The Dominican Republic opens their World Baseball Classic campaign on Saturday against Venezuela.
It’s one of the most attractive games of the first round, in fact.
The Dominicans have a stacked lineup, full of MLB stars and excellent contributors all around.
Save for a few exceptions, this unit doesn’t have any flaws.
Let’s take a look at it.
Here's the lineup the Dominican Republic is using in an exhibition game against the Braves today pic.twitter.com/cIJAXe2Sl5
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) March 8, 2023
While that lineup is not the official one for Saturday, that one should look a lot like this unit.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.‘s absence will be hard to replace, since there isn’t another natural first baseman with the kind of offensive upside that the Toronto Blue Jays star can provide.
Robinson Cano is 40 and was horrible in his brief MLB showing last year, but seems to be in good form and can thrive in a short tournament.
Other alternatives for first base could be Francisco Mejia and Nelson Cruz.
Gary Sanchez is a bit boom-or-bust at catcher, but the lineup is explosive in just about every other position.
If manager Rodney Linares so desires, he also has Wander Franco and Ketel Marte as middle infield options, and they are still waiting for confirmation on San Diego Padres slugger Juan Soto.
If Soto ends up playing, he would occupy one of the corner outfield spots and be placed in one of the top three spots in the lineup.
That offense is virtually impossible to navigate unscathed for opposing pitching staffs.
This is the perfect opportunity for the Dominican Republic to make sure they tie Japan with two WBC titles.NEXT: Video Shows Team USA's Preparations For The WBC