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World Baseball Classic Finals Preview: Dominican Republic

World Baseball Classic Finals Preview: Dominican Republic

In our final preview of the semifinal teams, we take a look at what many may consider to be the favorite in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, the Dominican Republic.

Dominican Republic

WBC History

In 2006, the Dominican Republic rolled through the first round undefeated. In Round 2, they finished 2-1 and continued onto the semifinal round where they lost to the eventual runner-up Cuba. The next Classic in 2009 was a complete different story and a huge disappointment. They were bounced out of the 2009 Classic after losing twice to the Netherlands in Round 1.

This go around they are back stronger than ever looking for their first title. So far in 2013, they have gone undefeated. Now they have a chance at revenge for the pair of losses the Netherlands put on them in ’09.

The Hitters

This is an absolute stacked lineup full of MLB All-Stars. Robinson Cano has led the team and has simply been on fire. He has posted a ling of .519/.519/.889 so far including two home runs.

Joining Cano in the lineup are Carlos Santana (.313/.542/.688) and Nelson Cruz (.360/.385/.480). Not everyone in the lineup is hitting well though. Jose Reyes (.259), Hanley Ramirez (.176), and Erick Aybar (.278) might not have put up great numbers so far, but they have come through with some clutch hits and anyone of them is capable of getting hot and carrying the team.

The Pitchers

This is where the Dominican has really shined. Not only are they the only undefeated team, but they are the best pitching staff. Through six games they have a staff ERA of 2.17.

The starters have been quite good as well including Wandy Rodriguez (2-0/0.96) and Sam Deduno (1-0/1.13). Edinson Volquez is the only starter without a win. He struggled with his control early on against Italy giving up four runs in the first inning, but then he settled down and pitched well. He will get the start on Monday night.

As good as they starters have been, the bullpen has been just as good. Pedro Strop, Fernando Rodney, Octavio Dotel, Santiago Casilla, and Kelvin Herrera have combined for 20 scoreless innings.

The Outlook

This has to be one of the best teams to play in the Classic. If their pitching continues like it has so far, they will be extremely difficult to beat. Then again that is what people thought in 2009 when they faced the Netherlands.

They might be the most well rounded team top to bottom in the semifinals, although Japan would have something to say about that. The question now is can they get revenge for the two losses in 2009 on Monday night?

About Eric Bynum
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.

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    Polls

    Who will win the 2017 World Baseball Classic?

    • Puerto Rico (31%, 27 Votes)
    • Dominican Republic (13%, 11 Votes)
    • USA (13%, 11 Votes)
    • Mexico (11%, 10 Votes)
    • Other (8%, 7 Votes)
    • Cuba (8%, 7 Votes)
    • Venezuela (6%, 5 Votes)
    • Netherlands (5%, 4 Votes)
    • Japan (5%, 4 Votes)
    • Chinese Taipei (1%, 1 Votes)
    • South Korea (1%, 1 Votes)
    • Canada (0%, 0 Votes)

    Total Voters: 88

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