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Paul Goldschmidt #46 of Team USA rounds third base as we look at our best Japan USA prop picks
Paul Goldschmidt #46 of Team USA rounds third base on his way to score in the fourth inning against Team Cuba during the World Baseball Classic Semifinals at loanDepot park on March 19, 2023 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images via AFP.

United States vs. Japan. Mike Trout vs. Shohei Ohtani. Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt opposing sudden sensation Lars Nootbaar. Read on for our best USA vs. Japan PrizePicks props for the WBC Final.

With all eyes of the baseball world on Miami, will the biggest stars on Team USA and Japan thrive for their respective countries in the finale of the 2023 World Baseball Classic on Tuesday? 

Here are our best USA vs. Japan prop picks from PrizePicks for the WBC Final (pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our USA-Japan WBC Final picks, and our WBC odds.

USA vs. Japan prop picks

  • Nolan Arenado Over 1.5 total bases 
  • Merrill Kelly Under 2.5 strikeouts
  • Shohei Ohtani Over 1.5 total bases

Prop predictions for USA vs. Japan

Arenado Over 1.5 Total Bases ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Left-hander Shoto Imanaga is the probable starter for Japan on Tuesday. That should set off alarm bells for a Team USA lineup filled with right-handed sluggers that like doing damage against lefties. Nolan Arenado will clearly benefit from the matchup after posting a .939 OPS against lefties in 2022.

The obvious caveat is making sure Arenado is actually in the starting lineup after taking a pitch off his right hand in the semifinal game against Cuba. Though X-rays were negative, he could sit out of an abundance of caution.

Expect another productive day from Arenado if he plays. If he sits, pivot to his Cardinals teammate and reigning NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt to clear the 1.5-mark on total bases.

Merrill Kelly Under 2.5 Strikeouts ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Team USA and Team Japan could both use what amounts to a bullpen game. The United States will first send Merrill Kelly to the mound. The right-hander averaged an underwhelming 8.0 K/9 in 2022.

Combine that with the style of a Japanese lineup that tends to put the ball in play, and expect a low strikeout total for Kelly on Tuesday night. He’s capped at 65 pitches regardless of his effectiveness. If there are any early bumps, it wouldn't be surprising to see manager Mark DeRosa pull him earlier than that in the championship game of this tournament. 

Ohtani Over 1.5 Total Bases ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Shohei Ohtani has hinted at being utilized as a pitcher out of the Japanese bullpen, but I expect his primary contributions to come in the batter’s box. The matchup against Kelly lends itself nicely to a positive outcome for the left-handed swinging slugger.

Left-handed hitters put together a .720 OPS against Kelly in 2022, which compares favorably to righties compiling an OPS narrowly above .600. The hopes of a nation are on Ohtani's shoulders. I expect him to respond accordingly.

USA-Japan prop picks made 3/21/2023 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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