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Worlds collide: 4 Classic teams vs. MLB clubs today

MLB.com

The 2017 World Baseball Classic got underway Monday with a pair of Pool A games in Seoul, South Korea.

More teams join the fray today, with three contests scheduled in Seoul and Tokyo, and the rest of the 16-team field will follow later in the week. In the meantime, a few Classic squads are warming up for the tournament in Arizona and Florida with exhibitions against Major League teams.

The 2017 World Baseball Classic got underway Monday with a pair of Pool A games in Seoul, South Korea.

More teams join the fray today, with three contests scheduled in Seoul and Tokyo, and the rest of the 16-team field will follow later in the week. In the meantime, a few Classic squads are warming up for the tournament in Arizona and Florida with exhibitions against Major League teams.

Four such matchups are on tap today, including two that will be available for streaming live on MLB.TV: Canada at Blue Jays and Mexico at Padres. The other two contests -- Dominican Republic at Orioles and Italy at Cubs -- can be heard on Gameday Audio.

MLB.TV Premium is only $112.99 for the entire season. In addition to getting every out-of-market game live or on demand during the regular season, you can watch nearly 300 Spring Training games live and blackout-free, plus the World Baseball Classic live (U.S. only). This package has the best value and provides access to more than 400 devices and a free subscription to the MLB.com At Bat Premium app (a $19.99 value). It offers the best picture quality ever -- at 60 frames per second -- for supported devices, while other great features include choice of home or away broadcasts, live game DVR, multi-game viewing and more. Monthly signups for MLB.TV Premium are now underway as well for $24.99, and the MLB.TV Single Team package is also available as a $87.49 yearly subscription.

Below is closer look at each exhibition (all times in ET):

CAN@TOR, 1:07 p.m., MLB.TV
MLB's only Canadian team will play host to the country's national team in Dunedin, Fla. The Blue Jays have strong ties to Team Canada, with several members of the organization participating in the tournament. Dalton Pompey is expected to start in the outfield, and although he won't play due to insurance issues, Russell Martin will still join the team. Two members of the Blue Jays' staff, special assistant Paul Quantrill and first-base coach Tim Leiper, are representing Canada as coaches.

"What makes it special is that there's only one Major League team that represents all of Canada," Pompey said. "So it is a huge deal that they participate, not only in helping Team Canada but helping youth in Canada as well. I feel like that's just huge for the country as a whole, in terms of developing baseball and getting more kids to play baseball."

Canada opens play Thursday against the Dominican Republic at Marlins Park. Braves star Freddie Freeman is on the roster, which also includes free agent Justin Morneau, who returns for his fourth Classic, as well as retired pitchers Ryan Dempster and Eric Gagne.

Video: Freeman on why he's playing for Team Canada

DOM@BAL, 1:05 p.m., Gameday Audio
The Orioles will see some familiar faces when they host the Dominican Republic at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla. Star third baseman Manny Machado and catcher Welington Castillo will be in the opposing dugout. They'll have to contend with teammate Kevin Gausman, who will start for the Orioles.

"I'm going to have to try to look at the scouting report and see what [Gausman] throws," Machado said. "It's a little different when you're behind him. But it's going to be fun to come out here and play in front of the crowd in a different jersey across the way as a visiting team, instead of putting on the home uniform. It will be pretty interesting and fun."

Other notable names playing for the Dominican Republic are 2013 World Baseball Classic MVP Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Carlos Santana, Jose Reyes, Edinson Volquez, Santiago Casilla and Fernando Rodney.

Video: PHI@BAL: Machado discusses World Baseball Classic

ITA@CHC, 3:05 p.m., Gameday Audio
Anthony Rizzo won't be competing with Team Italy after playing for the country in 2013, but the Cubs first baseman will reunite with manager Marco Mazzieri and the Italian squad in an exhibition at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz. John Lackey will start for Chicago, making his first appearance of the spring.

Pittsburgh's Francisco Cervelli and Kansas City's Drew Butera are on the Italian roster, as is veteran Chris Colabello, who is in Indians camp on a Minor League deal.

MEX@SD, 3:10 p.m., MLB.TV
The Padres will break from their Cactus League schedule to host a Mexican team headlined by former Padres star Adrian Gonzalez. The pitching staff also includes a number of big leaguers, including Yovani Gallardo, Roberto Osuna, Jaime Garcia and Joakim Soria. Minor Leaguer Carlos Fisher, who signed with San Diego this winter, is also on the team.

Mexico will open the tournament against Italy before a home crowd at Estadio Charros de Jalisco near Guadalajara. Should Mexico advance out of Pool D, they would play second round games at Petco Park in San Diego.

The World Baseball Classic runs through March 22. In the U.S., games air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament is being distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com.