The SEC West baseball race is as crazy as I’ve ever seen it. With 6 games to play, six of the 7 teams in the division have a shot at winning it. A dozen different scenarios could put any of Arkansas, A&M, Ole Miss, Auburn and/or LSU in the lead come next Sunday.
Here are the 6 teams that can mathematically win it: Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M.
Breaking Down The West Race
Let’s eliminate State right now. They go to Kentucky and then host Florida. The Bulldogs need a 6-0 finish but are terrible (7-14) on the road. And Florida isn’t getting swept. That leaves 5.
LSU has Alabama (6-18 in SEC) this weekend – the Tigers would need a sweep to stay alive. Maybe that happens but a trip to Auburn to end the season will likely spell doom for LSU. The Bayou Bengals are 3-12 on the road – only one team in the top 260 of the RPI has less road wins. They won’t win the West but 15 SEC wins likely gets the Tigers into the NCAA, though.
That leaves 4 teams battling for the top spot. Arkansas hosts Texas A&M this weekend. Even with the West lead, a series win is vital for WPS. If the Hogs lose the weekend, then all of A&M, Ole Miss, State, and LSU will have the tiebreak over them. And at 14 or 15 wins, Arkansas could be behind all of the Aggies, LSU, Ole Miss or Auburn.
Speaking of, Ole Miss and Auburn face off this weekend as well. The team that wins this series might have the inside track to win the West. Both OM and AU are just a game back of Arkansas and both have easier schedules to finish the season (Ole Miss is home for Auburn and @ Alabama while Auburn is @ OM and hosts LSU.
Arkansas (A&M, @ UGA) and A&M (@ ARK, USC) have more difficult schedules to close the year.
News & Notes
Auburn is hinting that Casey Mize could be moved from game-one starter to game two for the last two weeks of the season. Auburn plays Thurs/Fri/Sat both weekends and the Tigers want Mize on a set Friday night schedule. I understand why coach Butch Thompson is going this direction but it seems like overthinking to me.
I think Arkansas is pretty-well locked into a top-8 spot in the Tournament. The only blemish on their record is the 5-11 road record but their 16 wins vs top 25 RPI teams (T-2nd most nationally) more than makes up for it.
Ole Miss, Auburn, and Texas A&M could play their way into a national seed but all three should host. I think 5 West teams make the Tournament – six if State manages to play their way in.