Saturday, March 14, 2009
Predictions for Pool 1
As I did with the Pools, I'm going to predict the games all the way out to the end. I'll miss a few, get a few right, and in the end, none of it will matter, because I'm not betting on the games. So this is for Pool 1. Lets see how it matches up.
Japan vs Cuba. This is a tough pick, but they all should be at this point. Japan looked good early, and lost to South Korea in a close game. But they haven't played in a week. Exhibitions don't count, but these games do. Cuba didn't look good, but did everything they need to do to win.
Japan wants to prove losing to South Korea was a blip, and Cuba wants to avenge its defeat in the 2006 Classic. The Cubans hit 3 Australians, and weren't afraid to pitch inside. They were also staring down the Aussies, and were try to play the intimidators. It didn't work against Australia. It will against Japan.
Cuba over Japan. Big.
Mexico vs South Korea. Mexico didn't do anything to impress me, and South Korea beat Japan to win the pool. After getting blown out. The game against South Africa doesn't count (as an indicator) and they split mercy rules with the Aussies, so Mexico is a little bit of a puzzle.
This is another toss up, and I'm not sure, but I never expected Mexico to advance, and I knew South Korea would.
South Korea over Japan
Cuba vs South Korea. The winners match up, and the South Koreans expose Cuba as not being as good as they think they are. Due to defections, and players staying at home because of the possibility of defection, this team isn't nearly as strong as it used to be. I think that's why they're trying to play the intimidator.
South Korea over Cuba
Mexico vs Japan. The losers match up. Japan is still a premium team, and Mexico proves they aren't. This will be a blow out, and the Mexicans go home.
Japan over Mexico
Cuba vs Japan. The Cubans are exposed, and don't have a chance against Japan. In a matchup of the 2006 Classic, Japan shows the world why they won.
Japan over Cuba.
South Korea vs Japan. Not that it matters, because they will both advance. But for the seeding, South Korea stays with the hot hand and beats Japan again.
South Korea over Japan.