Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The 2023 World Baseball Classic is down to its final six teams in what has been a wildly popular and enjoyable tournament so far.
With the semifinals taking place this weekend and the championship game set for Tuesday night at loanDepot Park in Miami, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still well-represented across the remaining national teams with five members of their 40-man roster still vying for the title.
While Japan, the Pool B winner; and Cuba, the Pool A winner, have already punched their ticket to the semifinals, multiple Dodgers are going to be action this weekend.
That begins Friday with Julio Urías starting for Mexico against Puerto Rico. The winner advances to play Japan on Monday night.
Additionally, Saturday night’s matchup between the United States and Venezuela will determine who advances to the final four and takes on Cuba. Mookie Betts and Will Smith are looking to get the better of David Peralta.
Dodgers still in 2023 World Baseball Classic
Austin Barnes, Team Mexico
Playing in his first World Baseball Classic tournament, Barnes has made the most of the opportunity, hitting for a .300 average across four games while going 3-for-10. Also totaling a double and walk, Barnes’ on-base plus slugging percentage is at .900.
Mookie Betts, Team USA
Looking to add a WBC title to his already-impressive career accomplishments, Betts may have only hit for a .235 batting average in Pool C play, but he still is one of the key leaders on the Team USA roster.
Betts was a key player in their slim 3-2 victory against Colombia on Wednesday, as he was the first to score for the team on a two-out hit from Mike Trout.
David Peralta, Team Venezuela
Signed to a one-year, $6.5 million contract by the Dodgers just before Spring Training, Peralta has showcased one of the best offensive performances in this year’s international tournament. Peralta went 4-for-10 with a 1.138 OPS and four RBI to help carry Venezuela into the quarterfinals.
Julio Urías, Team Mexico
Pitching in his first WBC classic after being left off the 2017 Team Mexico roster, Urías allowed three earned runs on three hits with six strikeouts in a five-inning outing against Colombia last Saturday.
With a great amount of postseason pitching performances under his belt, Urías is slated to start on Friday night against Puerto Rico in the winner-take-all game.
Will Smith, Team USA
Also playing in his first WBC classic, Smith has only gotten to take six at-bats but collected two hits, one of which was a solo home run in the seventh inning of an eventual 11-5 loss to Mexico. The home run also gave Smith his only tournament RBI.
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