College Baseball Odds & Picks: 3 Best Bets for Tuesday’s Games, Including UCLA vs. Long Beach State (March 1)
Andy Bao/Getty Images. Pictured: The UCLA Bruins.
If you have baseball fever, you’re in the right place. Your prescription is college baseball.
The first two weeks of the season have been absolutely electric, as it has given us a taste of everything there is to love about college baseball. We’ve had marquee matchups, freshman phenoms, mid-major upsets, and so much more.
However, I’m not here to recap what has been happening. I’m here to break down what will happen.
Tuesday night will once again be the hottest night in town. Those of you who love midweek MACtion will love Tuesday night college baseball.
Midweek games are a beast of their own, as Tuesdays are usually standalone games against in-state rivals or the start of mini two-game series. So, now that you’re all caught up, let’s dive into my best bets for today’s slate.
Oklahoma State vs. Arizona State, 7 p.m. ET
This is a matchup of two programs that have gotten off to very different starts.
The Cowboys are the No. 4 team in the nation, and they have looked like it after taking 2-of-3 against Vanderbilt to open the year. They then swept a doubleheader against Wright State this past weekend.
Oklahoma State is a team that is built through power both on the mound and at the dish. Though the homers have not come yet, some of the Cowboys’ big boppers have still been producing.
Griffin Doersching leads the team with a .429 average and has one longball while driving in five. His hot start at the plate is picking up right where he left off, as the graduate first basemen hit .316 with 20 homers and 48 RBIs last season.
Overall, the Cowboys have hit .285 as a team through six games and could see that increase in this matchup.
The Arizona State Sun Devils will be playing host to the Cowboys here, and they are stumbling out of the gate.
Former big-leaguer Willie Bloomquist has a very young and inexperienced roster. The most significant question mark for this Arizona State program coming into the year was its rotation, and through the first two weeks, the answers have been troubling.
First, the Sun Devils dropped a game in their opening series to Dixie State, which is one of the weaker teams in the nation. Then, this past week, they were swept by BYU and ended the series with a 19-3 clunker.
Now, they face one of the best offenses in the country with a midweek starter on the mound. It all adds up to another long night for the Sun Devils.
Pick: Oklahoma State ML -185
ETSU vs. Tennessee, 6:30 p.m. ET
The Tennessee Volunteers have announced their presence with authority through the first seven games of the year. They lead the nation in runs scored and batting average after outscoring their opposition, 117-7, so far this year.
While the entire lineup is tearing the cover off the ball, the player who has shined the most is third baseman Trey Lipscomb. He’s hitting .577 with four homers and 20 RBIs.
TREY LIPSCOMB 🔥🔥🔥
9 RBIs pic.twitter.com/2U3nGa7JMw
— 11Point7: The College Baseball Podcast 🎙 (@11point7) February 26, 2022
Yes, the offense has been otherworldly, but the pitching deserves some credit.
Three of their four starters have yet to give up a run this season. One of them is Zander Sechrist, who we will likely see in this game. He’s their midweek starter, and he threw four hitless innings and struck out seven in his season debut. No big deal.
However, the Volunteers may have found a worthy dance partner for this matchup, as East Tennessee State has shown it can put up runs in bunches as well. It’s scored 74 runs through six games this season but has yet to face a team anywhere near the caliber of the Volunteers.
Regardless, this is a game that has fireworks written all over it. Tennessee could cover the over itself, but I fully expect East Tennessee State to scratch some runs across the plate in this one.
Pick: Over 15
Long Beach State vs. UCLA, 10 p.m. ET
Entering the season, Long Beach State was a trendy pick to make it to Omaha this year, as it possesses one of the better pitching staffs in the country.
Friday night starter Luis Ramirez has looked precisely as a workhorse ace should, allowing no runs through two starts while striking out 12 batters.
However, for all of its staff’s talent, Long Beach State was swept at home by Sacramento State. This came as a massive shock, as the Dirtbags opened the season by taking a series against the defending national champs in Mississippi State.
Now, they must rebound against a UCLA team that boasts the No. 1 first-year class entering the year. These young Bruins have been an interesting team to watch as their talent is immense, and it has flourished on the mound so far this season.
We will get to see some of that tremendous young pitching talent in this one, as Thatcher Hurd will toe the slab for the Bruins. Hurd lived up to the hype in his first collegiate start, fanning 11 batters in five innings of work. However, his performance was spoiled after the bullpen melted down in what would eventually become a loss for UCLA.
This game represents one of the few situational spots we get in college baseball, as the Bruins may get caught looking ahead to this weekend, where they’ll be playing in the Shriners Classic against some of the top teams in the country. They’ll also be getting a motivated Long Beach State team that will be raring to shake off its recent losses.
Not many runs are expected to be scored in this one as the total sits at 8.5, but Long Beach State can get to the UCLA bullpen.
So, take the more motivated underdogs here to catch the wide-eyed Bruins looking ahead.
Pick: Long Beach State ML +130
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