NCAA Baseball Odds, Best Bets: 3 Picks, Including Georgia vs. North Carolina & UC Santa Barbara vs. Stanford (Sunday, June 5)
Via Icon Sportswire/Getty Images. Pictured: Mac Horvath.
If you’re just joining us now, you’ve missed two electric days of college baseball. The regionals have not disappointed, and yesterday we saw slugfests, comebacks, and massive upsets as both Stanford and North Carolina went down.
Seasons are on the line, and tickets to Super Regionals could be punched this evening. So with everything hanging in the balance, let’s get into the best bests for today’s slate.
Georgia vs. North Carolina 1 p.m. ET
It was quite a shock to see the red-hot Tar Heels fall to VCU yesterday, but all credit should be given to the Rams as they have now won 16 straight games. However, that sets up an all-important elimination game between the top two seeds of this region.
Both offenses are very potent, but North Carolina will hold a significant edge on the mound in this one. Jaden Woods will get the ball for the Bulldogs, and he has tremendous stuff as he racked up 76 strikeouts in 56 innings, but this will be just his second start of the year. He made one start in the SEC tournament and was dominant against Alabama for four innings, but the Heels are much more dangerous than Bama, and there’s a big drop off once Woods leaves the game.
The Tar Heels will turn to Will Sandy. Sandy has transitioned into the rotation and was dominant in the ACC Tournament. He’ll enter this start with a 2.78 ERA and a .200 BAA. While the length of his outing is a concern, the North Carolina bullpen has been a strength this season and should hold down the fort while the Tar Heels lineup lights up the scoreboard.
Pick: UNC -145 (Play to -170)
Georgia Southern vs. Texas Tech 2 p.m. ET
It is about time that we see the Red Raiders’ offense breakout. This was one of the scariest lineups in the country this year as they hit .292 as a team and slugged 83 homers while averaging over nine runs a game. However, they’ve been held to just four runs through their first two games in regional play.
The underdog hosts cannot be overlooked here as Georgia Southern proved it could swing it as well as it hit .297 as a team this year. However, pitching options are running thin for both sides, and this game is projected to be a slugfest with a total of 14.5. In a slugfest, I want the Red Raiders as they’ve got much more pop in their lineup, and the extra-base hits will make the difference here.
Pick: Texas Tech -160 (Play to -190)
UC Santa Barbara vs. Stanford 4 p.m. ET
The No. 2 national seed lost yesterday to Texas State in a game where their potent lineup was held quiet. However, the Cardinal pitched off to open the tournament, and even though they burned their ace last night, their second option is one of the best. Quinn Mathews will get the ball for Stanford, and he was magnificent as a swingman this year. Mathews will enter this outing with a 2.67 ERA., a .207 BAA, and 99 strikeouts in 84 innings of work.
The Gauchos are not a team that is short on pitching and will actually throw their best starter this afternoon, Ryan Gallagher. He’ll come into this start with a 3.00 ERA and a .265 BAA but only had 60 punchouts in 78 innings of work.
While Gallagher’s body of work is impressive, the Stanford lineup is a massive step up in competition for him. We saw them put up 20 runs against Binghamton, and the market is expecting them to score again as the total has ticked up to 12. With significant edges both on the mound and at the dish, the Cardinal will be playing two today and get their rematch with Texas State.
Pick: Stanford -175 (Play to -220)