Men’s College World Series Best Bets, Odds: Picks for Virginia vs. Florida & More (Friday, June 16)

Men’s College World Series Best Bets, Odds: Picks for Virginia vs. Florida & More (Friday, June 16) article feature image

Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cade Kurland (Florida)

Eight teams have reached the end of the road, and they're set to begin play in Omaha this weekend.

The first game of the day features two teams that could break the bracket. Then the nightcap is a battle between two of the most talented teams in the country.

Let's dive deep into each matchup.

Oral Roberts vs TCU Odds

Friday, June 16
2 p.m. ET
Oral Roberts Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-125 / -103
TCU Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-125 / -103
Odds via BetRivers.

We have a tremendous matchup to kick off the 2023 Men's College World Series. This is a clash between the Cinderella story and the dark horse of the field.

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles

The glass shoe may fit Oral Roberts, but the facts are that it's one of the most well-rounded teams in the nation. The Golden Eagles rank seventh in team ERA and 14th in wRC+ nationally.

Their journey here has been impressive, as they fought their way from being a four-seed in the Stillwater Regional. They slugged their way through the competition in Stillwater and kept the bats hot in Eugene, taking two games from the Oregon Ducks to get here.

They'll need to keep swinging if they want their story to continue in Omaha.

Doing so in this opening matchup will be no easy task as they're lined up to face TCU's ace Kole Klecker. Klecker, a true freshman, has been dominant for the Horned Frogs this postseason.

His two solid outings this postseason have enhanced an already impressive stat line. He comes into this start with a 3.84 ERA and a .209 BAA. However, a deeper look at his numbers shows he's in for regression.

Klecker holds a FIP of 6.23 and SIERA of 4.30, which are both significantly higher than his season ERA. On top of that, Klecker is not an overpowering strikeout pitcher. He's only recorded 69 strikeouts in just over 86 innings of work this season.

So, the Golden Eagles will be able to make a great deal of contact, and if the numbers hold true, much of it will be loud.

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TCU Horned Frogs

While there's a bit of hype around Oral Roberts for its run to Omaha, TCU's run has been equally as impressive.

The Horned Frogs probably wouldn't have made the postseason if they didn't win the Big 12 Conference Tournament. They got hot at the right time, and it has carried them here.

TCU comes into this game on an 11-game winning streak that includes victories over Oklahoma State, two dominant wins over Arkansas and a Super Regional sweep of Indiana State.

The Frogs' lineup has been on fire — they've put up double-digit runs in six of their 11 wins — but there's a strong possibility that they could be contained by Oral Roberts' ace Jakob Hall.

Hall has taken a massive step forward in his sophomore season. He enters this start with a 3.56 ERA, a .253 BAA and has racked up 91 punch outs in 93 innings pitched.

His counting stats are solid, but his two true indicators of success are his SIERA — which is 2.96 — and his WHIP of 1.11.

Hall is in line for more success this afternoon as the Horned Frogs' lineup is bound to cool off.

Oral Roberts vs. TCU Betting Pick

The Horned Frogs have been on an impressive heater, but the Golden Eagles' streak is even better, as they've won 22 of their last 23 games.

Putting it simply, Oral Roberts is being vastly undervalued here. It's the better offensive team, it has a more proven ace and it has an All-American closer to lean on once it has the lead.

Back the Golden Eagles to take this opening matchup.

Pick: Oral Roberts +150 (Play to +125)

Virginia vs. Florida Odds

Friday, June 16
7 p.m. ET
Virginia Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-110 / -120
Florida Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-110 / -120
Odds via DraftKings.

When the lines came out earlier this week, I saw many people jump on the Florida Gators, as they expected the line to rise throughout the week.

While they were correct in predicting the line movement, that movement is not indicative of what the result should be.

This game could be wild as both lineups will have their opportunities to put runs on the board.

Virginia Cavaliers

I get why the Virginia Cavaliers are underdogs here, but statistically, they're the superior team. The Cavs led the nation in batting average this season, and they finished third in team ERA.

This lineup is relentless, and the duo of Kyle Teel and Jake Gelof is as dangerous as any in the country.

The man tasked with containing this lineup will be the Gators' Friday night guy, Brandon Sproat.

Sproat's stuff improved dramatically this season. He's struck out 120 batters in 96 innings pitched this season. However, his ERA sits at 4.69, as the long ball has bitten him on multiple occasions.

He has the ability to get swings and misses, but when he doesn't, the contact has been hard, as he has a BABIP of .279, which is significantly higher than his BAA of .216.

That contact is pointing towards a bit of regression, as his FIP is 5.29.

The Cavaliers are a bad matchup for him; they only strike out 14.9% of the time. And we've seen the damage that can be done against Sproat when he's not generating strikeouts.

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Florida Gators

The Gators were one of the top teams in the country entering the season, and they've lived up to the hype. Florida possesses one of the most potent lineups in the country, as it holds the fourth-highest ISO in the nation. It also has great pitching depth, which is why it tends to throw its best pitcher second.

Getting back to the Gators' lineup, they're dangerous at all times. Six guys in their lineup have double-digit homers, and that includes two-way star Jac Caglianone, who's hit 31 this season.

Nick Parker will be tasked with containing this lineup for Virginia, and he won't be able to. The Gators have a great scouting report on Parker as their catcher BT Riopelle was Parker's backstop during his freshman year at Coastal Carolina.

In addition to that, Parker has some concerning numbers heading into this start against a powerful lineup. For starters, his FIP is 5.26, which is a ways away from his season ERA of 3.81.

One other concern is his BABIP. It's .318, which means opposing batters are hitting the ball very hard off of him when they put it in play.

That hard contact has already worked against him, as his ground ball rate is the lowest of his career and his fly ball rate is the highest it's been since his freshman season.

The Gators are in line to do damage against Parker tonight.

Virginia vs. Florida Betting Pick

In the open, I talked about how the market has moved towards Florida, and that's for a good reason. The Gators' lineup is powerful, and they're in a great spot to flex their muscles tonight against Parker.

However, the Cavaliers can't be overlooked offensively, as they're the team that can give Sproat a ton of trouble.

In addition to the movement towards Florida, we've also seen the total drop this week. That movement has only created value there, as both of these lineups are in great spots tonight.

While I like Virginia to steal this opening matchup, the strongest angle for this one is the over.

Pick: Over 10

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