Let’s not hang around and wait here.
There are several games worth paying attention to on Friday! Let’s have a look:
Kentucky welcomes the 16th-ranked TCU for the beginning of a 3-game series in Lexington. The 8-1 Wildcats are off to a great start and have a shot now to steal a series from one of the better teams in the nation. If the Wildcats want to win this series though, they’ll have to hope to crack the code that is the TCU pitching staff. TCU ranks second in the Big 12 in ERA (2.56) and strikeouts (89).
~ #15 Georgia plays #18 Georgia Tech in some Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate, but baseball! Georgia’s pitching is carrying them this season so far. The Dawgs have amassed an ERA of just 1.90, second-best in the SEC behind Tennessee so far. Their offense has been pretty solid as well, although there’s still plenty of room for growth there too. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech is out to a really fast start. They’re hitting over .340 as a team with a collective OBP above .430. Pitching-wise though, they do not compare at all to the Dawgs, posting an ERA of a whopping 3.94 so far. They do, however, have 108 strikeouts thus far this season.
Staying in the Southeast, #14 Florida takes on 22nd-ranked Miami. One storyline to watch for in this series is the Hurricanes’ offense. Or, well, in certain cases the lack thereof. While the team is slugging over .500, their average is just .289. That’s the fourth-lowest team batting average in the ACC. They also have just 12 home runs on the year as a team, tied for seventh in the conference. Florida has been very solid and their pitching is likely to be good enough to quiet the Canes’ bats if they stay as mute as they’ve been.
#17 Tennessee will have their hands full with #1 Texas. The Longhorns have been pretty awesome to start the year. On the whole, they’re slashing .300/.419/.449. And their pitching? Look: They have a team ERA of just 0.67, 84 strikeouts, and only 24 walks. They’ve been outstanding at run prevention and hit prevention in general too. They’ve allowed a BA of just .165 this year. Now, granted, Tennessee has been phenomenal this year. The Vols lead the SEC in batting average (.372), runs scored (121), doubles (30), triples (5), home runs (25), OBP (.513), SLG (.792), ERA (0.90) and BAA (.140). So in this case, don’t let the ranking fool you: Right now, Tennessee is playing like the best team in the SEC in a lot of statistics. This has the potential to be a FUN series. So hopefully the two clubs bring their A-game.
The buzz remains down in the southwest. We mentioned Texas is playing Tennessee. If that doesn’t interest you, maybe I can sell you on Texas vs. #7 LSU? While the Tigers’ pitching staff has left a little bit to be desired so far, their hitting has been outstanding. They’ve hit over .350 as a team (.354 to be precise), have slugged nearly .600, and have an OBP just shy of .500. It helps when Dylan Crews has been off to as good of a start as he’s on. Crews’ lash of .485/.614/.879 has him ranked fifth, third, and seventh in the SEC in those categories. He’ll be one to watch for all weekend for the Tigers.