Stuckey: Where to Find Betting Value in Saturday’s College World Series Matchups
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Arkansas Razorbacks third baseman Casey Martin (15) at TD Ameritrade Park.
- The College World Series doesn't attract all that much betting action, but Stuckey thinks that helps bettors gain an edge over the bookmakers.
- He breaks down two games on Saturday: Michigan vs. Texas Tech and Arkansas vs. Florida State.
I believe college baseball, particularly the College World Series, has some real potential to become more popular amongst bettors in the future. For now, it remains more of a fringe betting event for the rare die-hard followers or those looking for action after the conclusion of both the NHL and NBA seasons.
However, as a result of that lack of interest, I think you can find some real edges in the market — primarily because oddsmakers just don’t put too much resources into setting lines for the College World Series.
Now, they do control that potential risk with limits, but that creates betting opportunities albeit for smaller amounts.
That brings us to the two games on the docket for Saturday.
Game 1: Michigan vs. Texas Tech
- Game Time: Saturday, 2 p.m. ET
- Odds: Texas Tech -165, Total 11
Game 2: Florida State vs. Arkansas
- Game Time: Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
- Odds: Arkansas -200, Total 10.5
I will be taking the same approach with each — and likely once again with the two games on Sunday.
What I’m Betting at the College World Series
I’ll be backing the under in each game. I just think both totals are way too high — and really priced as if they are being played at campus sites.
If you’re not familiar with TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, it’s a big park. It’s 408 feet to center, 375 to the gaps and 335 down each line. There’s no 315-foot right-field fence like you’ll see at Mike Martin Field — home of the Florida State Seminoles.
The park also has high fences and a very large foul ground. It would essentially be rated as a hitter-neutral park in Major League Baseball. Speaking of, MLB just held its first ever game in Omaha at TD Ameritrade on Thursday night. The Royals beat the Tigers 7-3.
The under could also get some weather assistance with the wind which blows in from the south in the summer. It has been a pitcher-friendly park ever since the first College World Series was hosted there in 2011 — the same year the new bat standards were introduced in college baseball, which also favored the pitchers.
(Although the change of baseballs after the 2014 season have certainly helped hitters. There were 6,446 homers in 2014 before the change to a flat-seamed ball. That number was almost double in 2017 at 12,321.)
I’m not a college baseball expert by any stretch of the imagination. I honestly follow it very, very casually — but do think there is betting value with both unders today between teams that should use all of their best arms.
I’m simply playing the unders on Saturday because I think they are a tad too high. And while I will likely add both for Sunday, I fancy today’s pitching matchups a little more.
Quick Matchup Notes
Arkansas will throw out their staff ace and unanimous All-American Isaiah Campbell (12-1, 2.26 ERA) — who boasts a minuscule 1.65 in two starts this postseason. He’s as solid as it gets.
Florida State will counter with lefty Drew Parrish — who has had a really disappointing junior year. However, the recent Royals draft selection has an effective arsenal and pitch mix. More importantly, the Razorbacks lineup is vulnerable against southpaws.
In the other game, Michigan will send out Karl Kauffmann — who had a very solid junior year and led the Wolverines with a 2.59 ERA. He did get roughed up by Tech earlier this season but the recent Rockies draft pick has a very effective slider that can keep Tech in check.
I think Kauffmann will pitch well today even though dealing Josh Jung and Cameron Warren won’t be easy. And while TTU certainly has a potent offense, it might be without leadoff hitter Gabe Holt.
— MLB Draft (@MLBDraft) June 4, 2019
Tech will counter with freshman phenom Micah Dallas — who has yet to lose a game this season.
Hopefully for Michigan fans, their first appearance in the College World Series in 35 years goes better than the last time it faced Texas Tech in the postseason a 63-44 loss in the Sweet 16.