This article is part of our MLB Picks series.
WBC Picks Tonight: Cuba at Netherlands Best Bets for Tuesday, March 7
Cuba at Netherlands
Projected Starting Pitchers
Yariel Rodriguez (Cuba) vs. Tom de Blok (Netherlands)
Rodriguez is 25 year old, 6 ft 165 lb right-handed pitcher that pitched last year in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball for the Chunichi Dragons, where he was 6-2 with a 1.15 ERA in 56 games, striking out 60 batters. He has been used as a reliever in Japan.
de Blok is a 26 year old, 6 foot 4, 240 lb right-handed pitcher. His most recent year (2021), he had six starts for Amsterdam going 3-2 with a 1.64 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 45 strikeouts in 33 innings pitched. Most notable was a seven inning perfect game in May 2021.
Betting on the World Baseball Classic is more geared for team futures vs. individual games (Rotowire's full WBC preview here), but there is still a lot of interest in finding an edge in tonight's game which starts at 11pm eastern in Taiwan.
Cuba is living more on reputation instead of recent performance. With Luis Robert Jr. and Yoan Moncada suiting up for Team Cuba, along with Yoenis Cespedes and WBC career home run leader Alfredo Despaigne, they have a potent offense. The question, as is the case with several teams is the pitching staff. Roenis Elias, Ronald Bolanos and Miguel Romero are current MLB active pitcher while Livan Moinelo, Raidel Martinez and Yariel Rodriguez are solid pitchers over in Japan.
The Netherlands have finished fourth in each of the last two WBC tournaments. Their squad is led by the infield of Xander Bogaerts, Jonathan Schoop, Andrelton Simmons and Didi Gregorius. They also have outfielder Wladimir Balentien has hit 502 home runs across 20 professional seasons. Chadwick Tromp (Braves), RIchie Palacios (Guardians), Josh Palacios (Pirates) are the remaining position players in MLB organizations.
Starting pitching is the big question mark, with prospects Antwone Kelly (Pirates) and Jaydenn Estanista (Phillies) and former MLB veterans Jair Jurrjens and Shairon Martis. The bullpen has Pedro Strop and eventually Kenley Jansen if they advance.
The Netherlands have a decided edge in starting pitcher so I am going to lean on them getting to Rodriguez early and often. But both sides have overall questionable pitching and solid hitting. There are several ways you can play this game today.
MLB Best Bets for Cuba vs. Netherlands
- Netherlands +170 for 0.5 unit (DraftKings)
- Netherlands OVER 3.5 runs for 0.5 unit (DraftKings +120)
- Cuba/Netherlands OVER 8 runs for 0.5 unit (DraftKings -115)
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