WBN’s Preview of Pool C at the 2023 World Baseball Classic

Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, will host Pool C of the World Baseball Classic. (Photo by Jill Weisleder/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

By Julian Guilarte
World Baseball Network

How will the five teams in Pool C fare at Chase Field in Phoenix? Let’s take a look:

The United States is heavily favored to win Pool C of the World Baseball Classic in Phoenix, Arizona at Chase Field. The U.S. is -450 to win Pool C, and second to win the WBC at + 250 odds via Draft Kings sportsbook. The U.S. has aspirations of winning the whole tournament and, is managed by former Major League Baseball infielder Mark DeRosa. Their biggest threat appears to be Mexico, which has +400 odds of winning Pool C. Colombia and Canada are even at +2,500 to win Pool C. Great Britain is an extreme long shot with +10,000 odds to take first place in Pool C.

United States 

Notable Players: Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Trea Turner are at the top of their lineup. They could have the best lineup in the entire tournament, especially with the recent knee injury to Dominican Republic first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Old reliable 41-year-old Adam Wainwright will serve as their ace pitcher. The bullpen is anchored by Devin Williams.

Best result at WBC: The USA won the 2017 World Baseball Classic Championship. 

Pool Play Schedule
March 11 – vs. Great Britain – 9 p.m. ET – Fox  
March 12 – vs. Mexico – 10 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 1 
March 13 – vs. Canada – 10 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 1  
March 15 – vs. Colombia – 10 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 1 

Prediction: They’ll have an easy time against every team in Pool C but Mexico. They’ll finish second in the group and end up running the table toward the championship.


Notable Players: Mexico features outfielders Randy Arozarena and Alex Verdugo as the first two hitters in their lineup. First baseman Joey Meneses burst into the big leagues last season at age 30 with the Washington Nationals. He hit 13 home runs with an OPS of .930. Mexico’s strength could lie in their starting rotation, which is led by Los Angeles Dodgers ace Julio Urias. Patrick Sandoval backs him up as the second starter. Mexico is managed by Benji Gil, a former MLB infielder who is now an infield coach with the Los Angels Angles. Mexico will look to atone for the disappointment of the last WBC in which they went 1-2 in pool play.

Best Result at the WBC: Mexico took sixth place in 2006. 

Pool Play Schedule
March 11 – vs. Colombia – 2:30 p.m. ET – Fox 
March 12 – vs. USA – 10 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 1  
March 14 – vs. Great Britain – 10 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 1 
March 15 – vs. Canada – 3 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 2  

Prediction: Mexico will get upset early by Colombia, but they will run through the pool undefeated after that. They’ll shock team USA but will lose in the quarterfinals. 


Notable Players: Harold Ramirez, Oscar Mercado, Gio Ursehela and Jorge Alfaro are big leaguers that stand out in their lineup. Urshela and Alfaro were just prospects in the last WBC and didn’t crack their official roster. Jose Quintana was their ace, but he is now dealing with left-side tightness. He left his first spring training start with the New York Mets due to the injury, per their general manager Billy Eppler. Quintana wrote on his Instagram that he will not be able to pitch in the WBC. Veteran Julio Teheran pitched 11 years in the majors and could be called upon to replace Quintana. Quintana and Teheran both pitched for Colombia in the country’s lone WBC appearance in 2017.

Best result at WBC: Eliminated in pool play in 2017.

Pool Play Schedule
March 11 – vs. Mexico – 2:30 p.m. ET – Fox 
March 13 – vs. Great Britain – 3 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 2 
March 14 – vs. Canada – 3 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 2 
March 15 – vs. USA – 10 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 1 

Prediction: The injury to Quintana will be tough to overcome, but they’ll start off strong with two wins. After that, they’ll come back down to earth, lose the next two, and be eliminated from the WBC. 


Notable Players: Freddie Freeman is far and away the best player on the roster. Tyler O’Neil and Abraham Toro have the most big-league experience behind Freeman. Cal Quantrill leads the rotation and John Axford will be a big piece in the bullpen. They’ll be a tough out, but their depth isn’t strong enough to compete at the top of the pool. Manager Ernie Whitt was an MLB catcher for 15 years and made the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Best result at WBC: In 2006, Canada went 2-1 and failed to advance out of their pool after losing a tiebreaker. 

Pool Play Schedule
March 12 – vs. Great Britain – 3 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 1 
March 13 – vs. USA – p.m. ET – Fox Sports 1 
March 14 – vs. Colombia – 3 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 2 
March 15 – vs. Mexico – 3 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 2 

Prediction: Canada will have the biggest swing game of the pool against Colombia. They’ll win that game, but they won’t be able to defeat the US or Mexico. Overall, they will finish 2-2. 

Great Britain

Notable Players: Outfielder Trayce Thompson is the most accomplished player on their roster. The 31-year-old Thompson is the brother of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson, and has mainly played for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has 39 career home runs with a .737 OPS. Seattle Mariners’ top prospect catcher Harry Ford has turned heads during spring training and has a .878 OPS in his minor league career. Washington Nationals infield prospect Lucius Fox has stolen 155 bases during his six year minor league career. Britain is managed by Drew Spencer, who was a standout as a pitcher and outfielder at Dartmouth College. This is their first time qualifying for the WBC.

Pool Play Schedule
March 11 – vs. USA – 9 p.m. ET – Fox
March 12 – vs. Canada – 3 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 1 
March 13 – vs. Colombia – 3 p.m. ET – Fox Sports 2 
March 14 – vs. Mexico – 10p.m. ET – Fox Sports 1 

Prediction: Great Britain should be proud to make the tournament, but they’ll be extremely overmatched in every game. They will not win one game in the WBC.

Tommorow, WBN will have a preview of Pool D at the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

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