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World Baseball Classic: Mexico v United States preview: Mexico must try to tame old rivals

With the opening two groups already under way at the fifth edition of the World Baseball Classic, Mexico takes on the USA in their second game in Pool C at Chase Field in Phoenix.

WhatMexico v United States
WhereChase Field, Phoenix, Arizona 
When02.00, Monday 13th March
How to watchBT Sport
OddsPool C outright: USA 2/9, Mexico 7/2, Colombia 25/1, Canada 28/1, Great Britain 125/1. 

Flatter to deceive

Mexico should always perform much better on the global stage than they actually do. The Mexicans have never reached the final four of the World Baseball Classic and even had to qualify for the WBC in 2017, where they were knocked out in the first round, losing to Italy and Puerto Rico in the group stages. 

This time they face the likes of the USA, Colombia, Canada and Great Britain. It will be a battle again to get out of the group and qualify for the next stage of the competition. 

With the roster they have and the ability to choose from a decent amount of talent, Mexico should perform better. The Mexicans faced Colombia in their first game and it was level going into the ninth inning, tied at 4-4 before the Colombians edged the win adding one further run. 

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With MLB players such as Randy Arozarena, Luis Cessa, Patrick Sandoval, Julio Urias, Taijuan Walker, and Rowdy Tellez in their ranks they have established big league players and will cause the USA problems - certainly a lot more than Great Britain did on Saturday evening. 

Despite Trayce Thompson collecting GB’s first-ever home run in the World Baseball Classic, the Americans hit back with a three-run homer from Kyle Schwarber to eventually win 6-2 and kickstart the USA's defence of their 2017 WBC winning campaign. 

Mexico then has it all to do as they face their old adversaries in baseball. These two countries will face off for the fourth time in World Baseball Classic history. 

In their most recent matchup in 2013, Mexico defeated the USA 5-2, also at Chase Field in Phoenix.  

Team USA

USA cruised to victory over Great Britain to open their Pool C campaign. The top eight batters in the lineup all reached base at least once, with the team amassing 14 at-bats with runners in scoring position and there was no inning in which they were retired in order. 

Kyle Schwarber’s fourth-inning home run following near-misses from Mookie Betts and Mike Trout earlier set the template for the USA and from there on in, they were in control. 

While Schwarber delivered the winning blow, it was Nolan Arenado in defence as well as his bat that helped USA. Arenado collected three hits and had two RBI’s to boot. 

St Louis Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt was part of the winning USA side in 2017 and started at first base ahead of the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso.

Afterwards,  he spoke to He said: "It's one of the best baseball experiences of my life what I had in 2017, because of how positive it was, how much fun I had. 

“I was only halfway joking when I said that I begged to get on this team. I mean, I would have done anything. We could go out and just play and have fun as a team or we country and win. 

"We’re here for a purpose. We want to stand on the podium with the gold medal.” 

After beating Great Britain and facing Mexico, USA will then play Canada, followed by Colombia in their final pool matchup, trying to reach the second round of the competition. 

Mexico’s loss to Colombia means they are under pressure to beat the USA, before matches against Great Britain and their final pool game against Canada - both of which they are expected to win. 

The loss to Colombia could come back to hurt Mexico and see them exit the competition again at the first stage level. 

Big crowd

A big crowd is expected for this USA-Mexico renewal with Phoenix home to one of the largest Mexican-American communities in the United States. The Mexican support is, therefore, expected to outstrip the stars and stripes' fanbase in attendance. 

Tellez keen to impress

Rowdy Tellez will be hoping to shine after he was born in California, US but has Mexican heritage from his grandfather John. 

Tellez was offered a spot on Team Mexico following a 2022 season which the slugger hit 35 home runs for the Milwaukee Brewers. 

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