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Team USA faces pivotal game against Colombia #Team #USA #faces #pivotal #game #Colombia #englishheadline


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Neither of the top two World Baseball Classic favorites are safe entering the final day of the first round.

With only Wednesday’s slate of games left to play, both Team USA and the Dominican Republic sit at 2-1, and could see their chances at advancing to the knockout stages of the tournament disappear should they lose.

Team USA is scheduled to face Colombia, which sits at 1-2 and would match its opponent in the standings with a win Wednesday. Meanwhile, 2-1 Canada and 2-1 Mexico will play each other earlier the same day, with the winner guaranteed to advance and the loser facing either elimination (should Team USA win) or a three-way tie with the U.S. and Colombia in the event of a U.S. loss (more on that later).

The Dominican Republic, meanwhile, has a much simpler situation. Venezuela has already advanced after starting 3-0, while Puerto Rico is also 2-1. The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico play on Wednesday in a straight-up elimination game.

Pools A and B have already been decided, with Cuba and Italy emerging from A via tiebreakers after all five teams finished 2-2, while Japan went undefeated in Pool B and will be followed by 3-1 Australia.

When does Team USA play in the World Baseball Classic?

The USA-Colombia game is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 at Arizona’s Chase Field. Canada plays Mexico 3 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2 at the same location, while the Puerto Rico-Dominican Republic showdown will be 7 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 at LoanDepot Park in Miami.

World Baseball Classic Pool C standings

Here are the full standings entering Wednesday, with every team but Great Britain having played four out of five games. The Brits have already played all four teams and have been eliminated:

Team

Wins

Losses

USA

2

1

Canada

2

1

Mexico

2

1

Colombia

1

2

Great Britain

1

3

So it’s win-and-in for each of the big three North American countries. If Team USA wins, it advances and the loser of Mexico-Canada is out. Lose, however, and that’s where things get mighty complicated.

What happens in a tiebreaker for Team USA?

Here are the WBC’s first and second tiebreaker rules, taken straight from MLB’s site:

The team that won the games between the teams tied shall be given the higher position. If three or more teams are tied and one of those teams won its games against all other teams it is tied with, then it will be placed in the higher spot. Similarly, if one of those tied teams lost its games against all other teams it is tied with, then it will be placed in the lowest spot.

The tied teams shall be ranked in the standings according to the lowest quotient of fewest runs allowed divided by the number of defensive outs recorded in the games in that round between the teams tied.

The U.S. losing would create a three-way tie between them, Colombia and the loser of Mexico-Canada. The first tiebreaker will depend on that last team, as Colombia would advance if the other two teams are the U.S. and Mexico, because it will have defeated both teams.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 13: Mike Trout #27 of the United States celebrates after hitting a home run against Canada during a World Baseball Classic Pool C game at Chase Field on March 13, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Team USA controls its own destiny going into the final day of World Baseball Classic pool play. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

If Mexico wins and puts Canada in the three-way tie, though, we advance to the second tiebreaker, as the U.S. has beat Canada, Canada has beat Colombia and Colombia will have beat the U.S. In that case, the U.S. is looking good, but not great.

Here are the run quotients in games involving a tie of Team USA, Canada and Colombia. Canada allowed 12 runs total against 48 outs in its games against the U.S. and Colombia. Team USA allowed one run against 21 outs in its win over Canada, while Colombia allowed five runs against 27 outs in its loss to Canada.

We don’t need to get into the nitty gritty of the math from , so here’s the state of play. If Team USA loses by four runs or fewer, it advances so long as it didn’t allow more than 11 runs. If Colombia wins by five or more runs, it advances so long as it doesn’t allow more than 13 runs. Basically, Canada would be praying for a comically high-scoring game, while the U.S would enter the game with a virtual lead of four runs against Colombia.

Here’s a hopefully helpful aid, showing what happens with each pair of winners on Wednesday:

Mexico wins

Canada wins

USA wins

Mexico, USA

USA, Canada

Colombia wins

Mexico, 3-way tiebreaker

Canada, Colombia

No one ever said pool play is simple.

World Baseball Classic Pool D standings

As a reminder, here is where things stand in Miami:

Team

Wins

Losses

Venezuela

3

0

Dominican Republic

2

1

Puerto Rico

2

1

Israel

1

2

Nicaragua

0

4

Given the hype behind both teams entering the tournament, it’s a testament to the chaos of the World Baseball Classic that both the U.S. and the D.R. face a very real chance of elimination on Wednesday.

Team USA’s lineup is so stacked it was batting Jeff McNeil, a 2022 MLB All-Star in the No. 9 spot. The Dominican Republic opened the tournament with Gary Sanchez, a two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger winner, in the same spot.

Both teams faced some questions around their pitching, but that was supposed to be a topic of conversation when they were facing the likes of Japan and Cuba. Not in the first round.

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