Tonight, the final ticket was punched and the eight teams are now official for the 2021 College Baseball World Series.
Tonight we saw Mississippi State beat Notre Dame to advance for a date with Texas. But here it is folks! The Elite 8… I know this looks weird without seeing Arkansas for the fourth year in a row but we do see a lot of exciting teams. For starters, Vanderbilt is an absolute powerhouse.
— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) June 12, 2021
They are the favorites to win the championship in my opinion solely because of the two studs they have on the mound. For starters, Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker have been the best pitching duo in maybe college baseball history. Rocker alone set a handful of Vanderbilt records this season, and on top of that he posted a 13-3 record and a 2.46 ERA. Leiter, on the other hand, is 10-3 with a 2.16 ERA. So let’s just say no one is really scoring on these two studs.
After Vanderbilt, I think the next best teams are either Virginia or Tennessee. Tennessee is coming in hot by trouncing LSU in the regional final this weekend, and Virginia showed its grit by outlasting a really tough Dallas Baptist program. Nonetheless, both of these teams are hot and they have everything going for them. Since the SEC tournament, Tennessee is 8-2 and playing some of the best baseball in the country. Their only loses coming to Alabama in extra innings on the first night of the SEC Tournament and to Arkansas in the SEC Championship game. Tennessee has also had a HOT bat. Since the beginning of the SEC Tournament, they have scored 71 runs compared to allowing 32… This not only shows they can hit but their pitching is on par with Vanderbilt.
GO JOIN YOUR FAMILY, BALL!!!
— Tennessee Baseball (@Vol_Baseball) June 13, 2021
Now Virginia isn’t quite the same as these other powerhouses. This is a Cavs team that was 35-25 in the regular season and they are coming in with the worst record of the tournament. But the reason I am picking them to go far is because they are red hot. Like I said, this is a team that had to battle past Dallas Baptist. I watched that whole game on Sunday and their pitching held off DBU and the bats came alive in the 8th to give them a push. But on top of it all, UVA is just fun to watch. These are just a bunch of dudes who know they shouldn’t be there and that is the scariest team to face.
— Virginia Baseball (@UVABaseball) June 15, 2021
Besides the two SEC teams and Virginia, you also need to look out for the Pac-12. I never stayed up late enough to watch those games. But looking at the stats and standings, Arizona and Stanford can PLAY. Both finished in the top three in the Pac-12 with Arizona taking the Pac-12 title this year and Stanford finishing third. Both teams also won pretty handily against their regional opponents. From the research I did, Stanford is more of a hitting team. Only one of their pitchers post a sub 3 ERA, whereas their team batting average is .281. Arizona, on the other hand, is much more of a hitting team. They post a really solid team batting average of .329, while their ERA is a 4.43 and both their starters post above a 4 ERA.
All and all we are going to have some great teams face off for a Championship. I am going to stick with my prediction that Vanderbilt will win it, but I would love to see Virginia take it.
Championship: Vanderbilt over Tennessee
MVP: Jack Leiter
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