Ole Miss baseball: 2010 predictions

CAN THIS HAPPEN, PLEASE!?

Brian Walker's Elbow and I have been fairly thorough previewing the 2010 season for all of you Rebel baseball fans out there. You can check out the infield, outfield, pitching or schedule posts if  you haven't already to get caught up.

Tomorrow is opening day for Ole Miss baseball, getcha popcorn, hot dogs and Cracker Jacks ready. Also, boil some crawfish and load up a cooler full of beer.  

We'll have a preview tomorrow of the ULM Warhawks who will come into town for a three game series. For now, feast your eyes on what the season will hold this year for beleaguered Ole Miss seamheads.

Projected batting orders

One Man To Beat

1.) Tim Ferguson
2.) Zach Miller
3.) Matt Smith
4.) Matt Snyder
5.) Mike Snyder
6.) David Phillips
7.) Alex Yarbrough
8.) Taylor Hightower
9.) Kevin Mort

Brian Walker's Elbow

1.) Tim Ferguson
2.) Zach Miller
3.) Matt Smith
4.) Matt Snyder
5.) Mike Snyder
6.) Alex Yarbrough
7.) Tanner Mathis
8.) Taylor Hightower
9.) Kevin Mort

How the West will shake out

One Man to Beat
The worst team in the West is Auburn. This is nothing new or unusual. They usually put a fairly mediocre product on the field. Mississippi State will be much better than last season, but considering a 9-20 SEC record last year, this is not a revolutionary statement. 'Bama and Ole Miss make up an above average SEC West middle-ground. Arkansas and LSU will be the top dogs with only a game or two separating the best of the West.

Brian Walker's Elbow
I really don't see how LSU won't win the West.  They return 10 pitchers and many position players with experience.  How do they not make it to Omaha again?  Also, Arkansas returns the core of a team that went to Omaha.  Once again, they'll make a push for the West.  The best we could probably do is come in 3rd in the West.  Honestly, that is not a bad thing and could have us hosting (probably not though).

Record predictions

One Man To Beat
There's enough experience on this team to bring a little swagger to the non-conference schedule. Early on, there's going to be a lot of 8-5 or 11-9 victories against sub-par teams. The Rebels will probably lose a few games that will seem incomprehensible as well. The SEC West is competitive as usual, and I would consider a plus .500 SEC record an accomplishment this season. Bianco knows his opponents well but so do they, so it could be a wash. I'm predicting a 34-22 season with a 17-13 SEC record.

Brian Walker's Elbow
Looking at the schedule, it is a little softer this year than in years past.  I think it'll take a while for our pitching to develop and our players to adjust to their roles, so we might catch fire as the season progresses. As for SEC record, I think that getting to 16-14 would be a phenomenal accomplishment.  Overall, I think a 30-26 year could be in the works.  If you do the math, that is a 14-12 year in non-conference which is possible due to a lack of pitching for the many midweek games.

Thinking outside of the box (stuff we think could happen that is flat out crazy to some people)

One Man to Beat
I think we will not advance past the regional portion of the postseason where we will NOT be a one or two seed. 
Matt Smith will hit 20 HR. There's more protection in the line-up, and he will go nuts.
The weekend series with LSU will have the most attended baseball game in the history of Ole Miss baseball.

Brian Walker's Elbow
With what pitching we have, we may forget just how good Drew Pomeranz is.  I think he will be taken in the first round for sure, and he may even be pitcher of the year in the SEC.  I'm going to agree with your take on the LSU weekend series.  Here's the shocker:  we miss the SEC baseball tourney.  No postseason.

So, what are your predictions for Ole Miss baseball? 
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