Auburn at #1 Florida
Wow, for once Florida isn’t in the matchup of the week! However, this series did feature a great individual matchup last night. Top 20 prospects Casey Mize and Brady Singer faced off on the SEC Game of the Week on ESPNU. Blink three times if you’ve heard this before: Florida won. The pitching battle lived up to its billing as the Gators won by a score of 3-1.
A Tigers’ win last night would have put them in great shape to take the series. But, with this one being in Gainsville, the defending champs are in their comfort zone, and the rotation after Mize has a bit of a drop off. Florida has this one.
Tennessee at Georgia
The Bulldogs are on upset alert this weekend. The Vols are playing with confidence right now after beating Texas A&M at home last week. Tennessee and Coach Vitello got their much-needed “signature” win.
The Dawgs lost to Ole Miss last week, and have the fifth best RPI in the nation. It is very easy to see Georgia overlooking Tennessee this week, being safely in the tournament at this point, barring a miracle collapse. This Vol team has always kept games close this season as well.
LSU at #6 Ole Miss
On paper, this looks like a walkover for Ole Miss, and that is why it is this week’s match-up of the week. Even with LSU struggling this season, Paul Maineri always has his guys ready to go, regardless of the opponent, and this week should be no different. The Tigers are fighting for their tournament lives right now, and when a Tiger is caged...
The Rebels, on the other hand, have been as consistent as can be. 33-10 and atop their division. However, if last night is any indication, the “on-paper” part of the intro looks to be true, in a 14-3 Ole Miss win.
Prediction: Ole Miss
South Carolina at #17 Vanderbilt
Just when the Gamecocks looked dead in the dirt for the year, they sweep LSU last week. In three games, South Carolina went from just another team to firmly in the regional conversation. Their RPI currently sits right at 50, which is right around the cut off point. My oh my, what a series win against a ranked team would do this week, huh?
The ‘Dores are on the opposite end of the spectrum. An RPI of 24, a Top 25 ranking, and safely in the field. The fourth-best SOS will do that. As long as they keep winning games, and don’t lose any “gimmes,” Vandy should find themselves in the field come mid-May. As for this series? South Carolina is riding an emotional high, but that doesn’t matter to Vandy... the home team prevails.
Missouri at #14 Kentucky
This Mizzou team has hung around all year and has carved out a sparkling resume. Don’t look at the name on the jersey, the Wildcats have their hands full. The Tigers just won the series with Vanderbilt last week... add that on to a series victory over Auburn earlier this season. Steve Bieser has established a winner. Beware, SEC.
At this point, Kentucky is who they are, which is a very good offensive team that can win any game they play because of it. The Wildcats were able to salvage one game against Florida last week, which should be considered like a series win at this point. This series will be a dogfight all the way until the end.
Alabama at #7 Arkansas
The Tide are on a six-game conference losing streak, and this week’s foe is the best team they play out of the three. To add insult to injury, the series is on the road. The Tide isn’t really rolling... Just playing out the season and hoping to squeeze into the SEC tournament. It’s clear that Brad Bohannon is the man for the job, as he has already surpassed last season’s total wins.
The Razorbacks are a well-oiled machine, aside from last week when they were swept by Mississippi State. Baseball, right? Anyway... the Hogs have a Top 5 RPI, Top 3 SOS and are #7 in the Top 25. The SEC schedule makers must hate Alabama baseball. Texas A&M, Auburn, and an ANGRY Arkansas team in back-to-back-to-back weeks. Poor Tide.
#22 Texas A&M at Mississippi State
The Aggies are angry after losing a series to Tennessee last week. Rob Childress will make sure his team doesn’t overlook another opponent, especially one that is playing with some confidence coming in. With the 30-11 record, it may be no surprise that the Ags feel overlooked right now.
The Bulldogs are definitely playing with some confidence right now, after sweeping Arkansas. Don’t look now... but that RPI of 38 is looking awfully nice come Selection Monday. What better way to improve the resume by beating another ranked team? Even without a coach, the fact this team is still competing like this shows how much raw talent is on this roster.
Prediction: Texas A&M