The Planet Baseball Classic has been all the things it promised to be and a lot more, as the tournament has offered fans some of the finest action and atmosphere that the sport has to present.
And now, it really is time for the final 4 teams to fight it out in Miami at loanDepot Park.
There have been dominant performances by familiar stars as nicely as massive upsets, with title favorites like the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico getting knocked out earlier than everyone anticipated.
The semifinals are confident to bring a lot more of the exact same as Cuba, Japan, Mexico and the United States all appear to be crowned as the world’s finest in what has been the most watched and attended WBC considering that the tournament started in 2006.
Here’s the schedule for the rest of the tournament and a preview of every single semifinal matchup.
Updated Planet Baseball Classic Schedule
Semifinal 1: Cuba vs. USA, March 19, 7 p.m. ET on FS1
Semifinal two: Mexico vs. Japan, March 20, 7 p.m. ET on FS1
Final: March 21, 7 p.m. ET on FS1
Cuba vs. USA
Generally a single for the dramatics, Group USA left it late in its spectacular quarterfinal matchup against Venezuela to punch its ticket to the final 4.
An eighth-inning grand slam by Trea Turner was arguably the greatest hit of the tournament, as it gave the reigning champions a 9-7 lead that they would never ever relinquish.
Though Group USA has played nicely all through the tournament, it hasn’t been as dominant as anticipated when the roster was initially announced. The group did not prime its pool just after getting stunned by Mexico.
But carrying more than the electrical energy from Saturday’s win could spark the Americans to an look in the final in front of their residence fans.
Meanwhile, Cuba is possibly the least heralded of all the teams to make it to the semifinals, even though not for a lack of talent. Existing and former MLB players like Yoán Moncada, Luis Robert Jr. and Yoenis Cespedes are representing the nation.
Cuba sophisticated as the prime group in Pool A just after winning a difficult 5-way tiebreaker as absolutely everyone in the group went two-two. The group then went on to squeeze previous Australia four-three in the quarterfinals.
Despite the fact that it does not have as significantly talent on paper as the United States, Cuba definitely has the sort of firepower that could give the Americans some difficulty if they are not cautious Sunday.
Mexico vs. Japan
Though most fans anticipated Japan to make it to this stage of the tournament—if not go on to win the entire thing—Mexico has crashed the semifinals celebration just after it topped the United States in Pool C play and beat Puerto Rico in an electrifying quarterfinal matchup.
Mexico has been sparked by Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena, who may possibly just be the player of the tournament so far, an impressive feat thinking of all the stars participating.
Arozarena, who is Cuban-born but became a Mexican citizen in 2022, has been on an absolute tear hitting .471/.625/.941 with a residence run and nine RBIs, the latter of which is great for second-most in the tournament.
He has also played tremendous and clutch defense.
Mexico will have its perform reduce out for it, nevertheless, as they take on a Japan group that has looked like the WBC’s finest up to this point just after finishing dominating Pool B and then cruising to a 9-three quarterfinal win more than Italy.
Japan has what appears to be a best blend of offense and pitching, with players like Shohei Ohtani, Masataka Yoshida, Yu Darvish and Rōki Sasaki all playing massive roles in the team’s run so far.