Mike Bianco is 6-12 all time in Baton Rouge. He averages one win for every series visit down yonder. Considering how we've looked as of late and how they've looked, I'd say that snagging a victory away from the Tigers in Alex Box to ensure a .500 SEC record wouldn't be a particularly bad outcome whatsoever.
Regardless, here's what you should look for this weekend out of the Tigers both on the bump and in the box.
LSU Probable Starters
Thursday - Cody Glenn (Soph. LHP) - Glenn is currently 5-2 with a 2.78 ERA on the year through 12 starts. Through 68.0 innings pitched, Glenn has allowed 27 runs (21 earned) off 57 hits. Glenn has 33 strike outs to go along with 16 walks. Opponents are hitting .231 off Cody thus far this season. Cody has only allowed 11 extra-base hits all season in 247 at-bats. Glenn is a crafty lefty which has been a problem all year for the Rebels.
Friday - Kurt McCune (Jr. RHP) - Saturday is usually Aaron Nola's spot in the rotation but luckily LSU has decided to rest him this weekend. McCune will be making only his 4th start of the season and is currently 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA (7 appearances). Through 13.1 innings pitched, McCune has allowed 5 runs (5 earned) off 15 hits. He has 8 strikeouts to go along with 4 walks, and opponents are hitting .283 off him thus far this season.
Saturday - Ryan Eades (Jr. RHP) - Ryan Eades currently posts a 8-1 record with a 2.29 ERA in 13 starts. Through 82.2 innings pitched, Eades has allowed 24 runs (21 earned) off 83 hits. Ryan has 69 strikeouts to go along with 23 walks, and opponents are hitting .265 off him. Eades has only allowed 11 extra-base hits in 313 at-bats.
Team Pitching Ranks in Conference:
- 2nd in ERA (2.37) (OM 5th at 2.92)
- 3rd in opposing batting average (.216) (OM 5th at .240)
- 4th in strikeouts (412) (OM 7th with 379)
- T-3rd in hits allowed (377) (OM 4th with 423)
- 2nd in runs allowed (148) (OM 6th with 194)
- 2nd in walks allowed (129) (OM 11th with 187)
- T-2nd in HR allowed (15) (OM 9th with 22)
National Pitching Ranks
- 2nd in ERA (OM is 19th nationally)
- 2nd in WHIP
- 7th in BBs per 9 innings
- 6th in K-BB ratio
- 7th in Hits Allowed per 9 Innings
The Rebels are lucky in the sense that LSU isn't going to pitch Aaron Nola (10-0, 1.99 ERA), but as you can see they have plenty of other good arms to throw. LSU ranks in the top 10 nationally in almost every major pitching category. Runs will be at a premium this weekend so the Rebels will need to find a way to get some clutch hits, which they have struggled with all season.
As always, the numbers you see in batting stats represent the following in this exact order: Avg HR RBI SLG% OBP% SB/ATT SO/BB. If you don't know what that means, then watch more baseball.
LSU, as a team, looks something like this: .312 37 326 .443 .395 46/68 258/230
Individual Season Statistics
Alex Bregman .393 5 47 .589 .443 13/14 18/22
Mason Katz .380 13 63 .656 .472 5/12 30/30
Raph Rhymes .343 2 37 .448 .414 2/3 26/22
Sean McMullen .339 1 25 .500 .436 0/2 15/19
Christian Ibarra .337 5 33 .497 .430 0/3 27/25
Key Reserves (minimum 50 AB's)
Tyler Moore .286 0 7 .429 .338 0/0 1/5
Chris Sciambra .258 0 6 .337 .407 2/2 24/17
Other key notes:
- The Tigers are scoring 6.85 runs per game.
- LSU boasts a very impressive 32-3 home record on the year.
- They've done this by only giving up a total of 148 runs on the season (2.79 per game).
The Rebels currently sit as the 5th seed in the SEC Tournament and taking 2 of 3 would probably keep them there, sweeping most likely locks them in as that seed and keeps any slim NCAA regional hosting discussion going. Losing 2 of 3 or getting swept means the Rebels would most likely slip in their seeding, but not enough do too much damage in the SEC Tournament. That does mean, of course, that they'd lose whatever chance they've got, as slim as it may be, to host an NCAA regional.
As always, BeardedGinger and Fit4LifeLLC deserve our undying praise for their contributions to this week's preview.