WBC tiebreakers and scenarios: How USA, Dominican Republic and others advance


Races for the final places in the 2023 World Baseball Classic quarter-finals come down to the final days of pool play, and thanks to the tournament’s unique five-team groups, multiple WBC tiebreak scenarios could emerge.

So what happens if Group C (currently led by the United States with Mexico, Colombia and Canada tied for second) or Group D (led by Venezuela followed by Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Israel) run out with a two-, three-, four- or even five-way draw?

Yes five-possible team tie — and this will be the second victory in this WBC after each team in Group A finished with a score of 2-2; Cuba and Italy advanced further in the tie-break.

Here’s how WBC tiebreakers work and what it means for teams in both remaining groups.

WBC standings | Schedule and results | Strength Rating

WBC tiebreak rules

Tie-break of two teams: Personal record.

It’s pretty simple. If two countries are equal in the standings, the team that won the billiards match advances.

But what happens if three or more teams are tied in the standings? This is where things get more complicated.

Multi-team tie-break #1: Lowest quotient of runs allowed divided by the number of defensive strikeouts recorded in games between tied teams.

So what does this mean?

Instead of using an overall run differential, this WBC tiebreak comes down to how many runs your team has allowed against the other teams it’s tied with (the added math of dividing by the number of recorded strikeouts helps account for games with extra innings or those shortened by launch rule).

Using a five-man tie in Pool A as an example, Cuba gave up 15 runs and recorded 108 strikeouts in four pool games (all of which counted in the tiebreak as all five teams had the same record). An average of 0.139 runs allowed was the best in the group, so Cuba advanced further (Italy was next at .157, so they advanced as well).

Multi-team tie-break №2: The lowest ratio earned allowed runs divided by the number of defensive outs recorded in games between the tied teams.

If you follow the formula of the first tie-break, then the second one is actually quite simple. It’s the same idea, just using only earned runs allowed instead of the total allowed runs.

Multi-team tie-break #3: Highest average in games between equal teams.

If the teams are still level after using both formulas for allowed runs, offensive characteristics finally come into play. Next, we turn to the average performance of each team compared to other teams in the tiebreak.

Multi-team tie-break No. 4: Draw between tied teams.

Yes, you read it right. In the very unlikely event that previous tiebreaks do not resolve the issue, the team(s) that move will be determined, essentially, by picking names from a hat. Given the details of the first three tiebreaks, it seems almost impossible… but hey, who knows, right?

So how could all this play a role for the countries vying for the remaining places in the quarter-finals? Let’s take a look at the two groups still playing in the first round.

What this means for the US, Mexico and Group C

USA 2-1
Mexico 1-1
Canada 2-1
Colombia 1-2
UK 1-2

Team USA’s crushing victory over Canada, combined with Britain’s surprise loss to Colombia on Monday night, made the path for the United States much clearer. If Team USA beats Colombia on Wednesday night, they will go 3-1 ahead. Mexico can also finish 3-1 and take first place in the quarter-finals thanks to a head-to-head win.

But a loss to Colombia and a 2-2 US record could cause problems: Canada or Mexico will still be able to finish 3-1 and claim a place in the quarter-finals. Then, if multiple teams finish 2-2, the fate of the United States will likely depend on which other teams are involved in the tie-break – head-to-head and allowed runs come into play as the US thrashed Canada 12: 1. Played a pretty tight game against Great Britain and lost 11 runs to Mexico.

What this means for the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Group D

Venezuela 3-0
Puerto Rico 2-1
Dominican Republic 2-1
Israel 1-2
Nicaragua 0-4

Venezuela, having won all of its first three games, became the first team to secure a place in the quarter-finals on Tuesday when the Dominican Republic beat Israel.

All of which means that the biggest intrigue in this group is likely to come in the battle between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic for the one seat left – and the two teams will play each other on Wednesday night in a battle of the winners. .


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