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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Netherlands eliminates Cuba from 2017 WBC | MLB.com

Another Cinderella story.

Even with a talent-rich team headlined by big leaguers Xander Bogaerts, Didi Gregorius, Jonathan Schoop, Andrelton Simmons and Jurickson Profar, the Netherlands is viewed an underdog in this year’s Classic—at least in contrast to the loaded Pool F dueling on the other side of the Pacific.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2017 at 06:28 AM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cuba, netherlands, wbc

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   1. Stevey Posted: March 15, 2017 at 01:13 PM (#5417731)
Another Cinderella story.


Is it though? The Netherlands opened at around -270 for last night's game. That's a "Kershaw pitching against the Padres" kind of line. They have been favored by Vegas in five of their six games, underdogs against only Japan.

Obviously the depth of the rest of the roster matters a lot, and there are significant hindrances to players from Cuba making it to the majors or those that do playing for the team, but I think I would take that Dutch roster with the listed MLBers listed over anyone but the US, DR, PR, Venezuela, and Japan. The Netherlands are very fortunate that the other four are in the other half of the draw, and should be decent sized underdogs against whoever emerges, but this isn't a 15 seed knocking off a 2, or even a 12 over a 5.
   2. Cooper Nielson Posted: March 16, 2017 at 07:08 AM (#5418163)
The Netherlands' roster is fascinating. They have five guys who could probably be starting shortstops in the majors (J. Schoop has never played SS in the majors, but it was his most common position -- by a few innings -- in the minors), Kenley Jansen, and basically nothing else -- guys you've never heard of, or haven't heard about in a half-dozen years (Balentien, Martis, Jurrjens, van den Hurk).

Naturally, all five of those "shortstops" are playing. I see that Simmons is their regular SS (deservedly so), Schoop is playing his now customary 2B, Bogaerts is playing 3B, Profar has been moved to CF, and Gregorius is being sorta wasted as a DH.
   3. Buck Coats Posted: March 16, 2017 at 08:01 AM (#5418165)
Balentien did have some huge years in Japan fairly recently - 60 homers and a 1.234 OPS in 2013, 1.007 OPS in 2014.

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