MLB

USA Baseball: Watch Tokyo Olympics opener vs. Israel, live stream, start time, odds

The USA Baseball National Team returns to the world stage at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday. The 2020 games are Team USA’s fourth Olympic appearance and first since 2008, after the sport was left out of the London 2012 Summer Olympics and the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. CBS Sports’ Dayn Perry broke down everything you need to know about baseball at the Summer Olympic Games here.

The United States finished fourth in 1992, claimed bronze in 1996 and won a gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney when they defeated Cuba 4-0 in the final. Team USA failed to qualify in 2004 before earning a bronze medal in 2008 with an 8-4 defeat of Japan. Team USA will begin their campaign for softball gold on Tuesday when they face Israel in the opening round. South Korea is the defending gold medalist after they defeated Cuba, 3–2, at the final in Beijing 13 years ago.

Team USA’s 24-man roster includes notable veterans in Scott Kazmir, Todd Frazier, and Edwin Jackson. Kazmir and Frazier appeared in the majors this season and have made multiple All-Star appearances in their careers. Israel, meanwhile, has just four players native to the country. The majority of the remaining roster spots were given to American players whose Jewish roots allowed them to obtain citizenship in Israel. Former All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler retired from MLB last year before traveling to Israel to gain citizenship. The United States and Israel have never met in a major baseball tournament before.

Here’s how to watch USA Baseball’s 2020 Olympics opener:

USA Baseball vs. Israel

  • When: 6 a.m. ET on Friday, July 30 | Where: Fukushima Azuma Stadium
  • TV channel: NBC Sports app | Live stream: NBCOlympics.com
  • Starters: Joe Ryan (USA); Joey Wagman (Israel)
  • Odds: USA TBD; Israel TBD (via William Hill Sportsbook)

The Olympic baseball competition begins with the group stage involving two groups of three teams each. Within those groups, each team will play a round-robin schedule — i.e., each team in a group plays each of the other two teams in that same group for a total of six games across both groups. Teams are then ranked based on the results of the group stage, and then the knockout stage begins. 

In the knockout stage, teams play under a double-elimination format. The top two seeds from the group stage in essence get a “bye” to the one quarterfinal. Meantime, the two seeds and three seeds will play each other, and the winners of those two games will advance to the other quarterfinal. The losers of those games will go to the loser’s bracket and remain in the running for a spot in the semifinals. The winner of each quarterfinal goes to one semifinal, while the other semifinal is populated by the two teams emerging from the loser’s bracket. 

The winner of each quarterfinal meets in the first semifinal game, and the winner of that contest advances to the gold medal game, The loser will be placed in the second semifinal and face a team advancing from the loser’s bracket. The winner of that game will advance to the gold medal game, while the loser will play for the bronze medal. Because of Tokyo’s state of emergency due to COVID-19, there will be no fans at the games.

The full tournament schedule (including TV channel and live stream information) can be viewed here. Next up for Team USA will be South Korea on Saturday, July 31 at 6 a.m. ET. 

Olympic baseball tournament gold medal odds

via William Hill Sportsbook

Japan

+150

South Korea

+300

United States

+300

Dominican Republic

+600

Mexico

+1000

Israel

+2500



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