Dodgers Star Mookie Betts Expected to Bat Leadoff for Team USA in WBC

Baseball fans can rejoice! The World Baseball Classic is officially underway, and real, competitive baseball is being played. The WBC kicked off late last night, with Netherlands beating Cuba 4-2. Then, early this morning, Panama took down Taiwan 12-5.

Over in America, Team USA is getting set for their first exhibition game tonight against the San Francisco Giants. Then, tomorrow — March 9 — they’re taking on the Los Angeles Angels in another exhibition, their final tune-up before their opening game against Great Britain on Saturday, March 11.

Team USA is absolutely loaded with talent, led by some of baseball’s best players including Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt and Dodgers superstar outfielder Mookie Betts. There are a lot of different ways manager Mark DeRosa can set his lineup, but on Wednesday, he told MLB Network his initial plan — and it has Betts leading things off for the US.

Betts has tons of experience leading off with the Dodgers, and is one of baseball’s best leadoff hitters. Last year he hit seven leadoff home runs, and this spring training, he already has two.

While we now know where Betts is going to be in the lineup, we still don’t know where he’s going to be on defense.

DeRosa said he’s likely going to use Betts in a utility role, both at second base and in the outfield. Yesterday, Betts was already seen turning double plays at second base, so maybe that’s an indication of where he’ll be on the field.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.

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