Men’s College World Series Best Bets, Odds: Picks for Tennessee vs. LSU & More (Saturday, June 17)

Men’s College World Series Best Bets, Odds: Picks for Tennessee vs. LSU & More (Saturday, June 17) article feature image

Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Paul Skenes (LSU Tigers)

The first day of the College World Series couldn't have been better, as we had two teams come back in the ninth to win.

However, day two could top it with aces expected to go wild on Saturday.

All four teams in action are also amongst the best in the country.

Stanford vs. Wake Forest Odds

Editor's Note: Stanford announced Saturday afternoon that Joey Dixon, not Quinn Mathews, would start today's game against Wake Forest.

Saturday, June 17
2 p.m. ET
Stanford Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-105 / -125
Wake Forest Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-105 / -125
Odds via DraftKings.

Coming in with 52 wins on the season, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons have dominated on the road to Omaha.

Many believe they're the team that could become the first No. 1 overall seed to win the national championship since 1999 when Miami did it.

Today's game will be a clear example of why everyone is so high on them.

Stanford Cardinal

The team looking to spoil the party will be the Stanford Cardinal.

Stanford doesn't get as much credit nationally — it's a Pac-12 team in a hitter's park — but it has an SEC-caliber lineup.

The Cardinal hit .319 as a club this year and finished 11th in the country in wRC+. They have loads of power in the middle of their order.

However, it may all be supplanted by who they'll have to face this afternoon.

For Wake Forest, it all starts with the man on the mound, Rhett Lowder. Lowder has been lights out all season and has cemented himself as one of the best pitchers in the country.

He comes into this start with a 15-0 record while sporting a 1.92 ERA and .207 BAA.

In addition to his dominance, Lowder will also benefit in this matchup by not having to pitch in his very hitter-friendly home park. Stanford was 17th in home-run-to-fly-ball ratio this season, but it's going to have to earn its big flys in this one.

Lowder will face a very talented Stanford lineup this afternoon, but the Cardinal haven't faced a pitcher close to the Lowder's quality all season.

And the old saying should hold true: good pitching beats good hitting.

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Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Now if you want to talk about good hitting, look no further. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons can swing it with the best of them. They finished tied for third in runs per game, averaging 9.6.

Wake Forest has five guys who hit over .340, and all of them have double-digit home runs.

One guy to keep your eye on is Brock Wilken, who has 30 homers on the season and currently sits behind Florida's Jac Caglianone for the most in the country.

We can talk for hours about the Demon Deacons' lineup, but they have a tough matchup in front of them. Stanford is going to throw their ace, Quinn Mathews.

Mathews is coming off an epic performance in Super Regionals, where he struck out 17 batters in a 156-pitch complete game effort. This drew much criticism, but it shows the type of effort he's willing to give to help his team win.

However, that type of outing is highly unlikely this afternoon. While Wake Forest could certainly tag Mathews, the biggest concern for the Cardinal has to be the arms after him.

Stanford has a staff ERA of 5.75, which includes Mathews' 3.60 ERA (best on the team). The Cardinal bullpen is a big question mark, and they could determine their team's fate in this matchup.

Stanford vs. Wake Forest Betting Pick

This game features one of the best starting pitching matchups you could ask for, but while the starters may duel for a majority of the game, this matchup will come down to the bullpens.

Wake has a significant edge in that department and should be able to keep Stanford's scoring at a minimum.

On the other side, Stanford's pen will struggle against the potent Demon Deacons lineup.

While I expect Wake to get to Mathews, it should pull away once he departs.

Pick: Wake Forest -1.5 (-145)

Tennessee vs. LSU Odds

Saturday, June 17
7 p.m. ET
Tennessee Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-115 / -115
LSU Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-115 / -115
Odds via DraftKings.

If you thought the matchup above was good, this one may be even better.

We have the consensus No. 1 pitcher in the nation against one of the deepest pitching staffs in the country.

Tennessee Volunteers

The Vols are a team I'm high on entering Omaha, as they have the pitching depth to succeed in this field.

However, their outlook for this opening matchup is bleak, as they have to face Paul Skenes.

Every Skenes start has become appointment television. Skenes is one of the most dominant college pitchers in recent memory. He comes into this outing with a 1.77 ERA and a .170 BAA. He features a fastball that routinely touches triple-digits and a wipeout slider to go along with it.

How effective has his arsenal been? Well, he struck out 188 batters in 107 innings pitched this season and posted one of the highest strikeout per nine rates in the history of college baseball.

This Tennessee club knows all too well how dominant he can be. Back in May, Skenes shut the Vols down, as he threw seven innings of one-run ball and struck out 12 batters.

While Tennessee has the talent to compete at the dish, you can bet on Skenes keeping the scoring to a minimum.

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LSU Tigers

We've already gone over the immense talent the LSU Tigers will have on the mound tonight, but their lineup is also one of the most talented groups on the field.

The Tigers finished right behind Wake Forest in runs per game, but they did so with a bit more authority, ranking third in wRC+.

This lineup is littered with draft-worthy talent, but Dylan Crews is the man to keep your eyes on.

Crews may be the top pick in this year's draft, and his stats support that projection. Crews is hitting .434 and holds a 1.310 OPS. He can do it all, but can carry this club at the dish.

Facing this daunting Tigers lineup will be Andrew Lindsey. Lindsey has been the Vols' Friday night guy and has earned this start. He got touched up a bit in his last start against Southern Miss, but has proven he can rebound.

He'll enter this start with a 2.79 ERA and a .219 BAA. However, he may only go four to five innings.

Regardless, the Vols have plenty of quality options to turn to out of their pen.

Tennessee vs. LSU Betting Pick

This matchup will be an exciting one as these two SEC titans battle for a crucial opening-game victory. There will be talent littered all over the diamond for this matchup, but the ones that will shine the brightest will be on the mound.

Skenes has been absolutely electric and has the ability to shut down this lineup, even if he doesn't have his best stuff.

In addition to Skenes, the LSU bullpen has been much better in the postseason, and they've seemed to tighten things up at the right time.

As for the Vols, it'll likely take a combination of arms to contain the LSU lineup, but they'll have the ability to use their best today.

We've seen this total drop throughout the week for a reason, but it still has value at the current number.

Pick: Under 9

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