As Round 1 finishes up in North America, Round 2 begins in Asia at the 2017 World Baseball Classic and we are here with a Pool E Preview from Tokyo.
Pool E consists of the top two finishers in Pools A and B from Seoul and Tokyo. In Pool A, Israel shocked everyone by going 3-0 and winning the pool. The Netherlands picked up the no. 2 seed out of Pool A after going 2-1. Both South Korea and Chinese Taipei did not advance.
Coming out of Pool B are two of the top favorites in the tournament, Japan and Cuba. Japan won the pool finishing with a perfect 3-0 record, and they look to be the top of the heap going into Round 2. Cuba finished 2-1 defeating Australia 4-3 to advance to the next round.
Round 2 will be another round robin. The two no. 1 seeds from Round 1 will have an easier schedule simply because they will not play on back-to-back days. The no. 2 seeds will have games on back-to-back days.
Israel will have to keep its hot hand going, and they have the talent to do just that. Do not count them out of advancing to the semifinals. Japan is the clear favorite in the pool. The rest should be interesting to watch. This pool is up for grabs and could make for some interesting baseball.
Schedule for Round 2 in Tokyo, Japan:
Game 1 Saturday March 11th 10PM EST
Cuba vs Israel
Game 2 Sunday March 12th 6AM EST
Japan vs Netherlands
Game 3 Monday March 13th 6AM EST
Netherlands and Israel
Game 4 Tuesday March 14th 6AM EST
Cuba vs Japan
Game 5 Tuesday March 14th 11PM EST
Netherlands vs Cuba
Game 6 Wednesday March 15th 6AM EST
Israel vs Japan
Game 7 Thursday March 16th 6AM EST
Tiebreaker if necessary
All games will take place at the Tokyo Dome. More information on Pool E.
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.