The College World Series finals have been set. Two SEC powerhouses will square off with glory on the line in Omaha when the LSU Tigers take on the Florida Gators. Florida is looking for its first college baseball championship in the school’s long history. This is the 11th time that the Gators have been to Omaha, but they have yet to win it all. Meanwhile, LSU is gunning for its seventh championship and its first since 2009.
This game will take place at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, June 26, 2017. It will be broadcast on ESPN.
Bet on college baseball odds at BookMaker.eu throughout the College World Series.
These schools played a three-game series in Florida back in late March that the Gators won two games to one. Neither offense was able to have much success against either ace as Alex Lange and Alex Faedo combined to allow just one run in the first game of the series.
The Gators bats came alive in the last two games of the series. They ran both of LSU’s starters before they had even pitched five innings, but lost the final game when their bullpen blew a four run lead in the eighth inning.
The injury to Eric Walker has meant that LSU has had to shuffle its starters. For the first time all season, Russell Reynolds will come to the mound for the Tigers.
Reynolds hasn’t started a game in two seasons, but LSU is out of arms. The bullpen has been overworked after having to advance through the loser’s bracket to knock out top seed Oregon State in the semifinals and he will be asked to stay on the mound as long as possible.
On the season, Reynolds has pitched just 14.2 innings and hasn’t found much success. He has a WHIP over 2.00 and has allowed almost a run an inning.
Florida has a much better option in Bryan Singer. Singer pitched a complete game gem against LSU earlier this season, allowing just one run in an easy win.
Singer can go the distance if needed. He has three complete games on the season and averages over six innings a start. Additionally, he is averaging almost a strikeout an inning.
He can allow a lot of contact though. Singer has given up nearly a hit an inning as well and has had some control issues. He has hit 10 batters and thrown five wild pitches on the year.
Hitters to Watch
Christian Hicks is stepping up just when the Gators need him to. He went 2-3 with a double and a triple in the clinching win against TCU and had the second-best batting average on the year. Hicks has a .288 batting average, but doesn’t walk nearly enough with just 13 walks on the season.
Kramer Robertson was the epitome of a lead-off hitter against Oregon State on Saturday. He got on base all four times he went to the dish against the Beavers and his pressure forced pitchers to pitch from the stretch constantly.
College World Series ATS Pick
On the whole, LSU’s hitters have performed much better than Florida’s on the season. The Tigers have five batters that are hitting .300 and four that are getting on base in over 40 percent of their at-bats, while Florida has just one of each.
The Gators do have the advantage when it comes to the bullpen though. Their bullpen arms are more rested than those of the Tigers and their bullpen performed better on the year as well.
For LSU, it will be all about keeping this one close. Singer is probably going to pitch a much cleaner game than Reynolds, but if the Tigers can keep it within a run or two, they can win in the late innings. LSU has three or four hitters that can go yard at any point and that might be the difference.
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