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May 9th, 2019

Weekend Thirteen preview

Just a few weekends left in the college baseball season, and we are previewing all of the most exciting match ups!

Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Rivalry Weekend

#6 Mississippi State at #14 Ole Miss

This all-SEC affair is one of the most anticipated series of the year. There is no love lost between Mississippi State and Ole Miss, but there is more than bragging rights on the line in this series. After being swept by Arkansas a few weekends ago, Mississippi State has bounced back with authority and is looking to build their top-eight seed resumé. Ole Miss has won five of their last SEC games and is suddenly poised to host a Regional. The winner of this series will take over sole possession of second place in the SEC West and will be poised to make a run at the division title.

#20 Oklahoma State at Oklahoma

Oklahoma State and Oklahoma are two teams heading in opposite directions right now. The Cowboys are coming off a road sweep of Oregon State, while Oklahoma, once a solid Regional team, has seen their conference record drop to 8-10. The Sooners would greatly benefit from taking down their in-state rival, while the Cowboys are hoping that a road series win at Oklahoma will add another line to their hosting resumé.

#3 Stanford at Cal

With Cal's substantial improvement this season, the match up between Stanford and Cal has suddenly becoming a showdown of RPI top 35 teams. Stanford continues to sit near the top of the polls, but their national seed resumé is lacking. With the surprising downturn of Texas and Cal State Fullerton, Stanford's strength of schedule continues to diminish. A road win over Cal would be a solid addition to their resume. Cal is trying to return to a Regional for the first time since 2015, and a win or two over Stanford would help solidify their postseason position.

#12 Oregon State at Oregon

Oregon State is on a four-game losing streak after being swept by the other orange and black OSU (Oklahoma State) in Corvallis. Still at 17-4 in the Pac-12, the Beavers could return to the nation seed conversation with a strong finish to Pac-12 play. At 8-13 in conference play, Oregon's hopes of making a Regional might be fading. However, a sweep of Oregon State would at least get the Ducks back in the conversation. That will be a tall order for the Ducks who have been dominated by the Beavers in recent years.

#16 LSU at #4 Arkansas

After dropping a series to Ole Miss and a midweek game to Louisiana Tech, LSU has played their way down the hosting bubble. Inconsistency has plagued the Tigers, and they will need the best from their starters if they hope to contain an Arkansas offense that averages eight runs per game. The Razorbacks are in great position for a top-eight seed and can nearly lock it up with a series win this weekend. Baum Stadium will be rocking in what will almost certainly be a sellout weekend.

Elsewhere in the SEC

#22 Missouri at #2 Vanderbilt

Missouri greatly boosted their Regional chances with a series win over Tennessee last weekend to move to 12-11-1 in SEC play. The Tigers will be hoping to take at least one off of Vanderbilt. Currently on a twelve-game winning streak, the Commodores are the hottest team in the country. They defeated Louisville in the midweek and look to lock up lock up the SEC East with a series win over Missouri.

#30 Tennessee at Florida

At 10-14 and 9-15 in SEC play respectively, Tennessee and Florida will play in an elimination series this weekend. Despite both teams' top 35 RPIs, the committee has made it clear that a .500 conference record is important, and a series loss for either team would put them too far out of reach of the necessary mark.

High Stakes Non-Conference Match Up

#23 Arizona State at Nebraska

In the most interesting non-conference match up of the weekend, two bubble teams face off in an important series. It is a little strange think of a top 25 team as a bubble team, but with only two top 50 wins and a 116 strength of schedule, Arizona State could use a few marquee wins. Nebraska's 44 RPI and 13-8 Big Ten record both help to build a strong Regional case, but the Huskers would feel much more secure about their position if they took the series against the Sun Devils.

Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics

ACC and the Bubble

#19 Miami at Wake Forest

After dropping six straight games in mid-March, Miami has since gone 19-6 over the last month and a half and are in contention to host a Regional. Wake Forest has moved up 70 spots in the RPI over the last few weeks and now sit at a respectable 50. The Deacons are firmly on the bubble, and a series win over the Canes would put Wake Forest in much better position.

#9 Georgia Tech at Duke

With their only ACC series loss coming two months ago to Miami, Georgia Tech is poised to win the ACC Coastal. Perhaps more importantly, the Yellow Jackets are gunning for a top-eight seed. The three games at Duke are the last road test of the season for Georgia Tech and are important for keeping their RPI in the top ten. After being swept by North Carolina, Duke is 10-2 in their last four ACC series and will be a tough opponent for Georgia Tech. With an RPI hovering around 45, the Blue Devils cannot afford to drop many games down the stretch.

#5 Louisville at Virginia

Until dropping a midweek against Vanderbilt, Louisville had won nine straight games. The Cardinals are in postseason form, and at 18-6 in conference, they hold a commanding three-game lead in the ACC. Currently in our first eight out, Virginia is holding on to postseason hopes. They will likely need to win five more ACC games to earn an at-large bid. The Cavaliers finish with Virginia Tech, so if they can win the series against Louisville, they will have a shot at earning an at-large bid to a Regional.

Clemson at #17 NC State

It is not often that a team that at one point in the season lost eight straight games is still in reasonable postseason position, but that is where Clemson finds themselves. With a sweep of North Carolina and a series win against Louisville on their resumé, the Tigers have some marquee wins. A road series win at NC State would be a nice statement win for Clemson. NC State seems to have overcome their mid-season slump and hopes to spend the first weekend of the postseason playing at home. The Wolfpack finish with Clemson and North Carolina and could easily earn a host spot with a couple of series wins.

Big Ten Battle

#32 Indiana at #24 Michigan

Indiana and Michigan face off in a series between the top two teams in the Big Ten. Coming off a series loss at Illinois, Indiana will be looking to bounce back against Michigan and claim the lead in the Big Ten. Winners of 13 straight games, Michigan will be put to the test as their last seven games are all against RPI top 50 teams. The Wolverines have an outside shot at hosting if they were to finish strong.

Mid-Majors to Watch

Tulane at Houston

Tulane may have played their way out of an at-large bid with a series loss to UCF and a midweek loss to Nicholls State, but they are still one of the best teams in the American. They head to Houston to face a Cougar squad that boasts a top 40 RPI. At 9-9 in conference, Houston cannot afford a series loss with a road trip to UCF still looming on their schedule.

Cal Poly at UC Irvine

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the year that few are talking about is the fact that Cal Poly is currently in first in the Big West. Despite their 23-23 record overall, the Mustang's 12-3 mark in conference is leading the way. Cal Poly has yet to play UC Irvine or UCSB, but if they can win these series, they will likely win the Big West. The conference does not have a conference tournament, so winning the conference would send Cal Poly to a Regional. UC Irvine has their own conference championship hopes at 10-5 in the Big West. The Anteaters have also built a strong at-large resumé, and winning another conference series would keep them on pace for an at-large bid.

Campbell at Winthrop

In first place in the Big South, Campbell is hoping to march on to a conference tournament title. With their top 70 RPI, it's possible they could still earn a 3-seed in a Regional and avoid having to match up with the host in the first game. To do so, they need to take care of business against a Winthrop team that is tied for second in the Big South.

Indiana State at Dallas Baptist

After taking two out of three from Illinois State, Indiana State will have to once again rise to the occasion as they head the Dallas Baptist for a weekend series. Dallas Baptist currently sits in third in the Missouri Valley, two games behind the Sycamores. Both of these teams have compelling at-large resumés, but a series win would help solidify their position.

San Diego State at Fresno State

San Diego State at Fresno State is a match up between the top two teams in the Mountain West. Both squads have top 60 RPIs and have the potential to earn at-large bids, but neither wants to leave it to chance. The winner of this series will be the front runner to win the Mountain West's automatic bid.

Sam Houston State at SE Louisiana

Sam Houston State is one of the mid-major mainstays in the NCAA Tournament and currently sits atop the Southland standings, tied with SE Louisiana. SE Louisiana has not dropped a series to the Bearkats since 2014 and hopes to keep that streak alive. Whoever wins this series will be the favorite to earn the Southland title.

Coastal Carolina at UT Arlington

After being a mid-major darling for several years, Coastal Carolina is in jeopardy of missing the tournament. A road series win over the second place team in the Sun Belt, UT Arlington would help put them back on track. UT Arlington has seen their at-large hopes fade but are still one of the top contenders for the Sun Belt tournament title. Both teams will come into the weekend highly motivated.

The last few weeks of the regular season promise to bring several high-stake games. To keep up with our Bubble Watch, follow us on Twitter! For more on this week's rankings, check out our Composite Top 25 and our Conference Power Rankings. If you like what you're seeing from us, consider supporting us and becoming a Patron. We appreciate the consideration!