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Week 8 Staff Pick 'em

Every week on the podcast, John and I choose five series and try to predict the outcome of each one, down to the game score. We are not always right, but I know that I am right more often than John so far. After looking through the top series available each weekend, one person will pick the series and then the other gets to say their prediction first, and we alternate from there. The arbitrary rule we have set is that we cannot pick the same series score. Then, after the series are complete, the winner is who has perfectly predicted the most series; however in the case where neither predicted a series perfectly, but we chose different winners, whomever picked the correct winner gets the point.

Unnecessarily confusing? Yes. But “them’s the rules.”

I picked first this week, and we alternated from there.

#12 TCU @ #8 Texas Tech

This is a huge Big 12 series that will help to determine the conference regular season champion. Texas Tech is coming off of a disappointing roadtrip in the midwest, losing two out of three in Manhattan against Kansas State. The Red Raiders did that in a strange way, though, after roughing up one of the better pitching prospects in the Big 12, Jordan Wicks, on Friday night and then losing the next two. TCU is on a bit of a roll lately. After losing the Friday night game at Louisiana on March 19, they have won 10 straight games, including a home sweep of rival Baylor and a road sweep of Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs dominated OU last weekend, outscoring the Sooners 35-16, and shutting down a red-hot OU offense.

This weekend features two of the best Big 12 teams, causing John and I to have split opinions about the winner. John got to pick the winner first and feels confident with Tech’s ability to keep winning in Lubbock. I felt that TCU’s deep and talented pitching staff would help them steal two on the road, but I also felt more confident in that than I did Tech sweeping TCU.

John’s pick: Texas Tech wins series 2-1

Kyle’s pick: TCU wins series 2-1

For a more detailed look at this series, check out this piece on our site.

#2 Arkansas @ #5 Ole Miss

This is the best series of the weekend. Arkansas does not mind going into the Magnolia State and continuing to win, and they proved it after sweeping Mississippi State on the road a few weeks ago. The Razorbacks are one of the nation’s best teams and will likely vie for the #1 ranking all season long with Vanderbilt. Ole Miss is coming off of a slightly disappointing, but understandable, series loss on the road against Florida.

I picked Ole Miss to win two out of three first because I am confident in Ole Miss’ ability to bounce back at home. They played pretty well last weekend against Florida and were competitive in all three games in a tough venue. John mentioned that he would have picked Arkansas to win independent of our rules because Arkansas is on fire lately. Even though the Razorbacks struggled a bit with Auburn at home last weekend, close wins are still wins and John values those late game heroics.

Kyle’s pick: Ole Miss wins series 2-1

John’s pick: Arkansas wins series 2-1

For a more detailed look at this series, check out this piece on our site.

#44 Ohio State @ #32 Michigan

These two teams and fan bases really do not like each other, and rivalries are fun in any sport, so buckle up for this one. Michigan and Ohio State are two of the top teams in the Big Ten and both look like they could make the tournament this year. Ohio State is fresh off of a four-game home sweep of Indiana, who was widely considered one of the other top Big Ten teams. It is really hard to win four games in a row against one team, no matter who the other team is, and in this case it was one of the best, so needless to say we were really impressed with Ohio State last weekend. Michigan did not start off 2020 in a good way after their Omaha run the year before, but they are still a talented team and have done admirably so far in 2021. So far, they have yet to play Indiana and (obviously) Ohio State, but they still played well against two of the other tough Big Ten teams, Iowa and Illinois.

Neither of us felt confident in our picks for this series, but John got to pick first so he picked what I would have picked independently. Road series wins in conference are hard and I might regret not taking Ohio State to win two out of three, but Ohio State will have to prove me wrong.

John’s pick: Michigan wins series 2-1

Kyle’s pick: Michigan sweeps series

#36 UCLA @ #23 Stanford

Stanford and UCLA are two teams headed in opposite directions lately. Stanford started 2020 in a rough way, going 5-11 before the season was cancelled, but they have been electric offensively this year. Their pitching has left something to be desired, but it is still keeping them in games because it is still Stanford after all. Those two sentences are the opposite of what we have come to expect out of the Cardinal, but I welcome this new direction. UCLA is somewhat confusing. The Bruins started this year ranked very highly by most outlets given the talent they have accrued over the years and Coach John Savage’s ability to get the most out of his team. However, they have lost three out of their seven series to start the year, coming off of a home series loss to Washington.

I picked first and went with Stanford to only win two out of three, while John picked Stanford to sweep. We both still like UCLA as a team on the season, and while a sweep seems unlikely for Stanford, John thought that that was more likely than UCLA surprising everyone with a road series win.

Kyle’s pick: Stanford wins series 2-1

John’s pick: Stanford sweeps series

#16 Georgia Tech @ #11 Notre Dame

The ACC is a confusing tangle of teams that have all beaten up on each other. It has proven to be a really deep league so far this season, with the bottom teams getting some surprising series victories. Notre Dame was not necessarily one of the bottom teams, but going into the season, they were on the bubble and leaning out of the tournament in our opinion. They have done nothing but prove us wrong so far this season and continue to win series (or tie them). After COVID caused them to miss their first weekend of the year (a tournament at LSU), they went 7-2 on the road at Wake Forest, Clemson, and Virginia, winning all three series. Georgia Tech, on the other hand, is a team that came into the seasons with relatively high expectations and has done pretty well outside of two home series losses to Pittsburgh and Virginia. We still expect them to contend for the ACC crown, and they are tied for first in the Coastal Division with Virginia Tech, so their goals are still achievable for them- no need to panic.

John felt confident in the Yellow Jackets enough to take them winning the series on the road, and I felt much better about a Notre Dame home series win than a Georgia Tech road sweep. Notre Dame is an experienced team and well-coached, so much so that they lead the country in fielding percentage as of today.

John’s pick: Georgia Tech wins series 2-1

Kyle’s pick: Notre Dame wins series 2-1


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