College World Series 2017: Bracket Predictions, Preview for Upcoming Schedule

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2017

CORRECTS OREGON STATE PLAYERS IN BACKGROUND TO LSU - Oregon State's KJ Harrison (24) celebrates his grand slam while rounding the bases as LSU players watch from the dugout in the sixth inning of an NCAA College World Series baseball game in Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nati Harnik/Associated Press

Two teams have been especially dominant to this point in the College World Series, but everyone still alive has a chance to bring home the 2017 national championship.

It's true Oregon State appears unbeatable at the moment, while Florida's pitching has been outstanding. However, LSU remains dangerous, while both TCU and Louisville are capable of going on a run over the next few games to play themselves into the final.

The tournament has been filled with plenty of drama already and that won't change in the coming days.

          

Upcoming Schedule

Louisville vs. TCU, June 22, at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Oregon State vs. LSU, June 23, at 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Florida vs. Louisville/TCU Winner, June 23, at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Full bracket available at NCAA.com. Potential rematch games will be on June 24.

           

Preview

Bracket 1

Nati Harnik/Associated Press

There are just two teams remaining in this bracket, but one is the overwhelming favorite.

Oregon State has been nearly unstoppable this season with a 55-4 record and 23 wins in a row going into Friday. The run through the NCAA tournament so far has featured quality offense, pitching and defense.

The last game against LSU featured all of the above in what became a 13-1 rout.

Even without Luke Heimlich, the Oregon State pitching staff has been lights-out, while the offense simply has too many threats to stop. Nick Madrigal and Steve Kwan have especially been impressive at the top of the lineup to keep this group red-hot.

Despite the most recent result, however, LSU won't be an easy out. The squad also has a deep lineup, as evident by this key three-run home run by Jake Slaughter out of the No. 9 hole Wednesday:

That home run helped the Tigers knock out Florida State to force this rematch.

Even with the loss to Oregon State, LSU has won 18 of its last 19 games with double-digit runs in eight of those games. The squad is averaging 8.7 runs per game in its wins during the NCAA tournament.

Still, winning one game against the Beavers will be difficult—two games seems nearly impossible.

Predicted winner: Oregon State

       

Bracket 2

Jun 20, 2017; Omaha, NE, USA; Florida Gators pitcher Tyler Dyson (18) and catcher Mike Rivera (4) celebrate the win against the Louisville Cardinals at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Florida came into the College World Series with arguably the best one-two punch in the rotation, and Alex Faedo and Brady Singer have lived up to expectations.

Two great pitching performances have led to just one run allowed in the first two games in Omaha, putting the Gators one win away from the final.

"This is awesome," Florida right fielder Nelson Maldonado said, per Nick Suss of SEC Country. "This is probably the best I've seen them perform in a while. To get two back-to-back great starts, that's awesome. To be 2-0 already in the tournament, that’s awesome."

While these starters have put the squad in a great situation, nothing is guaranteed with the rest of the rotation.

This is especially true against a pair of quality teams that came into the tournament as national seeds.

Both Louisville and TCU come into their elimination game with quality lineups, which should be able to take advantage of the third pitching options for each squad. Whichever batters come up with the biggest hits should be able to lead their squad to a victory.

Considering the Cardinals have two of the best hitters in the league in Brendan McKay and Drew Ellis, this gives them a significant advantage.

This momentum can then carry over into the later battle against Florida. With McKay also capable of helping on the mound by then, Louisville has a chance to pull off the upset with three wins in a row to reach the final.

Predicted winner: Louisville