On the second day of Round 2 play, Puerto Rico and Italy are looking to stay in contention to win the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Both clubs lost on Tuesday and will be knocked out of the WBC with one more defeat. They will face each other on Wednesday night in an elimination game at Marlins Park at 7 p.m. ET. MLB Network and ESPN Deportes will air the contest on TV, but viewers who have certain cable providers can watch a free live stream online at worldbaseballclassic.com.
Puerto Rico didn’t have much of a chance in its first Round 2 game, falling 7-1 to Team USA. Italy almost upset the Dominican Republic, but blew a 4-0 lead, giving up five unanswered runs. The New York Yankees Robinson Cano hit a home run to help with the comeback.
Italy will send Alessandro Maestri to the mound. He’s pitched three innings in the tournament, allowing one run and three hits. The pitcher used to play in the Chicago Cubs farm system, but never made it to the Majors.
For Puerto Rico, Giancarlo Alvarado will get the call. He’s thrown four scoreless innings in the WBC, allowing just one base-runner and striking out four.
Alvarado will have to concern himself with Nick Punto and Anthony Granato. Both players are hitting above .450 through four contests. Chris Colabello has hit two home runs for Italy.
Betting Odds: Puerto Rico-200
Prediction: Puerto Rico 5, Italy 4