Team USA's defense of its 2017 World Baseball Classic championship began with 6-2 win over Great Britain on Sunday. Considering the talent gap between the two teams, the final score was much closer than you'd expect. USA will face Mexico in a highly anticipated game Sunday night. Here's how you can watch USA vs. Mexico.
USA started Cardinals stalwart Adam Wainwright against Great Britain on Saturday and will start Padres righty Nick Martinez against Mexico on Sunday. On Monday, USA will start White Sox workhorse Lance Lynn against Canada, according to USA Today.
"You represent your country, so there's really not a whole lot bigger you can do as an athlete besides winning a World Series," Lynn told MLB.com earlier this month about participating in the WBC. "When you are representing your country, that's pretty high up there."
USA piggybacked Rockies lefty Kyle Freeland with Wainwright against Great Britain. Starters Merrill Kelly (Diamondbacks), Miles Mikolas (Cardinals), and Brady Singer (Royals) are on the roster as well. The first round is four games and USA wraps up pool play against Colombia on Wednesday. Kelly, Mikolas, or Singer could start that game with the others available in relief at some point.
Canada is tentatively scheduled to start lefty Mitch Bratt, a 19-year-old Rangers prospect who played in Single-A in 2022, against USA on Monday, according to Sportsnet. Bratt was a fifth-round MLB draft pick in 2021. He threw 80 2/3 innings with a 2.45 ERA and 90 strikeouts last season. MLB.com ranks him the No. 17 prospect in the Rangers' system.
While the Canadians will certainly be the underdog against USA, they are not lacking talent. Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman and Cardinals outfielder Tyler O'Neill anchor the lineup and their ace is Guardians righty Cal Quantrill. Quantrill is starting Canada's WBC opener against Great Britain on Sunday.
The first round of the WBC features four five-team pools. Each team plays every other team in its pool once, and the teams with the two best records advance to the quarterfinals. Cuba and Italy have emerged from the five-team tie in Pool A. Japan has already clinched a quarterfinals spot out of Pool B.
USA and Canada are in Pool C with Colombia, Great Britain, and Mexico. Colombia upset Mexico in 10 innings Saturday.