04/10/2023

It is hard to believe, but the 2023 college baseball season is nearly upon us. That means inevitably there will be predictions.

Last season saw Ole Miss sweep Oklahoma to win the College World Series. Mike Bianco won his first national championship behind one of the best pitching staffs in college baseball. Ole Miss featured some offense as Tim Elko led the Rebels with 24 HRs and 75 RBIs. Jacob Gonzalez pinged out 18 home runs and 52 RBIs.

The next inevitable question is which teams will rule the landscape in this college baseball campaign. It is even harder to believe we are a mere eight days from Texas and Vanderbilt throwing out the first pitch on Feb. 17. So to get you ready for your baseball betting, here’s the outlook for this season.

The Preseason Top 25

  1. LSU
  2. Tennessee
  3. Stanford
  4. Mississippi
  5. Texas A&M
  6. Wake Forest
  7. Florida
  8. Arkansas
  9. Oklahoma State
  10. Vanderbilt
  11. East Carolina
  12. North Carolina
  13. Maryland
  14. Virginia Tech
  15. TCU
  16. Louisville
  17. UCLA
  18. Southern Miss
  19. Virginia
  20. Alabama
  21. North Carolina State
  22. Miami
  23. South Carolina
  24. Texas Tech
  25. Oregon

The SEC Rules The College Baseball Roost

Again, if last year taught us anything, it was to look to the Southeast Conference. Four of the eight teams in the College World Series came from the West Division alone. SEC teams like Tennessee and Florida, which didn’t make the CWS but should have, are not going to go away.

This conference is the best in the nation next to the Big 12 for now. It is where the lion’s share of the talent comes from. A lot of players from the MLB Draft come from the SEC.

Just looking at the early off-season college baseball futures reveals a lot. Seven of the first eight teams are from the SEC. LSU leads the way at +500 on $5+ on any Pre-Game Moneyline and Win $150 in Bonus Bets” data-brand_id=”357″ data-brand_product_id=”767″ data-offer_id=”7761″ data-site_offer_id=”8095″ data-gtm=”pagetext DraftKings” >DraftKings, with Tennessee at +600. Defending champion Ole Miss is fourth at +1200. Then, there are the preseason college rankings.

The SEC leads the land with eight teams ranked in the Top 25. LSU possesses the most talented roster early and has hitters like 2022 All-American Dylan Crews and Tommy White. LSU had the top transfer portal and transfer recruiting class.

Tennessee, as expected, comes in at No. 2. The Volunteers spent much of last season ranked around the top spot before getting shocked by Notre Dame in the regionals. Home runs were their forte, but the Irish eliminated the Volunteers with pitching.

How much did Tennessee learn despite their amazing 59-7 2022 season? With Drew Beam (8-1, 2.72 ERA), Chase Burns (8-2, 2.91 ERA), and Chase Dollander (10-0) back in the mix, Tennessee might have one of the best opening day lineups once more on paper.

Predictions, as we saw last year, were tough to come by. Again, look at how strong this conference was. Ole Miss, as we mentioned, won the whole thing; Arkansas (+5000) has a relief pitcher like Brady Tygart, who can throw electric pro-ball-level stuff. Add in Hagen Smith and the Razorbacks have something. When it comes to game-to-game action, the SEC is a gauntlet. It is partly why the last three national champions have come from the conference.

 

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LSU +380 +500 +500 +450
Tennessee +650 +600 +800 +700
Stanford +1100 +1000 +1200 +1000
Vanderbilt +1100 +1500 +2000 +1750
Mississippi +1100 +1200 +2000 +2000
Florida +1100 +1600 +1500 +1300
Texas A&M +1500 +1800 +1800 +1750
Arkansas +1500 +2200 +1300 +1300
Wake Forest +1900 +2500 +2000 +3000
Louisville +2200 +3500 +2500 +2000
Oklahoma State +2200 +2500 +2200 +2200

The ACC Is Not Too Far Behind

While Stanford, on paper, represents the biggest obstacle to SEC supremacy again, it is the ACC that may feature a team or three that can knock off the heavyweights. For example, we mentioned Notre Dame (+4000) already. The highest-ranked team in this conference is Louisville at fifth in the nation (+3500).

The Cardinals have a nice combination of youth and experience. After losing in the super regionals last season, they are ready to surprise and make the College World Series. This team could be a real hit as the year goes along. Are they the best team or among them? Time will tell.

Teams like Miami (Florida) at +6000 and Wake Forest have Top 10 talent, but can they put it all together at the conference tournaments and regional times? They have top-end winning potential with lineups that look incredible on opening day. The futures odds have them in pretty good position.

Florida State (+6000) represents a real wild card. The Seminoles are not ranked, but their team and lineup are always to be feared and respected. The Seminoles are a squad to watch for their hitting and how they compete and play. Are they one of the best teams in the country? They might be by the end of the season.

We Didn’t Forget About Stanford

When discussing predictions and a team to watch, we did not forget about the Stanford Cardinal. This team has made the College World Series twice in a row. A third is not out of the question with the preseason lineup assembled. With a potent offense and All-American Quinn Matthews anchoring the pitching staff, Stanford is again dangerous to go far.

Stanford is the only team not in the SEC with lofty odds of winning the national championship (+1000). After that, the next best numbers are from Oregon State and Oklahoma State at +2500. The worst-case scenario for the Cardinal is that the Pac-12 does not quite offer them the competition from last year. Stanford went just 21-9 in the conference as teams like Oregon State and Oregon proved to have surprise potential.

Again, can Stanford put together the games needed to advance to the CWS? Last season, Stanford lost twice by a combined score of 23-4 as its bullpen got hammered along with the starters by the dominant SEC. It was another harsh lesson for the most talented team in the west. Did the summer keep the Cardinal on the course to CWS glory, or will they fall flat again?

What About The Big 12?

The conference nearly produced a national champion as the Oklahoma Sooners (+4000) advanced to the final only to be swept by Ole Miss. Here is something funny. Despite how good this team was dealing last year, they are not in the Top 25 in February. It seems teams and experts are looking more toward the Kansas squad, Oklahoma State, and even TCU. Texas has two teams – particularly the Horned Frogs, who have potential.

TCU (+5000) represents the class of the conference winning the league twice in a row. Brayden Taylor returns to the third base position to anchor the offense.

Freshmen and upside may come from the Cowboys. Oklahoma State has a great double-play combo in Marcus Brown and Roc Riggio. It boils down to young pitching and whether they can eat up innings while achieving plate discipline.

Even Texas Tech (23rd in the rankings) is intriguing. Any Tim Tadlock-coached team has to be looked at for their quick ability to adapt. He’ll get them ready to compete even though he has young pitchers and not much in the transfer portal.

Did We Leave Out Anything?

That answer is probably yes. The fun part of the college baseball season is just that the season. It is hard to believe that in a little over four months now, we will be crowning another national champion. Again, opening day is approaching. Last season delivered so many memories, and yet we turn the page.

Predictions in baseball are challenging, especially when it comes to rankings and rosters. Which crews and squads will be a hit and which will be an unexpected dud? We saw what played out last year, but that is far from a guide for 2023.

Can a team like UCLA, from the west, take that next step? What about Southern Mississippi from the Sun Belt? The Golden Eagles featured a roster with amazing pitchers. Can starting pitcher Tanner Hall do it again and throw some of our predictions off-kilter? Sports betting sites will be ready to take your wagers as you try to figure out what teams will make a run.

A Few Early 2023 College Baseball Predictions

Alas, it is challenging to ignore how good LSU looks on paper going into 2023. The same can be said about Tennessee. That SEC is the class of college baseball. Could there be that squad that comes from left of center field to win it all? Anything is possible.

Some shockers to start, but this may be the year that Stanford gets supplanted in the Pac-12. If UCLA puts together enough of an offense with its young roster, the Bruins can pull off this mighty feat.

LSU and Tennessee both miss out on the College World Series. Yes, that is a haymaker, but the SEC is again heavy from top to bottom. Anywhere from six to eight teams could make the CWS. It is that level of competition that makes the likes of Ole Miss, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and Texas A&M that much more dangerous.

Texas A&M vaulted from worst to first last year. Let that sink in. Yes, the national champion may come from the SEC, but again, those top two squads might not be it. Our early money is more on Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, and even Florida (which starts third in the preseason).

FAQ

What is the best team in college baseball?Up Arrow

As the college baseball season gets ready to start, LSU, Tennessee and Stanford top most rankings. No games have been played yet, so those rankings will surely change as the baseball season begins. But, one of those three could be in the mix to win it all by the end of the season.

When is the College World Series?Up Arrow

The 2023 CWS begins on June 15 with eight teams. The best-of-three championship series, played with the two teams that make their way through the double-elimination bracket, will begin on June 25.

Where is the College World Series?Up Arrow

The College World Series baseball tournament will be played at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska. The CWS has been held in Omaha since 1950. It was held at Rosenblatt Stadium from 1950 through 2010. It moved to the new stadium in 2011.

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