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Pool party in Miami: Watch DR take on World

Defending champion DR faces Canada to open Pool C
MLB.com

The World Baseball Classic begins play in North America today with a full head of steam. Pool C opens at Marlins Park in Miami and Pool D begins in Mexico as Pool A closed in Seoul, South Korea.

Fans can follow much of this spring's action live on MLB.TV.

The World Baseball Classic begins play in North America today with a full head of steam. Pool C opens at Marlins Park in Miami and Pool D begins in Mexico as Pool A closed in Seoul, South Korea.

Fans can follow much of this spring's action live on MLB.TV.

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 an $87.49 yearly subscription.

Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times ET):

Classic's defending champs debut: CAN@DOM, 6 p.m., MLB Network and MLB.TV
The Dominican Republic took awhile to get going in Wednesday's exhibition against the Pirates, when Gerrit Cole retired nine of the first 11 he faced. The Dominicans broke out against reliever Tyler Glasnow and shelled Pittsburgh's No. 1 prospect for six earned runs in a 10-6 win. They also played on Tuesday, a 5-4 loss to the Orioles.

Dominican team's passion on display vs. Bucs

The star-studded Dominicans -- with the likes of Manny Machado, Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano and Starling Marte, to name a few -- are looking to become the second team in Classic history to repeat as champions. They'll open against a Canada club that played warmup games against the Blue Jays (7-1 win on Tuesday) and Yankees (10-4 loss on Wednesday).

If the Dominican Republic isn't the favorite in Pool C -- which also includes Team USA and Colombia -- it is certainly considered a close second.

Video: DOM@BAL: Cano, Reyes combine to turn double play

Pool D gets underway in Jalisco: ITA@MEX, 9 p.m., MLB Network, MLB.TV
Mexico is coming off a pair of exhibition losses -- 7-3 to the Padres on Tuesday and 10-4 to the D-backs on Wednesday -- as it begins Classic play against Italy, where it will play on home soil in Jalisco. 

Yovani Gallardo, who tossed three scoreless innings with just one hit surrendered against the Rockies in his most recent outing on Saturday, is slated to start Thursday's opener. 

Team Italy is coming off a 7-0 loss to the A's on Wednesday, but defeated the defending champion Cubs, 8-7, on Tuesday. 

"It's still just hitting me -- the opportunity to represent a country and your heritage," Cubs prospect and Italian outfielder John Andreoli said after. "This is a good atmosphere to get us ready. Down there, I'm sure it'll be wild."

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.