The 2013 World Baseball Classic is set to come to a close on Tuesday night as the Dominican Republic takes on Puerto Rico in the title game.
One game will determine the winner of this year’s WBC. It’s the first time two Latin nations have met in the championship game. Japan won the tournament in the only other two years of its existence.
First pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m. eastern time at AT&T Park in San Francisco. MLB Network and ESPN Deportes will air the game on TV, but viewers who have certain cable providers can watch a free live stream online at worldbaseballclassic.com.
The D.R. has been the most dominant team in the WBC. They’ve won all seven of their games, outscoring their opponents 33-14 in the process. On Monday, they defeated the Netherlands 4-1.
Robinson Cano has been the Dominican Republic's best player and one of the brightest stars in the entire tournament. In 29 at-bats, he’s hitting .517 with two home runs and six RBI. Hanley Ramirez and Carlos Santana also have two home runs.
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Puerto Rico has had a more difficult road to the title game. They have lost three games in all, two coming at the hands of the Dominican Republic. Most recently, the Dominicans shut out Puerto Rico on Saturday, 2-0.
Angel Pagan and Mike Aviles have been the stars for Puerto Rico. Pagan leads the team with a .367 average, while Aviles has driven in nine runs.
Samuel Deduno will take the hill for the Dominican Republic against Giancarlo Alvarado for Puerto Rico.
According to Dominican Republic general manager Moises Alou, there is more on the line in the contest than just the WBC championship.
"There's always been a rivalry between the Dominican and Puerto Rico in everything," Alou said. "In sports and a lot of other things. We're close to each other. I know this game is going to mean a lot to both countries tomorrow."
The D.R.’s record in the WBC has made them heavy favorites in the matchup. The betting line have their odds set at -280.
Prediction: Both Deduno and Alvarado have pitched well in the WBC, so this could be a low-scoring game. However, the Dominican Republic may have too much firepower to not come away with the trophy.