The United States and Venezuela battle on the diamond Saturday in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) Quarterfinals at LoanDepot Park in Miami.
Team USA punched its ticket to the knockout stage with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Colombia at Chase Field in Phoenix.
Venezuela is a perfect 4-for-4 so far, outscoring opponents by a 23-9 margin, including a victory last time out over Israel on Wednesday night in Miami.
Can Team USA pick up the win over Venezuela in the Quarters, moving one step closer to defending its WBC title, or will Venezuela stay perfect in the tournament and march on? We’ll discuss in our WBC betting picks for USA vs. Venezuela on Saturday, March 18.
USA vs Venezuela odds: Moneyline, run line, Over/Under
|-1.5 (+120)||Run line||+1.5 (-150)|
|Over 9.0 (-115)||Total||Under 9.0 (-115)|
Odds courtesy of bet365 as of March 18, 2023.
USA vs Venezuela picks and predictions
Team USA wasn’t particularly impressive in pool play. It won 6-2 in the opener against Great Britain, but failed to cover the run line. It was trampled by Mexico 11-5, a team that was also able to advance past the knockout stage.
USA was able to drum Team Canada by a 12-1 score in a shortened seven-inning game, cashing on the run line for the only time in four games in pool play. Team USA didn’t even come close to covering a 7.5 number against a feisty Colombia team that actually led at one point.
Things are setting up nicely for USA, if it can win this game, as Puerto Rico was knocked out by Mexico, perhaps setting up a championship down the road against the neighbors to the south.
But there is a lot that needs to happen, first and foremost, finding a way to defeat Venezuela. Nobody has been able to find the combination needed to crack them so far.
Venezuela has been receiving dominant pitching, posting a 2.00 ERA through four games in 36 innings, second only to Japan (1.80 ERA). Conversely, Team USA has a very pedestrian 4.24 ERA, while teams are hitting .258 against the Americans, with Venezuela holding the opposition to a .241 mark.
As far as offense, Venezuela has held its own, batting .281 with 15 extra-base hits in four games while averaging 5.8 runs per game. Team USA has hit just .268 with 15 XBH, including four homers, while averaging 6.5 runs per game.
Team USA will be playing on home soil in Miami, but you can expect a lot of Venezuelan fans, too. This should be a very good game, and I’d like Venezuela on the run line if it were receiving multiple runs. Getting just 1.5 runs, though, let’s Instead go Under 9 runs, based on Venezuela’s solid pitching, and Team USA’s mediocre offense to date.
My best bet: Under 9 (-105 at BetMGM)
Looking to bet on some World Baseball Classic action? Here are two of the best bonuses* available:
A) New users at FanDuel can get a deposit bonus 10x the value of their first bet (up to $200)! Sign Up Now
B) New users at DraftKings can bet $5 and get $200 in free bets! Sign Up Now
*Eligible USA locations only. Also, check out our full list of best sportsbook promotions for 2023.
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
USA vs Venezuela moneyline analysis
Team USA has covered the run line just once in four games in this tournament so far. The Americans did enough to get to Miami, but will need their best game of the tourney if they wishe to keep their dream of consecutive WBC titles alive.
Venezuela has covered as an underdog twice, including a dominating 5-1 win over the Dominican Republic on March 11 in Miami during Pool D play. It won’t be fazed by facing the favored Americans, and is very comfortable at LoanDepot park, since Venezuela already has four games under its belt at the stadium.
Eugenio Suarez has been on fire in this tournament, hitting .600 with a homer and six RBI while posting a 1.536 OPS in three games to date. Salvador Perez has collected four extra-base hits in 10 at-bats, leading the team with a 1.154 SLG. Anthony Santander has also stepped up, hitting .462 with two bombs and five RBI.
This lineup has been potent, and that’s not even mentioning Ronald Acuna Jr., who is due after being fairly quiet to this point. Jose Altuve also hasn’t done much. This lineup is stacked, and very dangerous.
As such, take Venezuela on the run line, as it has enough to keep this game within one run, if not winning outright.
USA vs Venezuela Over/Under analysis
The Under is the best play on the board. Again, Venezuela is second in this WBC with a sparkling 2.00 ERA, with a 1.25 WHIP and a .241 opponent batting average.
Venezuela has allowed just one home run, tied with Netherlands for the best mark in that category in this tournament. Venezuela also has 46 strikeouts in 36 innings, led by Luis Garcia, with seven punchouts in just three frames.
Team USA has been a little more giving, and pitching was the biggest question for this team going into the tournament. So far, those questions haven’t been answered.
The Americans have a 4.24 ERA, while serving up four homers in 34 IP. Still, with the intensity ratcheted up, we should see a well-pitched game on both sides.
The Under has cashed in three of four games for Venezuela so far, while going 2-2 for Team USA.
Play the Under, and toss Venezuela on the run line in a parlay for a nice winning ticket.
USA vs Venezuela game info
|Location:||LoanDepot Park, Miami, FL|
|Date:||Saturday, March 18, 2023|
|First pitch:||7:00 p.m. ET|
USA vs Venezuela starting pitchers
Lance Lynn: The right-handed Lynn, who plies his trade with the MLB’s Chicago White Sox, won his only start against Team Canada on Monday, allowing a solo home run on two hits with six strikeouts in five innings of work.
Martin Perez: The southpaw, who pitches for the MLB’s Texas Rangers, had a no-decision in his only start of the tournament on March 11 against the Dominican Republic. He allowed for hits and a single run in 3 1/3 IP, while striking out four batters.