Team USA’s manager Mark DeRosa knows exactly what it will take to win against Venezuela in the WBC quarterfinals Saturday, and he will have none other than Mookie Betts in the leadoff spot. The Dodgers’ star right fielder is no stranger to that role and will look to get his USA squad off to a fiery start.
Despite his team boasting tons of other star power, DeRosa chose Betts as his leadoff hitter prior to the kickoff of the WBC and will be sticking with him for their biggest game yet.
The entire starting lineup for Team USA was confirmed by USA Today’s Bob Nightingale via Twitter. Notably, Dodgers catcher Will Smith isn’t in the lineup.
Earlier this week,Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also revealed that Betts will be the team’s main leadoff hitter during the regular season, and opposing pitchers should get ready to face him first. Prior to his heartbreaking ACL tear, Gavin Lux was a name they were considering to fill the spot for certain games — but now it is likely to just be Betts.
The 30-year-old All-Star recorded 35 home runs in 2022 and seven of those came when he was in the leadoff position. He is widely regarded as one of the most consistent sluggers in the MLB and is now building that reputation on an international level.
Betts has the chance to bring a trophy back to America, and DeRosa is entrusting him to get his squad off to the right start. Tune in at 7 p.m. Eastern time to see how he and the rest of Team USA perform!
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