Friday College Baseball Odds & Best Bets: 3 Favorite Picks, Including Arkansas vs. Texas A&M
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Connor Noland.
- Wake Forest vs. Notre Dame. TCU vs. Oklahoma State. Arkansas vs. Texas A&M.
- Those are the games analyst Doug Ziefel has landed on ahead of Friday's NCAA baseball action.
- Check out below where his three best bets are taking bettors on the exciting card.
The countdown is officially on, as we have only five weeks left in the college baseball regular season. With each weekend that comes, the magnitude of each series will grow — and there will be some marquee matchups this weekend.
However, for Friday night, aces will be wild. I’ve pinpointed two pitching matchups to capitalize on and an undervalued SEC powerhouse.
Wake Forest vs. Notre Dame
Time: 5 p.m. ET
I alluded to the premier pitching matchups that were slated for today, and we’ll get to see two of the best square off in South Bend. It will be ace against ace.
Toeing the slab for Wake Forest will be Rhett Lowder. Lowder has put together a phenomenal sophomore campaign, but he showed just how dominant he could be in his last start against Clemson.
Take a look at his stat line:
Rhett Lowder against Clemson:
🔥106 total pitches
— Wake Forest Baseball Analytics (@Wake_Analytics) April 16, 2022
That outing lowered his ERA to a microscopic 1.96 and raised his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 61:17 for the season. He’ll face a solid but certainly not daunting Fighting Irish lineup that has a 21.3% strikeout rate.
Opposing him for Notre Dame is John Michael Bertrand, who has been nearly untouchable this season. Bertrand will enter this start with a perfect 5-0 record and an even better ERA than Lowder, as he sits at 1.68. In addition, he has allowed only eight extra-base hits all season while holding batters to a .213 batting average against.
Those numbers will undoubtedly be tested against a Demon Deacons lineup that has been aptly named “Rake” Forest, as their offense has been otherworldly this year.
However, Bertrand is more than up for the task, as he has performed well against elite competition all season and only seems to up his game when pitted against another elite arm.
As a result, he and Lowder should make runs very hard to come by.
Pick: Under 13.5
TCU vs. Oklahoma State
Time: 7 p.m. ET
The next pitching duel I’m targeting is between two of the Big 12’s finest, as Oklahoma State Justin Campbell will face off against TCU’s Riley Cornelio.
Let’s start with Cornelio, as he deserves much more spotlight than he gets.
He has been trouble for even some of the most formidable lineups in the country. He pitched very well against Texas and just recently dominated Texas Tech last Friday. He’ll enter this start with a 2.87 ERA and .168 BAA.
This Cowboys lineup has plenty of talent but has not hit to the level that was anticipated of them prior to the season. With Cornelio’s experience against more potent lineups, he should keep them relatively quiet.
However, Oklahoma State’s ace may do just the same to the Horned Frogs’ lineup. Campbell has proven to be one of the best right-handers in the country, as his stats are similar to those of Cornelio’s. His ERA sits at 2.98, but his WHIP is 0.92 and his BAA comes in at .188.
He has also used his fastball to overpower a lot of hitters, racking up 81 strikeouts in 57 innings of work. That punchout total is good for eighth in the country.
Neither offense poses much of a threat against these two elite hurlers on the mound.
Pick: Under 11.5
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
The Razorbacks should be much larger favorites with Connor Noland on the mound. Noland has carved up some of the best lineups in the country, pitching to a 2.82 ERA and piling up 67 strikeouts in 54 innings.
While the Aggies have more than held their own in the SEC this season, they don’t have the arms to match Noland and the Hogs. This Razorback lineup is a constant threat, as two-thirds of them are hitting above .280, and they each have at least three homers on the year.
There’s no sugarcoating it; the Aggies are overmatched here, and the Razorbacks hold a ton of value at this short price. So, back them to take the opener.
Pick: Arkansas ML -135