After Regional and Super Regional rounds that were full of upsets, the Men’s College World Series gets underway from Charles Schwab Field Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska on Friday. Four of the eight teams will be in action, with the first game of the day scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET between Oklahoma and No. 5 Texas A&M on ESPN.
The ninth-seeded Texas Longhorns are the favorite to win the title according to DraftKings Sportsbook at +425. The six-time World Series champions swept through their Regional without a loss before running into big trouble in their Super Regional against No. 8 East Carolina. The Longhorns dropped Game 1 in Greenville, North Carolina, and looked to be on their way to defeat Saturday before scoring seven runs over the final three innings to erase what had been a 7-2 deficit and ultimately secure a walk-off victory on their opponent’s home field.
Texas then blew out the Pirates on Sunday, 11-1, to advance to the World Series for the 38th time in program history.
Here’s a look at some of our favorite teams to bet on to win it all in the 2022 College World Series.
Stanford Cardinal (+500)
No. 2 Stanford, the highest-ranked seed of the four remaining in the field, is one of two remaining teams that were in the College World Series in 2021. Texas is the other. The Cardinal had a tough time with the UConn Huskies in the Super Regional, giving up 13 runs in a Game 1 loss and then falling behind early in Game 3 before storming back to romp, 10-5. But hey, survive and advance. Led by outfielder Brock Jones, a possible first-round MLB Draft pick next month, the Cardinals have a deep, potent lineup and complement it with a pitching staff that ranks among the nation’s top 20 in ERA. Despite a rough tournament thus far, Alex Williams is still a legitimate ace. Quinn Matthews and Ryan Bruno are game-changers out of the bullpen. That pitching staff should flummox an Arkansas team that can struggle to score at times. Also, Stanford’s half of the bracket is the weaker half.
The Cardinal will begin their College World Series against the Razorbacks on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN
Texas Longhorns (+425)
The Longhorns stared proverbial death in the face and lived to fight another day. That Game 2 comeback over ECU might be what spurs them to a championship. It certainly looked like it on Sunday, when they scored nine runs in the first two innings to put the Pirates away early. They are, unquestionably, the best offense of any of the eight remaining teams, highlighted by likely Golden Spikes winner, Ivan Melendez. But he is one of seven Longhorns who have hit double-digit homers this year. Plus, Texas’ pitching staff is among the top 25 in ERA, and its defense is top-notch.
Sleeper pick: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+500)
For the Longhorns to make it through, they will have to get past college baseball’s giant killers. And once you’ve taken down the NCAA Tournament favorite and pulled off the upset of the year in college baseball, what can’t you do? The Irish weren’t intimidated at all by No. 1 Tennessee and won’t be intimidated by Texas when they play at 7 p.m. Friday on ESPN. Notre Dame is an experienced team that has perhaps the best pitching staff in the field, ranking inside the top 15 in team ERA and inside the top 10 in strikeouts per nine innings. Designated hitter Jake Zyska had eight hits and five RBIs in three games versus the Volunteers and will need to be great once again in order for the Irish to match Texas’ bats.
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