The 2017 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament culminates this coming weekend with the double-elimination 2017 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. Let’s look at the opening futures odds for this tournament.
The 2017 Division I Men’s Baseball Tournament reaches its crescendo this weekend at Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska when the winners of the eight different Super Regionals meet in the Cornhusker State in College Baseball’s Big Dance, the College World Series. Last year, it was tiny Coastal Carolina from Conway, South Carolina (population 16,317) and the Big South Conference who semi-shocked the college baseball world as it rallied from a 1-0 series deficit to win the last two games and beat the Pac-12’s Arizona for the unlikely championship. The Chanticleers won Game 2 (5-4) and Game 3 (4-3) both by 1 Run after losing Game 1, 3-0, at the still relatively new TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha which replaced historic Rosenblatt Stadium which was destroyed back in 2010.
Getting to the College World Series means survival, tournament-style and these eight participants all won their Super Regionals in best-of-3 series against formidable opponents—which concluded on Sunday in five of the Super Regionals—who also to fight to make it to that pivotal point in the Spring tournament. You win, you head to Omaha. You don’t, and you spend all Summer thinking about it. The three schools who swept their way in are Louisville, which beat#11 Kentucky in 2 games (5-2, 6-2), top-ranked Oregon State beat Vanderbilt in 2 games (8-4, 9-2) in the Corvallis Super Regional as the Beavers increased their Winning Streak to 21 and Texas A&M, who eliminated upstart Davidson—alma mater of the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry—(7-6, 12-6) in the College Station Super Regional to earn a meeting with the Cardinals in Omaha in Game 3 on Sunday ( LOU -180, A&M +140, 8½, 5Dimes).
This past Sunday, Cal State-Fullerton (34-21) eliminated a tough Long Beach State squad, winning Game 3 (2-1) after getting blanked and blasted in Game 1 on Friday (12-0) then shutting out the #9 Dirtbags, 3-0 on Saturday in Game 2 of the Long Beach Super Regional. LBSU left a man on 3rd base in the 9th inning as #20-ranked CSF advanced to Omaha where they’ll meet top-seed Oregon State. No. 6 TCU (43-16) swept #22 Missouri State in the Fort Worth Super Regional, winning Game 1 on Saturday, 3-2, then seeing starter Brian Howard (11-3) pitch a 4-Hit, 11-Strikeout performance in an 8-1 Horned Frogs win on Sunday as closer Sean Wymer whiffed four of the five Bears batters he faced. No. 16 Florida State (40-20) also advanced with wins Saturday and Sunday in the Tallahassee Super Regional, edging Sam Houston State, 7-6 in Game 1 and then opening a can of whoop-ass on the Bearkats, 19-0—the largest NCAA Super Regional win ever—as leadoff man Taylor Walls went 3-for-3 with 5 Runs, 4 RBI, 2 HRs and an unheard of 4 Walks—meaning the FSU SS had 7 Plate Appearances and reached base safely all 7 and had the most Hits, Runs, RBIs, HRs and Walks for his team. And you thought you accomplished something by mowing the lawn on Sunday. Step back.
After defeating #17 Mississippi State, 4-3 on Saturday in Game 1, fellow SEC hardball powerhouse and #7 LSU (48-17) topped the Bulldogs, 14-4, in the Baton Rouge Super Regional to punch its ticket to Omaha as the Tigers won their 16th straight and 21 in the L23 games. LSU will face Florida State in its CWS opener in Game 2 on Saturday night (ESPN, 8 pm ET; LSU -160, FSU +120, 10 O/U) in a game in which we’ll preview for you here this weekend. And, after a Rain Delay on Sunday, then the resumption of the suspended game on Monday, SEC’s #4 Florida bounced the ACC’s Wake Forest in the Gainesville Super Regional, winning Game 3, 3-0 on Monday night after losing 8-6 in Game 2 in extra innings earlier in the day after the Gators (43-17) won Game 1 on Saturday, 2-1. Florida faces TCU in its CWS opener in Game 4 Sunday night (ESPN2, 7 pm ET; TCU -120, FLA -120, 9½ O/U).
Here are the opening Futures odds for the 2017 College World Series—a tournament divided into two, 4-team double-elimination Brackets which sees the winners of each Bracket meeting in a best-of-3 CWS Championship series—from popular offshore sportsbook 5Dimes:
2017 College World Series Odds
Louisville Cardinals +275 (16/1)
Oregon State Beavers +325 (10/1)
LSU Tigers +350 (7/1)
Florida Gators +700 (8/1)
Florida State Seminoles +700 (14/1)
TCU Horned Frogs +700 (7/1)
Texas A&M Aggies +1200 (33/1)
Cal State-Fullerton Titans +1300 (15/1)
Does Being Your Own “Oracle of Omaha” Mean Fading #1 Oregon State in Omaha?
Top-ranked Oregon State (49-4) definitely heads in as the team to beat here, but despite the 21-game winning streak and fierce lineup which includes 1B KJ Harrison (.330, 39 RBI), DH Trevor Larnach (.304) and 2016 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and now Sophomore, Nick Madrigal (.383, below), the Pac-12’s Beavers—winners of the CWS 10 years ago in 2007 behind Darwin Barney (Blue Jays) and Koa Kahalehoe—can definitely be beaten and will be without the services of their best Pitcher, Luke Heimlich, who asked to be excused from playing saying he didn’t want to be a distraction to the team. Oregon State will face upstart Cal State-Fullerton in a must-watch Game 1 and possibly a good spot in which to back the possibly back the underdog on Saturday.
Two teams besides Cal State-Fullerton worth possibly backing in the Futures Book in the CWS are LSU , which has a remarkable 19 come-from-behind Wins, and Brendan McKay (17 HRs, 12.12 K’s per 9 IP as P), Drew Ellis (.367) and Louisville , which luckily avoids the Beavers in its half of the Bracket.
2017 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES PICKS
Louisville +275 & LSU +350
2017 CWS SATURDAY GAME #3 PICK