Friday College Baseball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bet On Baylor vs. TCU, Plus Florida-Alabama & Gonzaga-Pacific
Bob Levey/Getty Images. Pictured: Baylor pitcher Tyler Thomas
We have made it to the best day of the week. And you know what that means? Aces are wild on Friday nights.
This Friday also carries extra weight as it is the start of SEC and Big 12 conference play in college baseball. The beginning of SEC play fits right into how we like to attack Friday nights as some of the best arms in the country will be on full display.
Let’s dive into three picks I’m betting.
College Baseball Odds, Picks, Predictions
Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
7 p.m. ET
Let’s kick things off with one of the best pitching matchups of the night: Florida’s Hunter Barco vs. Alabama’s Garrett McMillan.
Barco has been dominant through four starts this season. He’ll enter this matchup with a 1.93 ERA and .159 opponent batting average. That average is so low because hitters have had trouble even making contact against Barco as he has racked up 34 strikeouts in 23 innings of work.
However, for as dominant as Barco has been, McMillan has been even better. Through his first few starts of the year, he has a 1.80 ERA and .141 opponent batting average. McMillan may not rack up the strikeouts, but his command has been impeccable as he holds a 22-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Gators offense will be a challenging task for McMillan, but we have seen him pitch well against Texas, which is arguably a top-10 offense in the country.
I expect McMillan and Barco to match each other in another great Friday night duel.
Pick: Under 9.5
TCU Horned Frogs vs. Baylor Bears
7:30 p.m. ET
The Bears’ record sits only two games over .500, but this team always has a shot on Friday nights when their ace is going.
Tyler Thomas has been lights out for the Bears. He enters with a 0.94 ERA and .128 opponent batting average to go with it. He has also proven that he steps up when the lights are the brightest. This season, two of his three victories have come against a ranked Duke team and UCLA.
Even though Baylor’s offense has been scuffling, hitting .247 as a team, the Bears should provide some run support against TCU’s start. Riley Cornelio has the highest ERA on the Horned Frog’s staff as it sits at 4.79. Baylor will also get the boost of being at home for this matchup, where the Bears have taken five of the past six games that they have hosted TCU.
The Bears are very live dogs here.
Pick: Baylor +135
Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Pacific Tigers
9 p.m. ET
This year, the Zags have burst onto the scene behind their flame-throwing starting rotation.
Their ace, Gabriel Hughes, will be going in this one and has been close to untouchable. Hughes has a 2.14 ERA with a .159 opponent batting average and has racked up 36 punchouts in 25 innings of work. Hughes will be in line for another solid showing as the Tigers have struck out 120 times in 16 games.
Opposing him for Pacific will be Elijah Birdsong, who has not exactly been dealing as he holds 5.79 ERA entering this start — but he’s facing a Gonzaga team that has not been ripping the cover off the ball. The Zags are hitting only .258 as a team and have a .325 OBP.
I expect Hughes to shut down the Tigers, but Birdsong should also be able to contain a struggling Bulldogs offense.
Pick: Under 11.5
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