Big 12 Baseball Weekend!
Statistics rankings cited below are Big 12 Conference Only statistics.
- Texas at Missouri
Texas was picked to win the Big 12 at the start of the season, but has yet to come around and play the level of ball everyone thought they'd be playing. They are not without their great players - Cameron Rupp is hitting .533, Jordan Banks is at .440, and David Hernandez is hitting .421, but Texas is ranked sixth overall in team pitching with a 5.01 overall ERA.
Despite the nation's best pitcher in Aaron Crow, Missouri has been a disappointment to this point. They're behind Nebraska in overall ERA at 3.13, and while their team batting average is sixth in Big 12 conference games, they're lacking in run production. And that's the problem with Missouri - they're not getting guys across the plate.
Lack of run production is why the Tigers lost their series at Texas Tech and at home against Oklahoma State. It's why they'll most likely lose this weekend against Texas.
The 40 Acre Sports Dudes have a good write up on this series over at BON.
- Nebraska at Oklahoma State
Nebraska has now moved to the top of the Big 12 in team pitching with an overall ERA of 2.81. Other than the opening weekend against Stanford, the Huskers haven't lost a series yet this season, and have won 23 of their last 26 games.
Oklahoma State is at .500 in conference play at 6-6. The Cowboys are normally known for their terrific offense, but they're currently eighth in conference at .245 when you look at Big 12-only statistics (although their web site trumpets the fact that they're second, that relates to overall statistics which includes midweek games). They're not doing bad at pitching, currently at third with an overall ERA of 4.19, but they're last in fielding percentage.
If that sounds like it adds up to an easy win for Nebraska, think again, as the Cowboys have lost only once at home this season out of 13 games. They are 705-145 (.829) all-time at Reynolds Stadium, since 1981. During that time, they've only lost three in a row once. It's a tough place to win.
Don't be surprised if Nebraska finally loses a series.
Kendall Rogers at Rivals has picked this as his series of the week, and he picks OSU to win. We can all blame him if we lose.
- Oklahoma at Texas A&M
Oklahoma is currently 3-5-1 in the Big 12, putting them seventh in the standings, not where they expected to be. Next, they head to College Station this weekend to face the Aggies who are on a 10-game winning streak, have the best offense in the Big 12, and have swept their last two Big 12 opponents (although they were KSU and KU.... still, a sweep is a sweep).
Texas A&M is first in the Big 12 in overall team batting at .322, the Sooners are second at .322. For pitching, the Aggies are fourth and hte Sooners fifth. Aha! Fielding percentage shows us that the Aggies are fifth, and the Sooners are ninth! Upon closer look, though, the differences are miniscule, and perhaps that's enough to describe Oklahoma's 3-5-1 record.
Then consider that the Aggies have built their win total off KU, KSU, Texas Tech and Oklahoma state. The Sooners have lost a close series to Texas, split games with and then tied Nebraska, and then won a series against Baylor. When you consider those series, these teams look fairly even.
Unfortunately for Oklahoma, the series is on the road. After this weekend, they might find themselves staring eye-level with Kansas State. Sunday's finale will be televised nationally on Fox Sports at 1:00 pm.
- Baylor at Kansas State
Quick! What do these teams have in common?
They've both beaten Oklahoma State in a series. They've both lost to UT-San Antonio. What's it all mean? I haven't a clue, but I'm not alone as I'm sure the coaches of both these teams are asking the same questions.
Baylor on the road against the 2-7 Wildcats, the key phrase being "Baylor on the road"..... Baylor is 19-1 in Waco against KSU, while only being 8-7 against the Wildcats in Manhattan.
- Texas Tech at Kansas
Kansas has only one conference win at this point. They are dead last in conference ERA at 9.3. If Kansas is going to move up to make sure they make the conference tournament, they need to win this series at home, otherwise, well, the season may be over.
I'd say this adequately describes Baylor's season so far.