Power House Teams Will Dominate

The United States and Japan have two of the biggest market teams in the World Baseball Classic. Add in the Dominican Republic and you have 3 of the world's biggest power houses.

In 2006, the United States lost in the second round to Mexico. In this years tournament, USA will try to redeem themselves, taking home the gold.

While many players opted to sit out the WBC and report to Spring Training, Team USA still has a solid team. The United States have returning players to their roster, but also have key additions and subtractions. The popular topic is Alex Rodriguez moving from Team USA to the Dominican Republic team. But that doesn't mean USA has a hole at third base.

You know Team USA is good when your choice of starting third baseman is between Chipper Jones, David Wright, and Evan Longoria.

Derek Jeter and Dustin Pedroia will be playing the middle field, with Jimmy Rollins and Mark Derosa backing up. Derek Lee or Kevin Youkilis will man first. A terrific infield, none the less.

The outfield is filled with spectacular talent such as Grady Sizemore, Ryan Brain, and Carlos Quentin, as well as others.

The United States also has excellent starters in Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt and Scott Kazmir as well as others. With a 65 pitch limit, the bullpen must be strong. With J.J Putz and Joe Nathan at the back end of the bullpen, the late innings should be a breeze.

Japan is looking to repeat. In 2006, they defeated Cuba in the finals to take home the championship. Japan has Major League talent on their roster, including world wide fan favorite, Ichiro Suzuki.

Japan's pitching also consists of the Red Sox's Daisuke Matzusaka. Dice-K will try to dazzle the world with his famous pitch, the gyro-ball. Also on the pitching staff is Dice-K's Boston teammate, Hideki Okajima. Okajima had a 2.61 ERA in 2008.

One of the biggest names in Japan, and on the WBC roster is Yu Darvish, a 22 year old phenom. In 4 seasons with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, Darvish is 48-19 with a 2.33 ERA and 585 strikeouts.

The offense of the Dominican Republic's can't get much better with Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez both in the same lineup. The Dominicans also have a tough choice for shortstop between Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes, two of the game's best.

The roster will also include big names like David Ortiz, Alfonso Soriano, Vladamir Guerrero and others.

The pitching doesn't have the big names like their offense, anchored by Ervin Santana, Francisco Liriano, Edison Volquez, with Jose Valverde and Francisco Cordero at the back end. The Dominican Republic may not have the best staff in the WBC, but they have talented pitchers who will get the job done. They'll surely get their run support.

The double elimination bracket could prevent the smaller market teams to pull ahead of the power houses. However, the World Baseball Classic may be like the playoffs; any team can get hot at the right time. The small market teams could end up winning the tournament, as they have a lot of talent too. However, there is no reason why Japan, USA and the Dominican Republic wouldn't be able to dominate.

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I am anxious to see the final cuts for the powerhouse teams such as USA, Japan, and Dominican Republic.

Some very good players will be told their services are surplus to requirements, something no doubt those players are not used to hearing!

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