Nippon Professional Baseball Organization

Japanese Baseball League Standings

Japanese Soccer League / December 1, 2018

Japan will go from playing home games in the Tokyo Dome to playing before what is likely to be an American-leaning crowd at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Much of the Classic has been played before a packed house and electrics crowds, and tonight is sure to be no exception. with 976, 828 fans through the first two rounds, and it is expected to surpass 1 million fans for the tourney during the three games in Los Angeles.

The Japanese squad will present a somewhat unfamiliar opponent for Team USA. Many of the United States' opponents in Rounds 1 and 2 were loaded with Major League players, but most of Japan's roster comes from Nippon Professional Baseball. Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki represents the team's lone big leaguer.

"I think that's what makes this tournament so unique, " Hosmer said. "Especially when you get this far, you start digging into the other brackets and you see the different type of style of play, you see the different players. You learn about the different players from Japan."

"What I know about them is they play a very clean game, " outfielder Adam Jones said. "They move runners over. They hit behind the runners, they bunt. They don't make many errors fielding. They are a very, very fundamentally sound team."

MLB Tonight: Roark to face Japan

MLB Tonight on Roark starting for USA against Japan

The MLB Tonight crew talks about Tanner Roark getting the start for Team USA in the semifinal matchup against Japan

The Nationals' Tanner Roark will, making his second appearance for Team USA. The right-hander yielded three runs in a relief appearance in the United States' Round 1 loss to the Dominican Republic in Miami.

For Japan, Tomoyuji Sugano will toe the rubber. The Yomiuri Giants' ace has allowed five earned runs through 8 1/3 innings (5.40 ERA) in the tournament. He's struck out 10 batters and has yet to issue a walk.

"Among the pitchers, he's the best, so we're entrusting him, " Japanese manager Hiroki Kokubo said. "Once the game starts, the starting pitcher will create a game to a certain extent. That's necessary for our win, I think."

"I don't know a whole lot about him, to be honest with you, " Team USA manager Jim Leyland said. "We have a scouting report, like I'm sure they do. He's obviously a very good pitcher or he wouldn't be representing Japan tomorrow."

The U.S. will deploy a similar lineup to the one it used in its 6-3 victory over the Dominican Republic on Saturday, with the exception of catcher, where Buster Posey will start instead of Jonathan Lucroy. At Monday afternoon's workout at Dodger Stadium, Leyland praised the way his players have come together as a unit in their short time playing for Team USA.

"I'm actually having a ball with them, " Leyland said. "I told them: 'Make this a memory, hopefully a memory that you'll never forget.'"

The World Baseball Classic runs through Wednesday. In the U.S., games air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. subscribers in the U.S. have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. for the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage - including schedules, video, stats and gear - is available at .

Source: m.mlb.com