The United States has a chance to win their first World Baseball Classic as Ian Kinsler and the boys try to show the world the right way to show passion while playing baseball...or something like that.
Puerto Rico is also vying for their first WBC crown after falling to the Dominican Republic in last year's championship game. Puerto Rico has been a rising power on the International scene over the course of this decade of WBC play.
With young stars like Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, and Javier Baez, to go along with veteran stalwarts Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran, this rise has cumlinated in an undefeated run in this year's Classic as inarguably the best team in the tournament.
Back on March 17, the Second Round of action, the Puerto Ricans defeated Team USA 6-5 in a thriller. The US was able to bounce back from the loss with a win against the Dominicans to make it to the Final Round and then beat the undefeated Japanese last night to make the Final and claim their rematch.
For the Rangers, Jonathan Lucroy starts for Team USA after Buster Posey was in the lineup last night. Last night's winning pitcher Sam Dyson has not allowed a run in his five innings of work spanning four appearances. On team PR, Alex Claudio has been similarly successful out of the 'pen tossing three scoreless innings in three appearances. Either way, at least one Ranger will walk away a champion tonight.
Fun fact: Puerto Rican starting pitcher Seth Lugo was born and raised in Louisiana while US starter Marcus Stroman's mother is Puerto Rican and he plays for the only non-US MLB team. Weird, wild stuff.
Here's a look at the lineups: