One of the most compelling matchups of the 2023 World Baseball Classic thus far is on the docket for Wednesday. Two WBC powerhouses -- Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic -- will go at it with a trip to the quarterfinals hanging in the balance. Venezuela has already advanced out of the Pool D (informally known as the Pool of Death thanks to the strength of its field), and this game will determine the final team from Pool D to move on. Puerto Rico and the D.R. both enter this one with a 2-1 mark in pool play.
You can view the full tournament schedule by clicking here. Now let's move on to how you can watch this epic clash.
Puerto Rico vs. Dominican Republic how to watch
Date: Wednesday, Mar. 15 | Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: loanDepot Park (Miami)
TV channel: FS1 | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Odds: D.R. -400; P.R. +300; O/U: 10 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Starting pitchers: RHP Fernando Cruz (Puerto Rico) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (D.R.)
Players to watch
The 37-year-old Cueto gets the nod for the Dominican Republic in this do-or-die affair. Cueto, now with the Marlins, enjoyed a late-career renaissance season for the White Sox last season. Thanks in part to a repertoire streamlined to feature his fastball, sinker, and slider, Cueto registered a 118 ERA+, a K/BB ratio of 3.09, and a capacity to work deep into games. How Cueto manages the Puerto Rico lineup in those early frames will be critical.
Across the way, Francisco Lindor may be tasked with doing the heavy lifting for the Puerto Rico attack. The D.R. figures to have a big edge when it comes to offenses, thanks to their lineup that's stuffed with stars (even without the injured Vladimir Guerrero Jr.). Lindor of the Mets figures to have the best chance to blunt that advantage. He's of course an accomplished hitter, particularly by the standards of slick-fielding shortstops, and thus far in the 2023 WBC Lindor has a slash line of .455/.538/.636 with a home run and only one strikeout. Manager Yadier Molina's squad will need more of the same from him in this one.
The D.R. offense comes in with a slash line of .311/.392/.481 as a team in this WBC, and that figures to make the difference in those one. The Dominican Republic out-hits Puerto Rico in what will be remembered as a classic clash.
Pick: Dominican Republic 8, Puerto Rico 7