For the first time since 2008, baseball is back at the Summer Olympics.
It has been a long time coming, and many MLB fans can’t wait for the event.
Team USA is one of the countries in the six-team field, and there are plenty of storylines surrounding the club.
Let’s break some of them down.
3. What Will The Vibe Be Like In Tokyo With No Spectators?
It was recently announced that the Tokyo Olympics will be held without spectators due to COVID-19.
Unfortunately, baseball fans are quite familiar with watching games with no fans, and the vibe isn’t quite the same.
Players will have to create their own energy at this year’s Olympics.
Of course, the safety of everyone involved should be the top priority at all times, so the precautions are absolutely justified.
However, it won’t quite be the same as fans initially hoped.
2. Baseball Is Finally Back At The Olympics, So How Will Team USA Perform?
According to one sportsbook, Team USA currently has the second-best odds at winning gold in Tokyo, and Team Japan is listed as the favorite.
It’s a six-team field featuring some great baseball nations, and the competition should be fierce.
Here are each of the countries in the field listed in order of their odds at winning gold:
- Team Japan
- Team USA
- Team Korea
- Team Dominican Republic
- Team Mexico
- Team Israel
It’s going to be a great event with lots of parity.
Team USA has a lot of familiar faces, and it will be exciting to see baseball at the Olympics for the first time in more than a decade.
Will Team USA come out on top?
1. Which Veterans Will Shine And Potentially Rejuvenate Their MLB Careers?
Team USA is loaded with MLB players who are currently are free agents.
Team USA baseball is a great opportunity to remember some guys pic.twitter.com/brTLTxKYUo
— tryler (@tylerlauletta) July 19, 2021
Robertson, 36, last played in the Majors in 2019 with the Philadelphia Phillies.
He struggled, posting a 5.40 ERA over seven outings, but that was a small sample size.
He was effective as recently as 2018, when he pitched to a 3.23 ERA over 69 appearances with the New York Yankees.
Kazmir, on the other hand, was with a big-league team earlier this season.
He struggled over limited opportunities with the San Francisco Giants.
The 37-year-old has been around the league for an extremely long time—he debuted in 2004—and he evidently isn’t ready to call it quits yet.
He’s a three-time All-Star at the MLB level, and he’s hoping to prove at the Olympics that he still has something left in the tank.
Next up, we’ve got Frazier.
He’s a career .241 hitter with a .763 OPS in 11 MLB seasons.
He’s known best for some of his elite power-hitting seasons.
Like Kazmir, Frazier played in the Majors earlier this season, and he struggled to a .086 batting average over 13 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
However, Frazier, who is 35, performed great for Team USA during the Baseball America Qualifier.
It will be interesting to see how he performs in Tokyo.
And lastly, we’ve got Jackson.
Jackson debuted in the Majors all the way back in 2003.
He was named an All-Star in 2009 and was an effective MLB starter as recently as 2018.
That year, he pitched to a 3.33 ERA over 17 starts with the Oakland Athletics.
Just saw that Edwin Jackson is pitching for Team USA in the Olympics. I wish him lots of success. Met him in Syracuse 2 years ago; very nice guy.
— Mary Lawlor #1 Fan: @thePeteyMac & #BNNY (@MaryL1973) July 22, 2021
The 37-year-old figures to be a key piece of Team USA’s pitching staff, and if he performs well, he could draw interest from some MLB teams.NEXT: When Will Miami Marlins Be Legitimate Contenders Again?