FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Less than a week away from the start of the Arkansas baseball season, the Razorbacks find themselves as highly-touted as they have been in a years.
Arkansas is a top-5 team in several national polls. Dave Van Horn’s team is in the top 10 of all of them. It’s a team from which big things are expected — from the inside and the outside.
The question is whether Arkansas can live up to the hype.
Below you’ll find picks for every Arkansas baseball series this season, wins and losses, similar to the basketball and football predictions we had earlier this year. Both of those were — or are looking to be — nearly perfect. Football was one game off. Basketball is, so far, only one game (and precise with overall record) off.
So … ready?
Catch you at Baum Stadium on the weekend.
Feb. 16-18 vs. Bucknell
Bucknell is a middle-of-the-pack team in a lesser league. Arkansas should have no problem against the Bison.
Prediction: Sweet (3-0)
Feb. 21 vs. Arizona in San Diego
Arizona had some down seasons back in the early-middle 2010s. Now, the Wildcats have made the NCAA Tournament a couple seasons in a row. They’re not back to elite, but an upper-conference finish in the Pac-12 is likely. Still, Arkansas is the better team.
Prediction: Win (4-0)
Feb. 23 vs. Cal Poly in San Diego
Cal Poly is far better than you think. This is a team that won’t win the Big West, but very well might make give that conference three at-large teams (Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton) in the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas is the better team, definitely, but it’s hard to imagine the Razorbacks winning all four games in southern California. May as well be this one.
Prediction: Loss (4-1)
Feb. 24 vs. San Diego State in San Diego
Not the same San Diego State it was as a couple years back.
Predicton: Win (5-1)
Feb. 25 vs. San Diego in San Diego
The final game out west as part of the Tony Gwynn round-robin. San Diego is actually better than State.
Prediction: Win (6-1)
Feb. 28-March 1 vs. Dayton
Dayton is a bad baseball team. Trust.
Prediction: Sweep (8-1)
March 2-4 vs. Southern California
USC is probably the worst team in the Pac-12.
Prediction: Sweep (11-1)
March 10-11 vs. Kent State
At some point Arkansas is going to lose a baseball game. Odds are it will come before Kent State visits. But for these purposes, going with the Golden Flashes to take one at Baum Stadium. Kent State is the best team in the Mid-American Conference.
Prediction: Series win (13-2)
March 13-14 vs. Texas
The crowd will be pumped to play Texas. Nerves before SEC play, perhaps?
Prediction: Split (14-3)
March 16-18 vs. Kentucky
Let’s put it this way: When SEC Country’s baseball preseason predictions come out on Tuesday, Kentucky is going to be slotted right next to Arkansas.
Prediction: Series win (16-4, 2-1)
March 20-21 at Charlotte
Charlotte is OK for a team in a mid-major, but Arkansas could use the break from a three straight series with a loss.
Prediction: Sweep (18-4)
March 23-25 at Florida
Florida is a preseason No. 1 in every credible preseason poll in college baseball. The Gators have no weakness. This will be the first real, significant road series Arkansas will have faced all year.
Prediction: Swept (18-7, 2-4)
March 27 at Memphis
Memphis might be the second-worst team Arkansas will have played at this point. Razorbacks will be angry after Gainesville trip, too.
Prediction: Win (19-7)
March 29-31 at Ole Miss
Can’t get behind the Rebels’ preseason top-10 ranking in some polls. Ole Miss is good, no doubt about it, and this being on the road makes it a tough one for Arkansas. But…
Predicton: Series win (21-8, 4-5)
April 3-4 vs. Louisiana-Monroe
Predicton: Blowout (23-8)
April 6-8 vs. Auburn
Sort of the anti-Auburn. I’m higher on the Tigers than most everyone else. Casey Mize is the league’s best pitcher and gives Auburn every opportunity to win a series-opening game.
Prediction: Series win (25-9, 6-6)
April 10 vs. Grambling at North Little Rock
It’s a SWAC team. What do you think?
Prediction: Win (26-9)
April 12-14 vs. South Carolina
The Gamecocks have practically their whole lineup back. That lineup just wasn’t very good last year.
Prediction: Sweep (29-9, 9-6)
April 17 vs. Missouri State
The most fun game that means absolutely nothing on the Arkansas schedule all year long. Atmosphere at Baum has a chance to exceed that that it was against Texas, even.
Prediction: Loss (29-10)
April 20-22 at Mississippi State
Baum Stadium is often credited as the best college baseball stadium in the country. On the contrary, it’s second. Mississippi State plays in the best. And the Bulldogs are good, too.
Prediction: Series loss (30-12, 10-8)
April 24-25 vs. Texas Tech
This two-game series is more interesting than the Texas one. The Red Raiders are a preseason top-three team in the nation.
Prediction: Split (31-13)
April 27-29 vs. Alabama
This is the worst team in the SEC. With a shot at first-round bye in the SEC Tournament being in sight, Arkansas will want to demolish the Crimson Tide on the way to a sweep to help their standing. Done and done.
Prediction: Sweep (34-13, 13-8)
May 4-6 at LSU
LSU is always good and the Tigers always hassle Arkansas. Always. Looks like a down year (“down” being a relative term since LSU is still a top 25-team in the nation), but Baton Rouge in May is kind to no visitor.
Prediction: Series loss (35-15, 14-10)
May 11-13 vs. Texas A&M
The Aggies are coming off a College World Series apperance. They’re no joke. With a good but not great starting rotation and good but not great hitting, Texas A&M is plus across the board. No one’s choice to win the SEC, but no one’s choice to finish lower than sixth or seventh, either.
Prediction: Series win (37-16, 16-11)
May 17-19 at Georgia
Have to imagine, as bad as Georgia is predicted to be, this is Scott Stricklin’s swan song with the Bulldogs. They might be playing for an opportunity to sneak into the SEC Tournament instead of staying in Athens, but Arkansas might be playing for an SEC regular-title.
Prediction: Sweep (40-16, 19-11)
If Arkansas were to reach 40 wins in the regular season, it would be the first time the Diamond Hogs have done so since 2010. That bunch went 40-16 and 18-12 in the SEC, almost exact to the prediction this year. A tough draw then sent to the No. 1 team in the country, Arizona State, for Super Regionals, where the Razorbacks were swept after winning the Fayetteville Regional.
A 40-16 Arkansas team this year, though, would be a national seed. Almost guaranteed. And if they host a Super, pick them to win said Super.
This Arkansas team, ladies and gentlemen, is College World Series bound, we predict.
The post Arkansas baseball will finish the season with a final record of… appeared first on SEC Country.
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