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Shohei Ohtani of Japan as we look at our top Mexico vs. Japan picks.
Shohei Ohtani of Japan receives MVP AWARD of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) Pool B at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo on March 16, 2023. Photo by Shuhei Yokoyama via AFP.

Japan and Mexico will square up on Monday with a spot in the World Baseball Classic championship game on the line. Can Randy Arozarena and Mexico topple Shohei Ohtani and Japan? Read on for our top Mexico vs. Japan picks for their WBC semifinals matchup.

Japan has been one of the most dominant teams throughout the WBC, sweeping through Pool B before destroying Italy in the quarterfinals by a score of 9-3.

Meanwhile, Mexico's WBC run has been defined by energy and resilience. The Mexicans needed a comeback against powerhouse Puerto Rico for a one-run win to advance to this semifinal matchup.

Here is our best Mexico vs. Japan pick for the WBC semifinals (odds via DraftKings; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Mexico vs. Japan pick: WBC 2023

Japan -1.5 (-135 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Japan hasn’t really had much stress through five WBC games. Its smallest margin of victory in the tournament is six runs, which it did twice: once against Australia in pool play and then again against Italy in the quarterfinals.

Roki Sasaki is set to take the mound for Japan. While he doesn’t have the name recognition of Ohtani or Yu Darvish, the 21-year-old phenom went 9-4 with a 2.02 ERA across 129 1/3 innings in 20 games pitched last year in the Japan Pacific League.

The fireballer struck out 173 batters and walked just 23, including a 19-strikeout perfect game last April. Sasaki has eight strikeouts and allowed two hits (one unearned run) in 3 2/3 innings in the WBC.

Los Angeles Angels left-hander Patrick Sandoval is no slouch for Mexico, though. The Los Angels starter threw three innings of one-run ball against Team USA in Mexico’s 11-5 win a week ago.

Nevertheless, Japan is the deeper team going against a Mexican team headlined by Randy Arozarena and Joey Meneses. It’s been a good run for Mexico but Japan is the odds-on favorite for a reason.

Mexico vs. Japan best odds

DraftKings: -1.5 (-135)


The run line varies across the board, and I don’t necessarily mind the -2.5 at +106 via FanDuel, but the standard -1.5 spread is the best play. There is a bit of value at DraftKings and BetMGM.

Mexico vs. Japan odds analysis

Japan opened at around -200 on the Moneyline and has since plummeted to as short as -300 at PointsBet. Japan's longest price is -250 at Caesars.

The total is set at either 8 or 8.5 across the board with BetMGM offering the best price for the Over 8.5 (-110) and Under 8.5 (-110).

Mexico vs. Japan game info

  • Date: Monday, March 20, 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: FS1
  • Location: loanDepot park, Miami, FL
  • Weather: Indoors

Mexico-Japan pick made 03/19/2023 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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