) vs Japan (1) F Dodger Stadium
Finals
March 22 United States vs Puerto Rico 7:00 pm MT Dodger Stadium

Second Round Recap

WBC Pool F Schedule and Results

Date Team v Team Time Venue
Date Team v Team Time Venue
March 14 Dominican Republic (1) vs Puerto Rico (3) Petco Park
March 15 Venezuela (2) vs United States (4) Petco Park
March 16 Venezuela (0) vs Dominican Republic (3) Petco Park
March 17 United States (5) vs Puerto Rico (6) Petco Park
March 18 Puerto Rico (13) vs Venezuela (2) Petco Park
March 18 United States (6) vs Dominican Republic (3) Petco Park
March 19 TBD TBD N/A Petco Park

Pool F Standings

Rank Team Wins Losses Runs Scored Runs Allowed
Rank Team Wins Losses Runs Scored Runs Allowed
1 Puerto Rico 3 0 22 8
2 United States 2 1 15 11
3 Dominican Republic 1 2 7 9
4 Venezuela 0 3 4 20

WBC Pool E Schedule and Results

Date Team v Team Time Venue
Date Team v Team Time Venue
March 11 Cuba (1) vs Israel (4) Tokyo Dome
March 12 Japan (8) vs Netherlands (6) Tokyo Dome
March 13 Netherlands (12) vs Israel (2) Tokyo Dome
March 14 Cuba (5) vs Japan (8) Tokyo Dome
March 14 Netherlands (14) vs Cuba (1) Tokyo Dome
March 15 Israel (3) vs Japan (8) Tokyo Dome

Pool E Standings

Rank Team Wins Losses Runs Scored Runs Allowed
Rank Team Wins Losses Runs Scored Runs Allowed
1 Japan 3 0 24 14
2 Netherlands 2 1 32 11
3 Israel 1 2 9 21
4 Cuba 0 3 7 26