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College World Series Preview: Stanford, Texas Top Bets

Absence of Top-Ranked Tennessee Leaves Tournament Without Clear Favorite

CWS Field Wide Open

The College World Series is set to get underway without the team that was favored to win it all.

Notre Dame took care of that by taking two of three in the Super Regionals against No. 1 overall seed Tennessee, the pick to finally win the CWS title according to the NCAA baseball predictions. Four other Southeastern Conference teams made it to Omaha, Neb., for the College World Series.

Stanford’s Brock Jones (7) runs to first base against the University San Francisco during an NCAA baseball game on Thursday, March 4, 2021 in Stanford, Calif.
Brock Jones | Tony Avelar/AP Photo

Texas and Stanford are the only teams from last year’s World Series field still in the running for the 2022 title. A year ago, Texas was outscored by eventual champion Mississippi State 11-9 in the semifinals while Stanford went 1-2 and was eliminated before the semifinals. Texas and Stanford are fifth and 10th nationally in team batting average.

Stanford and Texas are listed by the college baseball lines as co-favorites in the World Series field at +400.

Don’t be looking for players expected to go early in the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft. The first-round mock draft on the MLB site does not include a player from any of the eight World Series teams.

Play begins with two games on Friday and two more on Saturday. The winners of the first four games will meet in a Sunday doubleheader while the elimination games start on Monday.

The winners of Bracket 1 and Bracket 2 will meet in a best-of-three game championship series beginning on June 25.

As well explore a variety of other baseball odds here to win!

Stanford Cardinal

  • Record: 47-16
  • Odds to win the World Series: +400
  • Previous championships: 1987, 1988
  • World Series opener: vs Arkansas, Saturday, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN

Carter Graham leads Stanford with 22 homers and 78 RBIs, Brett Barrera has a team-leading .355 average, Brock Jones has 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases, and Braden Montgomery and Drew Bowser added 18 home runs each for a Stanford team that started the NCAA tournament with +1200 odds to win the title according to the sportsbook.

Quinn Matthews (9-1, 2.62 ERA) is one of three Stanford pitchers with ERAs under 3.00. The key to beating Stanford is getting to the bullpen. Other than Ryan Bruno and Brandt Pancer, it’s been a struggle for the other relievers

The Pac-12 tournament champions overcame early losses both in the regionals and Super Regionals to return to the World Series.

Texas Longhorns

  • Record: 47-20
  • Odds to win the World Series: +400
  • Previous championships: 1949, 1950, 1975, 1983, 2002, 2005
  • World Series opener: vs Notre Dame, Friday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Texas is set to make its 38th appearance in the College World Series.

Evan Melendez is hitting .396 with 32 home runs and 94 RBIs, 33 more than any other Texas player. Melendez has more home runs and RBIs than any other Division I player. He also has 52 walks and has been hit by a pitch 11 times to give him a .516 on-base percentage.

Seven players have at least 10 home runs, including Murphy Stehly (.375, 19 home runs, 61 RBIs), Trey Faltine (15 homers, 56 RBIs) and Skyler Messinger (.372, 11 home runs, 59 RBIs).

Lucas Gordon (7-1, 2.68 ERA) and Pete Hansen (11-2, 3.40 ERA, 115 strikeouts) give Texas a 1-2 punch at the top of the starting rotation. Marcus Olivarez (0.72 ERA in 18 games) is the top arm out of the bullpen.

Texas leads all Division I teams with a fielding percentage of .986.

Arkansas Razorbacks

  • Record: 43-19
  • Odds to win the World Series: +500
  • World Series opener: vs Stanford, Saturday, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN

It took a walk-off hit by Brady Slavens against North Carolina for the Razorbacks to punch the ticket to the College World Series for the 11th time.

Chris Lanzilli and Michael Turner are the only batters hitting over .300. The Razorbacks have 100 home runs with Cayden Wallace, Brayden Webb and Slavens tied for the team lead with 15 each. Wallace and Webb have also combined for 22 stolen bases. The team has committed only 41 errors in 62 games

Arkansas has one of the deepest pitching staffs in the tournament. Zack Morris (6-0, 1.89 ERA) and Zebulon Vermillion (2-0. 2.59 ERA) are key players in the bullpen. Connor Noland leads Arkansas with seven wins and 105 strikeouts. Hagen Smith is another starting pitcher to keep an eye on.

After losing their first two games in the SEC tournament, Arkansas’ only loss in the NCAA tournament came in extra innings to Oklahoma State. An average of 18.5 runs were scored in the four games in the regionals before Arkansas topped North Carolina 4-1 and 4-3 to advance to the College World Series.

Arkansas is tied for ninth among Division I teams with 54 double plays turned and is seventh with a .982 field percentage.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

  • Record: 40-15
  • Odds to win the World Series: +550
  • World Series opener: vs Texas, Friday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Notre Dame eliminated top-seeded Tennessee in the Super Regionals

David LaManna (.348) is one of four regulars hitting over .300 for the Fighting Irish. Jack Zyska leads the team with 13 home runs while Carter Putz leads the way with 53 runs scored and 46 RBIs. Ryan Cole is hitting .312 with 20 extra-base hits, 21 stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .434.

The trio of John Bertrand, Austin Temple and Jack Findlay have kept the Irish in most games. They are a combined 19-6 with 245 strikeouts in 217 innings. Six players have at least two saves. Notre Dame has the best team ERA (3.95) of any team in the World Series field.

Auburn Tigers

  • Record: 42-20
  • Odds to win the World Series: +650
  • World Series opener: vs Ole Miss, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Sonny DiChiara leads Auburn with a .392 average, 22 home runs and 59 RBIs. He leads all Division I players with 68 walks in 58 games. No other player has more than nine homers. Blake Rambusch (.336, 16 stolen bases), Brooks Carlson (.310, 16 extra-base hits) and Kason Howell (19 doubles, 11 stolen bases) are other top hitters. With 12 players with at least 91 at-bats, it tends to be all hands on deck for the Tigers.

The key for Auburn is to turn the game over to closer Blake Burkhalter, who has 15 saves and has struck out 66 in 44 innings. Joseph Gonzalez (7-3, 2.95 ERA) and Mason Barnett (3-2, 3.98 ERA) are the top starting pitchers. Barnett and Trace Bright have combined for 165 strikeouts in 136.2 innings.

Catcher Nate LaRue has thrown out 12 of 20 would-be base runners.

Auburn scored 51 runs in three games in the regionals.

Texas A&M Aggies

  • Record: 42-18
  • Odds to win the World Series: +600
  • World Series opener: vs. Oklahoma Friday, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN

Dylan Rock leads the Aggies in both home runs (18) and stolen bases (16). He has also walked 49 times and he is one of five Texas A&M hitting over .300. Jack Moss’ average of .391 is the best on the team. Ryan Targac is the other top power threat with 14 of his 58 hits being home runs.

With 331 walks in 59 games, the Aggies do tend to make opposing pitchers work although the 75 errors are a little troubling.

Texas A&M has a team ERA of 4.71 and opponents are hitting .261 against the Aggies, so those who bet online won’t be looking for low-scoring affairs.

Nathan Dettmer (5-2, 4.75 ERA) and Micah Dallas (6-3, 5.38 ERA) are the top starting pitchers. They combine for nearly a strikeout per inning but also have 21 wild pitches between them in 31 starts. The most effective pitcher is reliever Jacob Palisch (6-3, 2.65 ERA, four saves).

Texas A&M is 5-0 in the NCAA tournament.

Outfielder Dylan Rock arrived at Texas
Sam Craft, FRE / Associated Press

Ole Miss Rebels

  • Record: 37-22
  • Odds to win the World Series: +800
  • World Series opener: vs Auburn, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Ole Miss might have the deepest of the batting orders in the World Series with its top nine hitters batting over .250 and 11 Rebels having more than 100 plate appearances.

Kevin Graham leads the way with a .331 average. Much of the power comes from Tim Elko (.302 average, 22 homers and 71 RBIs).

Dylan DeLucia leads Ole Miss with six wins and is second on the squad with 88 strikeouts. Brandon Johnson has 11 saves and 66 strikeouts in 39.2 innings. Hunter Elliott has split time as a starter and a reliever. He is 4-3 with a 2.82 ERA and a team-best 92 strikeouts in 67 innings.

Ole Miss was ranked second in the country during a 13-1 start with the lone loss coming in extra innings.

The Rebels didn’t give up a run in the Super Regionals and has outscored its opponents 46-11 in the NCAA tournament.

Oklahoma Sooners

  • Record: 42-22
  • Odds to win the World Series: +800
  • Previous championships: 1951, 1994
  • World Series opener: vs Texas A&M, Friday, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN

Catchers had better be on alert when playing the Sooners, who have 142 stolen bases in 64 games. Peyton Graham is hitting .336 and he is the team leader with 20 homers and 32 stolen bases. Tanner Tredaway is batting .373 with 27 stolen bases. Blake Robertson has walked 65 times while Kendall Pettis has 22 stolen bases. Those numbers have been aided by Oklahoma ranked sixth nationally with 352 walks.

With a 5.41 team ERA, pitching has been a bit of an issue. Jake Bennett is the top starter with a 9-3 record and 3.53 ERA to go with 1020 strikeouts. David Sandlin (8-4, 5.54 ERA, 89 strikeouts) is another key starter. Closer Trevin Michael is 4-1 with a team-leading 2.94 ERA and 10 saves. He is another high strikeout pitcher with 90 Ks in 64.1 innings.

Oklahoma has thrown out 22 runners attempting to steal but also has 18 passed balls.

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