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Starting lineups for USA vs. Japan in 2023 World Baseball Classic Championship

We discuss the starting lineups and starting pitchers for the 2023 WBC Championship between Team USA and Team Japan.

Shota Imanaga #21 of Team Japan pitches in the sixth inning during the 2023 World Baseball Classic Quarterfinal game between Team Italy and Team Japan at Tokyo Dome on Thursday, March 16, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Yuki Taguchi/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The 2023 World Baseball Classic is winding down. The championship game is scheduled for Tuesday, March 21. Team USA advanced to the finals with a dominant win over Cuba. They will face Japan, who walked off against Mexico. First pitch from LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida is set for 7 p.m. ET with the game airing on FS1.

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly will take the mound for Team USA. He last pitched against Colombia in the team’s final pool play game. Kelly only pitched three innings and gave up two earned runs on four hits while striking out one. The United States’ lineup has been mashing balls recently. Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner has been batting in the nine-hole and has three home runs in his last two games.

Left-handed Shota Imanaga gets the starting nod for Team Japan. He hasn’t started a game yet this tournament but has made two relief appearances. Imanaga has totaled four innings and has given up three hits and only a solo home run while striking out five. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Shohei Ohtani will be in the lineup and could come into the game in relief if needed.

Team USA is the moneyline favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. They have -140 odds, with Japan installed as the +120 narrow underdog.

USA starting lineup

  • RF Mookie Betts
  • CF Mike Trout
  • 1B Paul Goldschmidt
  • 3B Nolan Arenado
  • DH Kyle Schwarber
  • SS Trea Turner
  • C JT Realmuto
  • LF Cedric Mullins
  • 2B Tim Anderson

P Merill Kelly

Japan starting lineup

  • CF Lars Nootbaar
  • RF Kensuke Kondoh
  • DH Shohei Ohtani
  • LF Masataka Yoshida
  • 3B Munetaka Murakami
  • 1B Kazuma Okamoto
  • 2B Tetsuto Yamada
  • SS Sosuke Genda
  • C Yuhei Nakamura

P Shota Imanaga