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Big Ten Baseball Weekend Preview - April 6, 2018

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The weather is awful.

It’s early in the conference season, but that doesn’t mean things haven’t already sorted themselves out a bit.

There are three teams who are clearly going to be bottom dwellers. You have two ‘usual suspects’ in Northwestern and Penn State, and then you add Michigan State.

Indiana is clearly the cream of the crop in conference this season. Conference standings don’t show that, but we’ll see what they look like after this weekend and everyone has more games played.

Weather is messing with games all over this weekend.

Standings

Rankings

  • D1Baseball - Indiana #10
  • NCBWA - Indiana #11
  • Baseball America - Indiana #16
  • USA Today Coaches Poll - Indiana #11

Schedule

Nebraska at Michigan State

Sparty is dead last in conference and this is a chance for Nebraska to pick up wins. I cannot imagine the screaming should the Huskers not make the Big Ten tournament this season. I cannot image the Big Ten tournament in Omaha without our beloved Nebraska baseball team participating.

Weather is expected to be less than ideal this weekend. Both Friday and Saturday will have a hard time getting to the 29 degree windchill needed for both teams to take the field. Weather in East Lansing is expected to be in the mid 30’s with a 15-20 MPH wind.

This series won’t help the RPI out much, but three conferences wins would be huge to help Nebraska get to Omaha.

All three games are streamed on BTN Plus this weekend.

Michigan at Northwestern

Oh I guess Jon did not pull all the interesting facts for this one. Northwestern is bottom dwelling again. Sigh.

Michigan is on a 12 game winning streak, as they have played 12 straight teams with a RPI of greater than 200! The only winning team Michigan has beat was Delaware three times last weekend. Michigan has beat one good team all year, Stanford in one game.

Northwestern has a win over Texas and a win over Kansas, two top 100 wins. Which is one more than Michigan has!

Honestly, this is a series of two teams who should both miss the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan swept Michigan State and Northwestern has one conference win against Maryland.

Let the suck commence!

Purdue at Indiana

Probably the most interesting series this weekend. Indiana is first in conference pitching with an ERA of 2.66. Purdue is second at 3.50. Indiana is third in team batting at .285, Purdue is sixth at .277.

The Boilermakers have surrendered the fewest hits in the league (189), including just 33 in the last six games (5.5 per game). The Hoosiers (77) have given up 30 fewer runs than any other team in the Big Ten. They’ve surrendered more than six runs only once and are 20-1 when they score at least four times.

Purdue has a five-game win streak. Indiana has a four-game win streak. Purdue is first in the conference at 3-0, with all three wins being against a BAD Penn State team. Tonight we find out if they are for real.

Another series where weather has dictated a move, as Purdue and Indiana will play at 3:30 this afternoon, instead of the scheduled 6:05 local time.

Ohio State at Iowa

Iowa who can really pitch faces Ohio State who can really hit. This series has been moved back, taking place on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday due to weather concerns. I would doubt they get the Sunday game in as it is predicted to snow and be miserable.

Illinois at Maryland

Weather has forced a doubleheader today. Illinois dropped from rankings after going 2-2 last week. Illinois has won 16 of its last 20 games.

Bren Spillane, who was named Perfect Game’s Midseason National Player of the Year, continues to be one of the hottest hitters in the nation. The three-time reigning Big Ten Player of the Week went 6-for-9 with three homers in the series against Iowa after hitting two homers in a midweek game against Concordia Chicago. He entered the week tied for the national lead in homers (14) and second in batting average (.494).

Penn State vs Minnesota Played at Purdue

Take a look at the RPIs. Maybe everyone should consider Penn State baseball a club sport instead of a sanctioned NCAA sport.

The coolest thing here is that this series is being played at Purdue. High today in Minneapolis is 26. That is ridiculous cold. If Minnesota does not sweep Penn State, it would be huge.

La Salle at Rutgers

La Salle comes into Rutgers with a 7-19 record and a RPI of 270. They are 0-8 against anyone with a RPI above 150. THREE MORE WINS FOR BUTTGERS!

RPIs

RPIs come from Warren Nolan.

What’s wrong with this table?

Big Ten Baseball RPIs - April 6th

Team RPI
Team RPI
Indiana 18
Iowa 40
Illinois 45
Minnesota 52
Ohio State 59
Nebraska 67
Michigan 74
Purdue 88
Maryland 99
Rutgers 117
Northwestern 208
Penn State 219