Baylor Bears

Big 12 Baseball Preview: Make or Break Weekend Ahead

Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship, May 28, 2017

Big 12 baseball is officially in full swing as we are starting to get a feel for how the conference hierarchy is going to play out this season.

It felt like just yesterday opening weekend was here and now we are entering the third weekend of conference play.

Let’s take a look at the upcoming weekend for Big 12 baseball.

 

#21 Texas at #17 Oklahoma State

If you can only watch one Big 12 series this weekend, then look no further because this is the one. Texas is on a tear right now as they hold the nation’s longest winning streak in college baseball at 15 games. Lucas Gordon has been the ace of their pitching staff and Charlie Hurley has become a solid arm as well. That should set up some interesting matchups because the Cowboys have plenty of bats to make any pitcher a little nervous. Roc Riggio, David Mendham, Nolan Schubart, and Nolan McLean have combined for a whopping 31 home runs so far this year and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. On the flip side, Texas has had some guys step up as well with Eric Kennedy, Peyton Powell, and Porter Brown. I expect plenty of fireworks in Stillwater this weekend and one hell of a series.

My Pick: Oklahoma State

TCU at #24 Texas Tech

Outside of the Texas/Oklahoma State series, this series is probably my second favorite of the weekend. Both teams are at a turning point as TCU is fresh off a sweep of Kansas last weekend while Texas Tech got swept in Austin a week ago. One advantage I like for the Horned Frogs is their starting rotation. Kole Klecker and Cam Brown have been phenomenal this season and are tough to beat. Meanwhile, I like the offense for Texas Tech over TCU’s. The Horned Frogs have a power bat with Brayden Taylor and Tre Richardson has been playing well too. But that doesn’t compare to the bats of Texas Tech with Gavin Kash, Austin Green, and Kevin Bazzell. The Red Raiders have seven guys in their lineup that can make you pay and I am just not sure if TCU can handle that and have enough offense of their own to beat it.

My Pick: Texas Tech

 

#24 West Virginia at Kansas State

For the first time this season, West Virginia will be facing a Big 12 opponent. This should be an interesting series and a good test for the Mountaineers. Kansas State swept Oklahoma last weekend and are looking to build off that. We know Kansas State has consistent bats with Cash Rugely, Nick Goodwin, and Brady Day but what will their pitching do? Outside of Owen Boerema, it has been mediocre at best. I am not sure if that will hold up against the offense of West Virginia led by arguably the best hitter in the Big 12 with JJ Wetherholt. Besides Wetherholt, the Mountaineers have Braden Barry, Caleb McNeely, and Dayne Leonard offensively. Between that and the duo of Blaine Traxel and Ben Hampton on the mound, I like West Virginia. I have said before that they may be the most balanced team in the Big 12 and I believe we will see that this weekend.

My Pick: West Virginia

#7 Stanford at Oklahoma

The Sooners take a break from conference play but it’s not much of one at all because they will be hosting Stanford for a four-game series starting Thursday night. The Cardinal are a top-ten team in the country and can pretty much do it all. They have five guys in their lineup batting over the .300 mark: Braden Montgomery, Alberto Rios, Owen Cobb, Eddie Park, and Malcolm Moore. On top of that, they have a solid pair of starting pitchers with Matt Scott and Quinn Matthews. I know Oklahoma has the offense to make pitchers work with Easton Carmichael, Anthony Mackenzie, and Dakota Harris but the pitching for Oklahoma has been shaky at best. The Sooners are currently on a five-game losing streak and while I think they can snap that in this series, I just don’t see them winning more than a game here.

My Pick: Stanford

 

Baylor at Kansas

We have a battle of cellar dwellers here between Baylor and Kansas. Both teams have a losing record and both teams were swept last weekend. Also, both of them are in the bottom two when it comes to ERA and batting average in the conference. With that said, I am going to take Baylor here just because they have shown a little more and even won a conference series two weeks ago against Kansas State. The pitching will be bad, but I think the bats of Kolby Branch and Hunter Teplanszky will be enough to carry the Bears through the weekend. Do I feel great about this pick? No, but my gut tells me, Baylor.

My Pick: Baylor

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