Friday College Baseball Odds & Best Bets: Our Favorite Picks, Including Florida vs. Vanderbilt
Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Tate Kolwyck (left) and Dominic Keegan (right).
- There's plenty of college baseball action on Friday night, which means there's also plenty of betting value across the board.
- There are three games Doug Ziefel sees value in, including Florida vs. Vanderbilt and Kentucky vs. Missouri.
- Read on for all three of Ziefel's breakdowns and bets.
Tuesday night proved to be a night of upsets once again, and the biggest of them was the fall of No. 1 Tennessee. The Vols fell to in-state foe Tennessee Tech for just their second loss of the season.
Tonight’s slate is a little different. We do have a majority of the teams beginning their series on Friday, but more than a few schools started their series on Thursday night.
So, aces will still be wild — just not as wild as usual.
Kentucky vs. Missouri
Time: 7 p.m. ET
We’re kicking things off with Game 2 of this series.
The opening game on Thursday night was an offense showcase for the Wildcats, as they put up 15 runs on 22 hits in a 15-6 victory over the Tigers.
In hindsight, that type of offensive output should be expected, as the Wildcats average over seven runs per game and have had plenty of high-scoring affairs this year. Although, the Tigers are right there with them, putting up around seven runs per game.
However, that is not where their similarities end; look at how similar each of their offensive slash lines are:
- Kentucky: AVG: 291, OBP: .392, SLG: .452
- Missouri: AVG: .290, OBP: .390, SLG: .440
The difference between these two teams is on the mound. While neither has microscopic ERAs, one area to identify positive regression is batting average against. Missouri’s staff has held opponents to a .253 average, whereas Kentuck has allowed the opposition to bat .268.
After that massive performance in game one, Kentucky may not have left any offense for this matchup, as the Tigers are sure to attack in a different way.
Missouri is a bit undervalued in this spot as the better team overall, and I’m backing it to bounce back here.
Pick: Missouri ML -110
Clemson vs. Wake Forest
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: ACC Network
If you like offense, then the Demon Deacons are your team. Their offense has been one of the best in the country and has caused a name change — the Wake has more aptly become Rake Forest.
The Demon Deacons’ slash line is staggering as they enter this matchup with a .322 average and .436 on-base percentage. They also sit tied for 10th in the country with 58 home runs.
It also helps that Wake’s ace, Rhett Lowder, will be going in this one. Lowder has had a phenomenal 2022 campaign, entering this start with a 7-1 record and 2.30 ERA over eight starts this season.
He’ll be facing a Clemson lineup that has been very solid this year and is the reason for the program’s resurgence.
However, the Tigers are just not on the level of the Demon Deacons offensively, and their 4.25 staff ERA does not instill much confidence in containing Wake.
Pick: Wake Forest ML -155
Florida vs. Vanderbilt
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN 2
The SEC is loaded with talented arms, and we will see two of the best go at it here in Florida’s Hunter Barco and Vanderbilt’s Chris McElvain.
Barco has been lights out for the Gators, as he’ll enter this start with a 2.23 ERA while racking up 65 strikeouts in 48 innings of work this season.
Opposing him will be the Commodores’ ace, McElvain. McElvain has had a tremendous season, holding a 3.59 ERA with a .215 BAA. Like Barco, he has also racked up well over one strikeout per inning on average.
While the pitching matchup will steal the headlines, these two offenses cannot be overlooked.
These teams are easily among the top 25 best hitting teams in the country, and we have already seen McElvain give up the long ball this season. It just so happens that homers are the Gators’ specialty, as they have smacked 61 of them so far.
The Vandy Boys don’t quite have the same power as the Gators, but they have a trio of studs in the middle of their order that have led the Commodores to a .303 team batting average.
Dominic Keegan is leading the charge for them and is arguably the best offensive catcher in the country. It’s hard to argue when he’s hitting .417 with a .485 OBP and a .696 slugging percentage.
This play is a bit contrarian considering the pitching matchup, but the total here is too low and offers the most value here. These offenses can blow this game open at any time.
Pick: Over 9.5
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