College Baseball Odds, Picks, Futures: Where Things Stand Heading Into Postseason

College Baseball Odds, Picks, Futures: Where Things Stand Heading Into Postseason article feature image

Peter Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: A Pac-12 baseball at Charles Schwab Field.

The road to Omaha begins in two weeks as the college baseball regular season winds down.

The Patriot League has already kicked off conference tournament action, as every team fights to strengthen its RPI with hopes of clinching a Regional berth.

NCAA Regional selections will be made on Monday, May 29. Sixteen regionals with four teams in each will play on the weekend of June 2 in a double-elimination format. The winner of the Regionals will meet in the Super Regionals during the weekend of June 9, as two teams play head-to-head in a best-of-three series.

The postseason peaks with eight spots in Omaha slated to begin Friday, June 16.

With the schedule in mind, we take a recess to look at college baseball futures played to date and look for value in the current market. With RPI and Strength of Schedule being the key metrics for the selection committee, there's value on teams that are peaking just in time for the postseason.

Teams on the Rise

Every college baseball conversation begins with the SEC. As many as 10 teams are projected to make the Regionals, lessening the drama for the conference tournament in Hoover.

Mississippi State and Ole Miss, the past two College World Series champions, are in jeopardy of not even participating in the SEC Tournament, thus ending their seasons.

The Southeastern Conference deserves the lion's share of focus based on recent history. In the past five College World Series Championship rounds, seven of the 10 competitors have come from the SEC.

Arkansas is currently in cruise control at the top of the West Division and enters this weekend as winners of six of its last seven conference series. Sweeps of Tennessee and Texas A&M came at Baum-Walker Stadium in April, with recent road series victories at Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

Junior Hunter Hollan threw a complete game to close out South Carolina, all but guaranteeing a Regional and Super Regional position.

Now, the Razorbacks head to Nashville for the regular-season finale against Vanderbilt. The Commodores have lost their last three road series against Florida, Alabama and Tennessee.

The good news for Vandy is Tim Corbin’s club is nearly untouchable at home, tallying a top-10 rank in fielding percentage.

Enrique Bradfield Jr. continues to torment catchers with 31 stolen bases as well. He may help the Dores lock in a Super Regional berth with a series victory over Arkansas.

Enrique Bradfield Jr. can FLY 😱

— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) April 24, 2021

There are plenty of historical questions when it comes to LSU. The Tigers are projected to be the No. 1 overall seed, owning the lowest odds on the board to take home the trophy from Omaha.

However, a No. 1 overall seed hasn't made it through the Super Regionals since 2018 or played in the CWS Championship Round since 2009. It's been nearly 25 years since the No. 1 overall seed won the College World Series, with the Miami Hurricanes doing so in 1999.

If LSU were to fall early in the SEC Tournament, Wake Forest has the chance to take the top overall seed. At 27-3 at David F. Couch Ballpark, the Demon Deacons are a real contender to challenge in Omaha.

When it comes to the past 10 CWS winners, one of the most telling national statistics is strikeout-to-walk ratio. The past 10 champions own an average rank of 29th nationally, but Wake Forest paces the nation in that area.

Southpaw starters are a key ingredient to a deep postseason run, and Josh Hartle is primed to make his name known on the national stage.

Josh Hartle (175 DIGS+) takes the mound today as the highest ranked southpaw in D1, moving just ahead of his own @WakeBaseball teammate, Sean

— Pitcher DIGS (@DigsPitcher) April 1, 2023

The hottest team off the radar may come from the Big South, as Campbell has won every series on its schedule.

The Fighting Camels are the top offense in the nation, ranking top-five in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, scoring percentage and home runs per nine innings.

The poor Strength of Schedule number is sure to keep Campbell from hosting a Regional, but no host will want this ball club coming to town.

Check back for our Regionals preview to see where Campbell is slotted, as park factors will play a large role in betting totals.

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Teams on the Slide

A late-April sweep of Arkansas boosted Georgia's RPI and Strength of Schedule numbers. The Bulldogs project as a 3-seed in the Regionals, Which isn't a bad deal considering underdog SEC teams have cashed plenty of tickets in recent seasons.

Despite series victories over the Razorbacks and Tennessee, though, Scott Stricklin’s team has suffered recent series losses to Missouri and Ole Miss.

The Bulldogs boast poor rankings in statistics that national champions have historically ranked well in, including 125th in strikeout-to-walk ratio and 99th in hits allowed per game.

Georgia has one final series against LSU before the SEC Tournament gauntlet. Bulldogs futures are on hold for the time being.

Both Virginia Tech and NC State were projected as bubble teams heading into the weekend. The Hokies were swept by Clemson, while the Wolfpack suffered the same result against North Carolina.

However, there's another ACC team attempting to lock up a home Regional spot: Virginia.

The Cavaliers are unstoppable at home with a 32-4 record, and that home-cooking was needed in a sweep of Louisville over the weekend.

Virginia had lost three consecutive ACC series to Duke, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. While Disharoon Park has elevated the Cavs, the team still ranks just 67th in fielding percentage and 116th in home runs per game.

The Hoos have made a living off of doubles and staff ERA, but that has not translated to ACC road play.

Future to Add: Auburn +8000

College Baseball Futures, Monday Additions

FGCU 300/1
Texas A&M 60/1

Existing Portfolio
Arkansas 15/1
Charlotte 500/1
UCLA 30/1
South Carolina 200/1
Missouri 400/1
Iowa 125/1
Campbell 100/1
Vandy 25/1

— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) April 10, 2023

Time to add another SEC team to the futures portfolio. This time, it's Auburn.

The Tigers' numbers don't jump off the page — they rank 78th in slugging and 172nd in ERA — but they may be in the midst of a heater. They've now won four consecutive SEC series, including victories over LSU and South Carolina.

With a Strength of Schedule in the top 10, Auburn only has a home series against Missouri before the SEC Tournament.

This team is dominated by upperclassmen who upset No. 3 Oregon State in the Super Regionals last year to advance to Omaha. Kason Howell and Bryson Ware are two of the top hitters in the nation, while freshman catcher Ike Irish is among the best at his position in hits per game.

Starting pitcher Tommy Vail has thrown nothing but gas over his past several starts, allowing no more than two earned runs in any start since the first week of April.

An absolute masterpiece. 🧑‍🎨

E8 | Auburn 7, Ole Miss 1

— Auburn Baseball (@AuburnBaseball) May 13, 2023

With Auburn’s relatively vanilla path against Missouri at home followed by the SEC Tournament, now is the time to buy on a team that has recent experience getting to Omaha.

Southpaw pitchers give a majority of offensive lineups issues in college, so Vail could be key in winning the best-of-three formats in the postseason.

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