2019 College World Series Picks: The Rosenblog
Baseball America staffers past and present have made their College World Series picks on the Rosenblog for years.
We gave that tradition the green light again this year, as Teddy Cahill, Joe Healy and Dave Serrano are in Omaha to chronicle the 2019 CWS. It promises to be an exciting series with eight of college baseball's biggest powerhouses battling it out over the next two weeks in TD Ameritrade Park for the national championship.
No matter what happens during the CWS, this will be the perfect place to find predictions every day.
Wednesday, June 26
Michigan vs. Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. ET
Teddy: Vanderbilt. I've been asked about this a lot since last night's game. I haven't had any idea how to pick this game at any point, but now I have to make a pick and I'm going to go with the more talented team. I have no idea how this game plays out but I know Vanderbilt has more weapons at its disposal.
Joe: Vanderbilt. It should be no surprise now that I'm going with the Commodores. They have been my pick all along, after all. Both starting pitchers, Michigan's Karl Kauffmann and Vanderbilt's Mason Hickman, started on Friday, so you could see this coming down to a battle of the bullpens. Michigan cycled through several relievers on Tuesday while Vanderbilt has a rested staff, save for Tyler Brown, who threw 40 pitches a day ago. All it takes is one bad outing from a reliever to upset that apple cart, but on paper, this looks like an area where Vanderbilt should have an advantage.
Records after Day 8: Teddy 9-5, Joe 9-5
Tuesday, June 25
Michigan vs. Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. ET
Teddy: Michigan. I'm riding this hunch for another game. Righthander Kumar Rocker is a really tough matchup for the Wolverines, but they're swinging hot bats and playing loose and free. Michigan is going to have to string its pitching together today, but that means no one will have to face the potent Commodores' lineup more than once or twice. It's a bit of gambit, but I'll follow Erik Bakich on this play.
Joe: Vanderbilt. It bit me yesterday, but I'm going to ride with Vanderbilt, my national championship pick, until the end. On top of that, I feel like the Commodores are too talented and experienced to go two and out in the finals, and I like their lineup's chance to put up some runs against Michigan's Isaiah Paige, who will be making his CWS debut.
Records after Day 8: Teddy 9-4, Joe 8-5
Monday, June 24
Michigan vs. Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. ET
Teddy: Michigan. I'm playing a hunch here. Michigan has been on a roll not only in Omaha but really all this month. Lefthander Tommy Henry has been electric during that run and he faces a pretty good matchup against the Commodores, who are starting five lefthanded hitters. If Henry pitches like he did Tuesday against Florida State, the Wolverines have a good shot at starting the series with an upset.
Joe: Vanderbilt. I'm 3-0 picking Vanderbilt at the CWS and the Commodores have been my national title pick since the preseason, so there's little reason to stray now. Michigan has pitched incredibly well in Omaha, but then again, so has Vanderbilt, including Monday's starter Drake Fellows, who allowed seven hits and one run to Louisville last week.
Records after Day 7: Teddy 8-4, Joe 8-4
Friday, June 21
Michigan vs. Texas Tech, 2 p.m. ET
Louisville vs. Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. ET
Teddy: Michigan, Vanderbilt. I like the pitching edge for both Michigan and Vanderbilt. They've had more off days for their bullpens and have the edge in starters as well, with Karl Kauffmann and Mason Hickman. Louisville and Texas Tech are probably feeling good after their wins in the losers' bracket this week, but the Commodores and Wolverines will be playing with plenty of confidence as well.
Joe: Michigan, Vanderbilt. Both of Friday’s games are repeats of the teams’ opening games here in Omaha, and perhaps it’s the bias of having seen those results already, but I don’t see the second time around going any differently. I like Michigan’s ability to come back against Texas Tech with the all-hands-on-deck approach to managing its pitching staff that we saw work so effectively against these Red Raiders last Saturday. In the night cap, betting on Vanderbilt beating Reid Detmers twice in the CWS gave me pause, but the Commodores have looked like a well-oiled machine in their two wins.
Records after Day 6: Teddy 6-4, Joe 6-4
Thursday, June 20
Louisville vs. Mississippi State, 8 p.m. ET
Teddy: Mississippi State. I like the match up of Mississippi State against lefthander Nick Bennett. The Bulldogs can stack their lineup with righthanded hitters with power and they just hit Stanford lefthander Erik Miller, a fourth-round pick, hard in the Starkville Super Regional. Freshman righthander JT Ginn is a wildcard since he hasn't pitched much due to injury this month, but when he's on, he's electric.
Joe: Mississippi State. The health of Mississippi State righthander JT Ginn, which has been a subject of concern and debate over the last couple of months, gives me a little bit of pause with this pick, but assuming he’s fully healthy, I like his ability to quiet a Louisville offense that has scored four earned runs in two games so far.
Records after Day 5: Teddy 6-3, Joe 6-3
Wednesday, June 19
Auburn vs. Louisville resumption, 12 p.m. ET
Mississippi State vs. Vanderbilt, 3 p.m. ET
Florida State vs. Texas Tech, 8 p.m. ET
Teddy: Mississippi State, Florida State. A day ago, I picked Vanderbilt to Mississippi State and almost immediately regretted it. So, I’m using the rain out as an opportunity to flip-flop. Really, it’s just a hunch that’s leading me to this pick, but there’s also the reality that a start following a no-hitter often is a bit of a let down (Johnny Podres excepted). I’m going to let it ride on Mississippi State today. In the night cap, I’m still riding Florida State until I can’t no more. Righthander Connor Grady was good against Georgia in the regional final and he’ll give the Seminoles a strong chance against Texas Tech.
Joe: Vanderbilt, Florida State. Vanderbilt and Mississippi State should be a barnburner, but I’m going with my national title pick, the Commodores. Their offense, outside of Austin Martin, was pretty quiet on Sunday and it seems unlikely that it will be that quiet two games in a row. Neither presumed starter in the night game, Texas Tech's Bryce Bonnin or Florida State's Conor Grady, has been a paragon of consistency this season, so that feels like a wash. Let's go with FSU winning a back-and-forth affair and extending Mike Martin's career at least a little bit longer.
Tuesday, June 18
Auburn vs. Louisville, 2 p.m. ET
Mississippi State vs. Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. ET
Teddy: Louisville, Vanderbilt. After racing out to a 5-0 start in the picks, Michigan ended my streak last night. I feel good about getting back on track with Louisville in Game 1. Righthander Bobby Miller was excellent last week in super regionals and Auburn's pitching is considerably thinner - though none of its relievers threw all that much Sunday night and we'll likely see them all again today. It pains me to pick against Mississippi State, which seems to always find a way to pull out a win, but we all saw righthander Kumar Rocker in super regionals. He's not going to repeat that 19-strikeout no-hitter, but he's going to be very difficult to beat tonight.
Joe: Louisville, Vanderbilt. I had my first 2-0 day in our picks blog yesterday, so I’m looking to keep it rolling with a couple of favorites today. I like Louisville’s chances to take advantage of Auburn having to mix and match on the mound now that Jack Owen has been used, and the Cardinals will be able to counter with Bobby Miller and a well-rested bullpen. The second game of the day between Vanderbilt and Mississippi State should be a barnburner, but I’m going with my national title pick, the Commodores. Their offense, outside of Austin Martin, was pretty quiet on Sunday and it seems unlikely that it will be that quiet two games in a row.
Records after Day 3: Teddy 5-1, Joe 4-2
Monday, June 17
Arkansas vs. Texas Tech, 2 p.m. ET
Michigan vs. Florida State, 7 p.m. ET
Teddy: Texas Tech, Florida State. Someone is going home a lot sooner than they expected in the first game. Arkansas has struggled outside of Fayetteville all season and is just 13-12 outside of Baum-Walker Stadium this year. That, combined with Texas Tech's advantage on the mound with junior righthander Caleb Killian starting against freshman righthander Connor Noland, has me picking the Red Raiders. In the nightcap, look, I'm riding Florida State until I can't no more. The Seminoles were my preseason national championship pick and I'm not getting off that horse now.
Joe: Texas Tech, Michigan. On paper, Texas Tech has a distinct pitching advantage over Arkansas in our first elimination game of the CWS. Tech righthander Caleb Kilian hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in a start since April 6 and given that he started a CWS game last year against Florida, he has an experience edge over Arkansas starter Connor Noland, a freshman who lasted just one full inning in the super regional against Mississippi. In the nightcap, I just think there’s something about this Michigan team right now. Scoring against Florida State’s CJ Van Eyk will be a tough chore, but I like how the Wolverines will be able to match up on the mound with lefty Tommy Henry taking the hill.
Records after Day 2: Teddy 4-0, Joe 2-2
Sunday, June 16
Louisville vs. Vanderbilt, 2 p.m. ET
Auburn vs. Mississippi State, 7:30 p.m. ET
Teddy: Vanderbilt, Mississippi State. I rode the underdogs to great success yesterday, but today I'm going to opt for the favorites. The Commodores have a tough matchup and righthander Drake Fellows got beat a week ago by Duke. But he and the rest of Vanderbilt's veterans are on a mission and have been red hot down the stretch, a run that should continue in Omaha. In the nightcap, Mississippi State is on a mission. Lefthander Ethan Small, the SEC pitcher of the year, will be on the mound and between him and an explosive lineup, the Bulldogs just has too much firepower to pick against tonight.
Joe: Vanderbilt, Mississippi State. I got beat up in my picks yesterday and went 0-2, so I’m going to ride with two of the most consistent teams in college baseball this season to get back on track. Vanderbilt is my national title choice, so I’m going with the Commodores to begin the day, even against a tough customer in Louisville lefty Reid Detmers. For the second game, Mississippi State might be playing better than anyone right now, and its offense should have an opportunity to score some runs against an Auburn pitching staff that continues to deal with some uncertainty.
Records after Day 1: Teddy 2-0, Joe 0-2
Saturday, June 15
Michigan vs. Texas Tech, 2 p.m. ET
Florida State vs. Arkansas, 7 p.m. ET
Teddy: Michigan, Florida State. Playing a hunch in the first game of the day. Michigan just upended the No. 1 overall seed in UCLA and will be playing with a lot of confidence today. The Wolverines didn't fare well against the Red Raiders in Lubbock earlier this season, but this is a different stage and they're playing much better now. I picked Florida State to win the national title before the season started and I'm not jumping off that ship now, even if righthander Isaiah Campbell presents a very difficult matchup.
Joe: Texas Tech, Arkansas. Righthander Micah Dallas, who will take the mound for the Red Raiders, has been outstanding over the last month. In his last 24 innings, which covers starts against Texas Christian, Kansas State, Army and Oklahoma State, he’s struck out 27 and allowed just five earned runs. A Texas Tech lineup that features speed and gap power from top to bottom is also well-suited to success at TD Ameritrade Park. With righthander Isaiah Campbell on the mound, it seems foolhardy to pick against the Razorbacks. The second-team All-American has sprinted through the season’s finish line. Last weekend against Mississippi, he allowed just two earned runs in 8.1 innings of work. This is a different Arkansas team than the one that was here last year, but there are still enough holdovers from that roster that it seems unlikely they will be awed by the moment.