SEC Weekend Preview (May 7th-9th)

The SEC enters the third to last weekend of action with the marquee series this weekend featuring the number 10 ranked Arkansas Razorbacks heading down to #15 Ole Miss. The opener to the series will have Arkansas sending Drew Smyly (7-0, 2.19 ERA) to the hill against Ole Miss ace Drew Pomeranz (6-0, 1.85 ERA). The other series in the SEC featuring two ranked squads is #19 Vanderbilt visiting #17 LSU. The rest of the conference schedule sees #6 Florida visiting Alabama, Mississippi State visiting #28 Auburn, #11 ranked South Carolina heading to Kentucky, and Tennessee hosting Georgia.

#6 Florida (31-11, 15-6 SEC) at Alabama (28-17, 9-12 SEC)

Players to Watch
Florida: Matt den Dekker (.356 BA, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 16-20 SB)
Alabama: Taylor Dugas (.424 BA, 1 HR, 26 RBI, 15-19 SB)

Pitchers to Watch
Florida: Brian Johnson (4-2, 2.90 ERA)
Alabama: Nathan Kilcrease (3-2, 1.75 ERA, 26 app)

Probable Starting Pitchers
FRIDAY (6:30 p.m. CT) UF Fr. RHP Hudson Randall (5-3, 3.30 ERA) vs Alabama So. LHP Adam Morgan (5-2, 5.79 ERA)
SATURDAY (3 p.m. CT) UF Fr. LHP Brian Johnson (4-2, 2.90 ERA) vs Alabama Jr. RHP Jimmy Nelson (5-1, 3.90 ERA)
SUNDAY (2 p.m. CT) UF So. LHP Alex Panteliodis (7-2, 2.92 ERA) vs Alabama TBA

Storyline: Both teams are in need of conference wins as the Gators are one game back of South Carolina in the Eastern Division while Alabama is only one game ahead of Tennessee for the final spot in the SEC Tournament. The other big thing to follow is how the Gators will respond this weekend after sweeping LSU?

Prediction: Florida 2-1

Florida Series Notes
Alabama Series Notes

#10 Arkansas (35-10, 14-7 SEC) at #15 Ole Miss (33-13, 14-7 SEC)

Players to Watch
Arkansas: Zack Cox (.443 BA, 7 HR, 45 RBI)
Ole Miss: Matt Smith (.361 BA, 10 HR, 45 RBI)

Pitchers to Watch
Arkansas: Drew Smyly (7-0, 2.19 ERA)
Ole Miss: Drew Pomeranz (6-0, 1.85 ERA)

Probable Starting Pitchers
FRIDAY (7 p.m. CT) ARK So. LHP Drew Smyly (7-0, 2.19 ERA) vs OM Jr. LHP Drew Pomeranz (6-0, 1.85 ERA)
SATURDAY (7 p.m. CT) ARK Fr. RHP D.J. Baxendale (0-0, 3.79 ERA) vs OM Sr. RHP Aaron Barrett (6-2, 3.72 ERA)
SUNDAY (1:30 p.m. CT) ARK TBA vs OM TBA

Storyline: The series between Arkansas and Ole Miss features the leaders in the SEC Western Division and could decided which team will receive the number 1 seed in the conference tourney at the end of the month. The matchup on Friday evening between Drew Smyly and Drew Pomeranz is one of the best of the year in the SEC and the entire country.

Prediction: Ole Miss 2-1

Arkansas Series Notes
Ole Miss Series Notes

Mississippi State (20-25, 5-16 SEC) at #28 Auburn (30-15, 12-9 SEC)

Players to Watch
Mississippi State: Connor Powers (.381 BA, 13 HR, 61 RBI)
Auburn: Hunter Morris (.394 BA, 15 HR, 58 RBI)

Pitchers to Watch
Mississippi State: CC Watson (2-1, 3.46 ERA)
Auburn: Austin Hubbard (4-2, 2.70 ERA)

Probable Starting Pitchers
FRIDAY (6:30 p.m. CT) MSU Sr. LHP Tyler Whitney (0-2, 4.84 ERA) vs AU So. LHP Cory Luckie (5-2, 6.23 ERA)
SATURDAY (3 p.m. CT) MSU Fr. RHP Chris Stratton (4-3, 5.64 ERA) vs AU TBA
SUNDAY (1 p.m. CT) MSU TBA vs Jr. LHP Grant Dayton (5-2, 4.86 ERA)

Storyline: Auburn has set themselves to make the NCAA Tournament this season in as they have had a decent season. They need to keep their focus this week against a very dangerous SEC hitting squad in Mississippi State lead by Connor Powers 13 homers and 61 RBI.

Prediction: Auburn 2-1

Mississippi State Series Notes
Auburn Series Notes

Tennessee (24-21, 8-13 SEC) at Georgia (13-30, 3-16 SEC)

Players to Watch
Tennessee: P.J. Polk (.364 BA, 10 HR, 39 RBI, 21-25 SB)
Georgia: Zach Cone (.353 BA, 9 HR, 42 RBI)

Pitchers to Watch
Tennessee: Stephen McCray (4-3, 3.01 ERA)
Georgia: Justin Grimm (2-6, 6.00 ERA)

Probable Starting Pitchers
FRIDAY (6:30 p.m. ET) UT Sr. RHP Stephen McCray (4-3, 3.01 ERA) vs UGA Jr. RHP Justin Grimm (2-6, 6.00 ERA)
SATURDAY (1 p.m. ET) UT So. LHP Steven Gruver (3-3, 5.72 ERA) vs UGA Sr. RHP Jeff Walters (1-5, 8.08 ERA)
SUNDAY (2 p.m. ET) UT TBA vs UGA Sr. LHP Alex McRee (0-1, 6.33 ERA) 

Storyline: Georgia has one of the worst pitching staffs in recent history of the SEC with a staff ERA of 8.57. The Volunteers need to keep their focus this weekend to get the sweep over the Bulldogs.

Prediction: Tennessee Sweep

Tennessee Series Notes
Georgia Series Notes

#19 Vanderbilt (33-12, 10-9 SEC) at #17 LSU (33-13, 11-10 SEC)

Players to Watch
Vanderbilt:
Jason Esposito (.339 BA, 8 HR, 52 RBI)
LSU: Micah Gibbs (.404 BA, 5 HR, 42 RBI)

Pitchers to Watch
Vanderbilt:
Sonny Gray (6-4, 2.22 ERA)
LSU: Anthony Ranuado (2-2, 7.01 ERA)

Probable Starting Pitchers
FRIDAY (7 p.m. CT) VU So. RHP Sonny Gray (6-4, 2.22 ERA) vs LSU Jr. RHP Anthony Ranaudo (2-2, 7.01 ERA)
SATURDAY (6 p.m. CT) VU So. RHP Jack Armstrong (5-1, 3.83 ERA) vs LSU Jr. RHP Austin Ross (3-4, 5.63 ERA) or TBA
SUNDAY (1 p.m. CT) VU Jr. RHP Taylor Hill (4-3, 3.38 ERA) vs LSU Jr. RHP Austin Ross (3-4, 5.63 ERA) or TBA

Storyline: The LSU Tigers were swept last weekend by the Florida Gators to drop their record in the conference down to 11-10 putting them three games back in the Western Division. Vanderbilt has a solid rotation headlined by Sonny Gray and Jack Armstrong which could shut down the potent Tigers bats. This will be an interesting series as both squads need the conference series win for potential NCAA seeding.

Prediction: LSU 2-1

Vanderbilt Series Notes
LSU Series Notes

#11 South Carolina (35-9, 16-5 SEC) at Kentucky (24-20, 7-14 SEC)

Players to Watch
South Carolina: Whit Merrifield (.348 BA, 10 HR, 28 RBI)
Kentucky: Gunner Glad (.351 BA, 10 HR, 40 RBI)

Pitchers to Watch
South Carolina: Blake Cooper (8-0, 2.92 ERA)
Kentucky: Alex Meyer (4-2, 7.30 ERA)

Probable Starting Pitchers
FRIDAY (7 p.m. ET) USC Sr. RHP Blake Cooper (8-0, 2.92 ERA) vs KY Fr. LHP Taylor Rogers (4-6, 5.63 ERA)
SATURDAY (7 p.m. ET) USC Jr. RHP Sam Dyson (4-3, 4.58 ERA) vs KY Fr. RHP Jordan Cooper (2-4, 5.70 ERA)
SUNDAY (1 p.m. ET) USC Sr. RHP Jay Brown (2-0, 4.72 ERA) vs KY So. RHP Alex Meyer (4-2, 7.30 ERA)

Storyline: South Carolina leads the SEC Eastern Division by one game over the Florida Gators as they battle for first place. The Wildcats are in need of a series victory over a potential NCAA team so they will be out trying to get these two wins.

Prediction: South Carolina 2-1

South Carolina Series Notes
Kentucky Series Notes