College Baseball Odds & Picks: 2 Super Regionals Best Bets, Including Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma (Saturday, June 11)
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The first day of Super Regionals was much tamer than any day last weekend, as only one team reached double-digit runs.
However, it was filled with upsets, and the biggest one came in Knoxville. The Fighting Irish went in and beat the Vols at their own game.
But that’s not all.
ECU took the first punch and then came back swinging against Pete Hansen and the Longhorns. Now the No. 1 overall seed — and the preseason No. 1 team — have their backs against the wall.
While the four series that began yesterday will have their second games today, four other regionals kick off their series. Just like yesterday, aces will be wild in those games, and the magnitude of these matchups have created some value that we would not see in other circumstances.
So, let’s dive into today’s best bets as we aim for a big bounce back.
Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma
12 p.m. ET · ESPNU
In game one, the Sooners jumped on Griffin Green in the first two innings, as he just did not have it. That led to much second-guessing as to why Drue Hackenberg did not match up against Oklahoma’s ace Jake Bennett, who dominated yesterday.
The Hokies’ comeback ultimately fell short in the 5-4 loss, but their questionable decision (pitching wise) gives them an edge in game two today.
With Hackenberg going for Virginia Tech, the Sooners will likely turn to David Sandlin, who holds a 5.25 ERA and a .265 BAA entering this start.
To his credit, even though Sandlin’s ERA may seem high, he’s pitched up to the competition this season. He turned in outstanding performances against the likes of Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech and Florida.
Hackenberg is a step above Sandlin, as he blazed through the gauntlet that was the ACC. He put the team on his back and had tremendous performances against Miami, NC State and UNC.
He’ll also get the support of a potent Hokies lineup that woke up a little too late in yesterday’s ball game and will now have the urgency to get things going today.
Back the Hokies to even things up.
Pick: Virginia Tech -170
Auburn vs. Oregon State
10 p.m. ET · ESPN2
Corvallis will play host to the series between the Auburn Tigers and Oregon State Beavers. Game one will feature what may be the best batter versus pitcher matchup we’ll see all year, as Oregon State’s Cooper Hjerpe will square off against Auburn’s Sonny DiChiara.
Hjerpe is the Beavers’ ace and was one of the top pitchers in the nation this season. The sophomore lefty will enter with a 10-2 record while holding a 2.40 ERA and a .182 BAA.
He’s the reason the Beavers are here, as not only did they win his start in regionals, but he came in to close out the final game against Vanderbilt to punch their ticket to this weekend.
DiChiara was arguable the best pure hitter in the country for most of the year. His average was well above .400 before he cooled off down the stretch. However, he picked it up again at Regionals, as he was 6-for-15 with two homers and seven RBI last weekend.
While those two could certainly make or break this matchup, the edge in this game comes when the Beavers are at the dish. Trace Bright will be getting the ball for Auburn. Bright will enter with a 4.80 ERA after an excellent performance against Southeastern Louisiana in Regionals.
However, the Beavers are multiple steps up from them. Oregon State has eight guys with batting averages of .288 or better. Jacob Melton and Justin Boyd lead the way, as they’re hitting .360 and .366, respectively.
Bright had mixed results against the upper echelon of the SEC this year, and now he’ll get the best of the best from the Pac 12. The Beavers’ power will be in play, as Bright has surrendered 23 extra-base hits in 75 innings of work thus far.
Their lineup should give Hjerpe all the support he needs.
Pick: Oregon State -165 | Oregon State -1.5 (+115)