NCAA Baseball Odds & Best Bets: 5 Tuesday Picks for ACC, Pac-12 & SEC Conference Tournaments
Eakin Howard/Getty Images. Pictured: UNC catcher Tomas Frick.
- The college baseball postseason is officially upon us, with a number of leagues kicking off conference tournament action Tuesday.
- We have five picks for games in the SEC Tournament, ACC Tournament, Pac-12 Tournament and ASUN Tournament.
- Check out Doug Ziefel's five NCAA baseball best bets for Tuesday, May 23, below.
The college baseball postseason kicks off today with a full day of conference tournament action.
We’ve got a pick from a number of power conferences and even one of the nation’s best mid-majors. Let’s not waste any more time and dive in.
Georgia +135 vs. South Carolina
10:30 a.m. ET · SEC Network
The SEC was a gauntlet this season, as many of the conference’s top teams were also among the top teams in the country.
South Carolina was a team in that group, and the Georgia Bulldogs know how talented they are as the Gamecocks swept the season series in convincing fashion.
However, the Bulldogs will have an excellent shot to exact some revenge in this SEC Tournament opener. Their edge comes on the mound as they give the ball to Jaden Woods.
The junior lefty threw only 46.2 innings this season over nine starts, but he flashed dominant stuff on multiple occasions. Woods may have a 5.59 ERA, but he struck out 61 batters and posted a BAA of .226. It appears he’s due for some positive regression, and it should come today.
Also, the Bulldogs’ lineup will have a good matchup against South Carolina starter James Hicks. Hicks had a solid season but enters with a 4.09 ERA and struck out only 42 batters over 50 innings.
Georgia will be able to make plenty of contact and keep traffic on the bases, which will allow it to outscore the power hitters of South Carolina.
Arizona -125 vs. Arizona State
1 p.m. ET · Pac-12 Network
We head out west, where another team is primed for revenge as these in-state rivals clash in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
The Arizona State Sun Devils swept the weekend series against the Arizona Wildcats, but then the Wildcats came back and beat their rivals in a midweek matchup, 20-0, later in the season.
So, which version of Arizona will we get today? I believe it’ll be closer to the team we saw in the blowout victory.
The Wildcats have a clear advantage at the dish after raking this season. They hit .317 with a wOBA of .423 and a wRC+ of 125. While the Sun Devils were not bad offensively by any means, the Wildcats are a notch above in every category.
Unfortunately, we have no projected starters at the time of writing this, so pitching is a question mark for both sides.
However, the Wildcats’ staff is due for positive regression while the Sun Devils’ is not. Both teams come in with ERAs in the high fives, but Arizona’s FIP is about a half-run lower, whereas Arizona State’s is about a half-run higher.
Tennessee -165 vs. Texas A&M
1:30 p.m. ET · SEC Network
We’re going back to the SEC, where the Tennessee Volunteers look to avenge last year’s postseason letdown. While the Vols’ roster is not as loaded as last season, they’re still dominant in all areas.
Tennessee finished the regular season third in team ERA while also finishing 13th in wRC+ at the plate.
While many SEC teams don’t take this tournament seriously because they’ve already clinched spots in the NCAA Tournament, this is a chance for the Vols to prove they’re still title contenders.
It will be a bullpen game for them, but there are no holes in this pitching staff. The only pitcher who should be concerned is Texas A&M starter Troy Wansing.
The sophomore left-hander had a 5.98 ERA in 12 starts and allowed opposing batters to hit .296. This is a game in which the Vols will be up from the start and should lead wire-to-wire.
FGCU -180 vs. Jacksonville
2:30 p.m. ET · ESPN+
If you only remember Florida Gulf Coast for their run in March Madness years ago, let me introduce you to its historic 2023 baseball lineup. FGCU is arguably the top offensive team in the country, as it finished tied for the top spot in wRC+, led the nation in homers and finished sixth in batting average.
Its power-hitting propelled it to domination in the ASUN and got it plenty of national respect as a staple in the top 25 for some time this season.
However, what makes this lineup special is that it’s not one or two players who can punish opposing pitchers. The Eagles had six guys hit double-digit homers.
FGCU will face Jacksonville this afternoon, and the Dolphins actually took a game from them in their series this season. However, the Eagles responded by outscoring them, 29-11, over the following two games of the series.
We should see the Eagles continue to make balls soar on their way to victory this afternoon.
Georgia Tech -110 vs. North Carolina
3 p.m. ET · ACC Network
It was a middling year for both these clubs in ACC play, but their respective results have made for a tremendous opening-round matchup.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are in a great spot. Their depth both on the mound and at the plate gives them the edge here.
The Yellow Jackets were one of the most formidable lineups in the country, ranking fifth in batting average, ninth in wRC+ and 10th in wOBA nationally. This lineup will put a ton of pressure on a Tar Heels pitching staff that’s due for some sizable regression.
North Carolina has not announced a starter for this matchup, but it posted a respectable 4.78 ERA as a team. However, its team FIP comes in at 6.09.
As for Georgia Tech, it will hand the ball to Ben King, who’s been excellent in a long-man role out of the bullpen. King enters with a 3.21 ERA and has held opposing batters to just a .200 average this season.
He should allow the Yellow Jackets to get out ahead early and build a lead they won’t relinquish.
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