WBC News: Dodgers Mookie Betts Leading Off for Team USA in Final Against Japan

Team USA is facing off against Team Japan in the highly-anticipated World Baseball Classic final today at 4:00 p.m. PST on FS1. As it’s been all tournament, Dodgers superstar Mookie Betts will be leading off for the Americans as they try to defend their crown as the champions of the baseball world.

Here’s the full lineup for Team USA for tonight’s matchup:

Notably, Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto starts over Will Smith. And the red hot former Dodger Trea Turner moves up in the lineup.

USA is the favorite to win the game at -125, with Japan as the slight underdog at +105. However, Japan is yet to lose in the tournament, going 6-0 thus far. USA, on the other hand, is 5-1, with their lone loss coming to Mexico — the team Japan beat in the semifinals — in their second game of the tournament.

All time, USA leads Japan in the head-to-head series two games to one. But, of course, none of that matters tonight.

One of the biggest storylines of the game is whether or not two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani will pitch. If he does, it would just be one inning (as it would be on short rest). However, if Japan is leading going into the ninth inning, it’s hard to imagine anyone besides Ohtani being out there to get the final outs.

Ohtani will be going up against his current Angels teammate Mike Trout. Everyone is hoping the two meet if Ohtani is on the mound, but we’ll see how the game plays out.

The WBC has been an absolutely incredible tournament, and has been great for the game of baseball. The players have all raved about it, calling it the best games they’ve ever played in. If you haven’t watched any WBC yet, I highly recommend you tune into the final tonight. And if you’re looking for a Dodger-centric angle, Betts and Will Smith are looking to bring home the gold for Team USA.

Best of luck to both teams tonight in what’s sure to be another classic.

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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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