Table of Contents
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WBC MegaGuideWow for the Weekend
Pools A and B of this year’s edition of the World Baseball Classic began last Friday in Japan and Taiwan, respectively, and have produced four qualifiers for the tournament’s second round (which has already begun): Cuba, Japan, the Netherlands, and Taipei.
On Thursday, played started among teams in Pools C and D. And while many of the competition’s earliest games took place under cover of darkness for those in the Western Hemisphere, many of this weekend’s games are decidedly more amenable to “television coverage” for “North Americans.”
Here is what the author has been compelled to call a WBC MegaGuideWow for the upcoming weekend.
In the first round, each team plays the other three teams in its pool once. The two teams with the highest winning percentages advance to Round Two. A series of tie-breaking rules exists which the author has no interest in reading even at all.
Here are the first-round standings for Pools C and D as of this morning, copy-and-pasted illicitly from ESPN, but then formatted to suggest nothing of the sort.
First, for Pool C:
And then for Pool D:
And here is the bracket for Pool 1 of second-round player, copy-and-pasted from Wikipedia, but then cropped and colored differently to suggest nothing of the sort. (Click on the bracket to embiggen.)
Here is a slightly absurd, but not entirely usesless, leaderboard of the top-10 hitting performances of the World Baseball Classic so far. SCOUT+ an offensive measure calculated with regressed home-run, walk, and strikeout rates, where 100 is average and above 100 is above average.
And here are the top-10 pitching performances thus far — in this case by SCOUT-, a metric calculated with regressed strikeout and walk rates where 100 is average and below 100 is above average.
|Tiago Da Silva||ITA||1||0||3.1||15||18.3%||9.2%||93|
Notable Performance: Netherlands’ Curt Smith
Netherlands first baseman Curt Smith has posted one of the most impressive batting lines so far in the Classic, recording a 4:3 walk-to-strikeout ratio with a home run in his 16 plate appearances.
A native of Curacao, Smith was taken in the 39th round of the 2008 draft by St. Louis out of the University of Maine, where he played collegiately. Released by the Cardinals at the beginning of the 2011 season, Smith signed with Lincoln of the independent American Association, slashing .335/.380/.494 there with a 21:29 walk-to-strikeout ratio and nine home runs in 340 plate appearances.
In 2012 he rejoined affiliated baseball, playing the entirety of the season at Miami Double-A affiliate Jacksonville and recording a 20:59 walk-to-strikeout ratio and nine more home runs in 299 plate appearances there. According to Baseball America’s minor-league free-agent tracker, Smith remains a free agent. Steamer projects him as almost precisely a replacement-level player.
Here’s video footage of Smith’s home run in a second-round game against Cuba yesterday:
The Classic is available on the MLB Network — and streaming online for customers of Bright House, DIRECTV, and Time Warner Cable. Spanish coverage (relevant to many of the games in Pools C and D) is available on ESPN Deportes and maybe online via Watch ESPN — which is to say, it was listed there, but has since been removed.
Furthermore, MLBAM has released a dedicated app for the WBC, as well, which includes Gameday coverage and video highlights.
Here are the games scheduled over the weekend (all times ET):
02:00 PM Canada vs. Italy (Pool D)
05:30 PM Spain vs. Puerto Rico (Pool C)
09:00 PM Mexico vs. USA (Pool D)
05:00 AM Taipei vs. Cuba (2nd Rd, Pool 1)
11:00 AM Dominican vs. Spain (Pool C)
02:30 PM Canada vs. Mexico (Pool D)
05:30 PM Puerto Rico vs. Venezuela (Pool C)
09:00 PM USA vs. Italy (Pool D)
07:00 AM Japan vs. Netherlands (2nd Rd, Pool 1)
12:30 PM Spain vs. Venezuela (Pool C)
04:00 PM USA vs. Canada (Pool D)
07:30 PM Dominican vs. Puerto Rico (Pool C)
06:00 AM Taipei/Cuba Winner vs. Japan/Netherlands Loser (2nd Rd, Pool 1)