NCAA Baseball Odds, Picks: Tournament Predictions for TCU vs Arkansas & Texas A&M vs Stanford
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Arkansas’ Kendall Diggs.
The first day of the NCAA Baseball Tournament was everything we could have hoped for and more.
We had blowouts, massive upsets and incredible pitching performances — and we saw plenty of bombs. I expect today's action to be even better, as many teams have their aces going, while others will be fighting to keep their seasons alive.
Let's dive into today's best bets for Day 2 of NCAA Regionals.
Tennessee -105 vs. Clemson
6 p.m. ET · ESPN2
If you read my futures piece, you know I'm high on the Volunteers. They're being underrated this postseason. Much of that is because they've struggled mightily on the road during the season.
I'm taking that 16-game sample size with a grain of salt, as this is one of the most well-rounded teams in the country, and I'm ready to plant my flag for today's big test.
It will be a sea of orange when Tennessee takes on the nation's hottest team in Clemson. The Tigers have been firing on all cylinders, mounting an unprecedented 17-game winning streak.
However, the Volunteers have the man who could put a stop to all of that. That man is Chase Dollander. The junior right-hander is one of the best pitchers in the country and has the stuff to shut down any lineup.
In addition to having its ace on the mound, the Tennessee bats got going yesterday and should be able to get to Clemson's Caden Grice. Now, getting to Grice has been no easy task, as he's held opposing batters to just a .195 batting average. But we must not forget that Tennessee finished 15th in the country in wRC+.
The Vols are still one of the top teams in the country, and a victory today will prove it.
Miami -135 vs. Texas
6 p.m. ET · ESPNU
We go from one heavyweight matchup to another, as Miami hosts Texas in this highly-anticipated winners' bracket matchup. It all starts on the mound in this one with a likely pitching matchup between the Hurricanes' Karson Ligon and the Longhorns' Lebarron Johnson Jr.
On paper, the Longhorns have the edge on the bump. Johnson has been tremendous, pitching to a 2.82 ERA and holding the opposition to just a .223 average. However, Ligon was the Canes' Friday night starter prior to going down with tendinitis.
Ligon looked good in his return, containing a daunting Wake Forest lineup over two-plus innings of work. Tonight, he'll face a Texas lineup that has had issues with consistency. The Longhorns bats completely disappeared in the Big 12 Tournament, and it took them until the seventh to get going yesterday.
Texas won't be able to go blow-for-blow with the Hurricanes. Miami should be able to touch up Johnson, whose FIP comes in over a run higher than his season ERA.
Lastly, if Miami is winning in the later half of the game, it could very well be over with Andrew Walters — the nation's best closer — waiting in the wings.
Arkansas -1.5 vs. TCU
9 p.m. ET · ESPNU
Yesterday, I faded the Horned Frogs to no avail. Arizona's pitching faltered, and TCU's ace was solid. Tonight, though, the Frogs are going to see a massive step up in competition on the hill as they face Arkansas' Hagen Smith.
Smith dominated all season and showed he's one of the best pitchers in the country. He enters this start with a 2.69 ERA and .199 BAA, but he also has a ton of confidence after outdueling potential top-five MLB Draft pick Paul Skenes in his last start against LSU.
Smith should find a way to shut down a TCU lineup that doesn't have a ton of pop. However, the more significant issue for the Horned Frogs comes on the mound.
After Kole Klecker dealt last night, the Horned Frogs don't have a reliable option to turn to tonight. They have a staff FIP of 5.47 and will face a Razorbacks lineup that's seeing the ball well after demolishing Santa Clara yesterday.
While most sportsbooks have the Arkansas run line between -120 and -130, BetRivers has it at -108. Back the Hogs to cruise behind their ace tonight.
Texas A&M vs. Stanford Over 14 (-110)
9 p.m. ET · ESPN+
Yesterday, we saw the ball soar out of Klein Field as Stanford routed San Jose State. With a much better lineup across from them tonight, we could see even more balls leave the yard.
Texas A&M's Justin Lamkin will be tasked with facing the vaunted Cardinal lineup.
While Lampkin stepped up in the SEC Tournament, his performance was an outlier, as he holds a 5.62 ERA and 4.80 FIP. Lamkin is also a freshman making his first NCAA Tournament start on the road against a lineup that hit .317 and 106 homers.
However, Stanford may have its own issues containing the Aggies. The Cardinal don't have much pitching behind their ace, Quinn Mathews, who threw yesterday. The Cardinal own a 5.92 team ERA and allowed a ton of hard contact, resulting in a BABIP of .327.
Take the over in this matchup, and watch the scoreboard light up.