All eyes in Japan are on the Tokyo Dome as Team Japan – arguably the strongest team in this tournament – begins their hunt for their third World Baseball Classic championship. Japan start against China, who were winless at the 2017 tournament but hope to surprise the world with one of the biggest upsets possible.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game:
When and where: Now at Tokyo Dome
How to watch: The game between China and Japan is live on FS1.
Games are available on FOX, FS1, FS2, Tubi, or FOX Deportes, and each game can be streamed online in the FOX Sports app. For international viewing options, click here.
How to listen: Live audio coverage of all games will air on Sirius XM, TuneIn, MLB.com and in the MLB app.
What’s at stake: The 20 teams were placed into four five-team pools for the first round of the 2023 World Baseball Classic, with each team playing the others in their pool once and the teams with the best two records in each pool at the end of that pool. round. qualify for the knockout stage. Japan and China are in Pool B along with Korea, Australia and the Czech Republic.
Match history: Japan and China have met in all previous World Baseball Classics, with Japan winning every contest. Japan beat China 37-5 in those games.
Shohei Ohtani: Ohtani won’t just be dressing up for his first-ever World Baseball Classic, but he’ll also respect the rubber. He’s already shown his power, smashing two homers in an exhibition game in Osaka on Monday, and now he’ll be able to show off his Cy Young-caliber throwing for the eyes of the world to see.
Munetaka Murakami: The powerhouse third baseman is coming off a record-breaking season, hitting 56 home runs to beat Sadaharu Oh’s single-season mark for a Japanese-born player in Nippon Professional Baseball. With China’s probably weakest pitching staff in the pool, he could be in for a treat with plenty of power in this one.
Xiang Wang: The Chinese team’s starting pitcher to start the tournament, Wang won the silver medal at the national championships in 2019. He was also named the champion of the 2021 national championships and won the bronze medal in 2022. Although he is a member of the Shanghai Eagles, the Chinese National Baseball League has been closed since 2019 due to COVID-19.
Ray Chang: The Chinese team’s biggest star is back for his fourth World Baseball Classic. The 39-year-old now also takes on coaching duties and has even helped recruit players like Angels minor leaguer Alan Carter. He drove in the only race of the 2017 tournament. He retired after that WBC, but when given the opportunity to play again, he couldn’t resist the opportunity.