SEC Baseball Tournament 2013 Bracket: Championship Odds for Every Team
As usual, the SEC is an extremely deep conference this season, with Vanderbilt and LSU looking like two of the top teams in the country and six teams falling in the Top-25. In other words, the conference tournament promises to be a lot of fun.
Which team is most likely to survive this brutal test and which upstart has the best odds of shocking the field and winning the tourney?
I've broken down the SEC championship odds as I see them for every team.
Missouri, 1 Percent
SEC Tournament Seed: 12
Record: 18-31 (10-20)
Overview: Missouri went 7-17 against teams in this tournament. Four of those wins came against Auburn and Kentucky. If the Tigers get past Mississippi State in the first round, it will be a gigantic shocker.
Auburn, 2 Percent
SEC Tournament Seed: 10
Record: 33-22 (13-17)
Overview: Auburn has a real shot at defeating Alabama in the first round after the two teams split four games this year. The Tigers did close the season strong, winning series against Ole Miss, Florida and Arkansas. They're a long shot for sure, but more than capable of shaking things up.
Texas A&M, 2 Percent
SEC Tournament Seed: 9
Record: 30-25 (13-16)
Overview: Texas A&M had just one impressive series win this year, beating Ole Miss in two of three games back in March.
With wins over LSU, Arkansas, Rice and Cal State Fullerton, the Aggies can certainly beat an elite team in a one-game scenario, but the Aggies will need huge performances from Daniel Mengden (7-3, 1.92 ERA, 80 strikeouts) along with top hitters Mikey Reynolds and Cole Lankford if they are to win a few games in this tournament.
Alabama, 3 Percent
SEC Tournament Seed: 7
Record: 32-24 (14-14)
Overview: Alabama is the only SEC team to have beaten both LSU and Vanderbilt this season. With quality wins over Arkansas and Troy as well, the Crimson Tide are certainly capable of beating any team on any day. The question is, do they have the consistency to beat several teams over several days at the SEC tournament?
Kentucky, 3 Percent
SEC Tournament Seed: 11
Record: 30-24 (11-19)
Overview: It has been the story of two seasons for Kentucky. A top-10 team to start the year, the Wildcats proved the hype to be true, winning 22 of their first 28 games. However, with an 8-18 slump to finish the season, the Wildcats have seen their College World Series aspirations take a major hit.
Kentucky will be desperate and has the talent for a deep run, led by masher A.J. Reed (.281, 13 home runs, 52 RBI) and a solid lineup, but its pitching has been a major disappointment and momentum is a tough thing to reverse at this time of year.
Florida, 4 Percent
SEC Tournament Seed: 8
Record: 29-27 (14-16)
Overview: It's unusual to see a Florida team as inconsistent as this one. Good luck figuring out the Gators—they started the season a disappointing 14-18 then rattled off 11 wins in 12 games, including a sweep of South Carolina and wins over Mississippi State and Florida State.
It didn't last, as Florida limped to the end of the season with a 4-8 finish. So are the Gators the team that proved it can beat anyone during their hot stretch of April or the mediocre team from the remainder of the season?
Ole Miss, 8 Percent
SEC Tournament Seed: 6
Record: 37-19 (15-14)
Overview: Ole Miss seemed to often play to the level of its opponent, winning series against LSU, Mississippi State and Arkansas, but dropping series to Texas A&M, Kentucky and Auburn. That could be trouble for the Rebels,, who face the Wildcats in the first round. Still, you have to like the team's chances behind Bobby Wahl (9-0, 1.99 ERA, 76 strikeouts).
If the bullpen holds and the Rebels don't play down to Kentucky, this team could make a long run in the tournament.
Mississippi State, 8 Percent
SEC Tournament Seed: 5
Record: 40-16 (16-4)
Overview: Mississippi State has the top position player in this tournament with future MLB first-round pick Hunter Renfroe (.362, 15 home runs, 51 RBI), while shortstop Adam Frazier has also been excellent (.338, 49 runs, 28 RBI). With a solid, if unspectacular, pitching staff and a strong lineup, the Bulldogs could make some noise.
South Carolina, 12 Percent
SEC Tournament Seed: 4
Record: 39-16 (17-12)
Overview: If South Carolina is going to make a run in this tournament, it will be behind sluggers LB Dantzler (.333, 14 home runs, 47 RBI) and Joey Pankake (.314, 10 home runs, 38 RBI.
However, while Nolan Belcher has been excellent (7-5, 2.17 ERA, 83 strikeouts), it remains to be seen if the Gamecocks have the pitching to win this tournament.
Arkansas, 12 Percent
SEC Tournament Seed: 3
Record: 35-19 (18-11)
Overview: Arkansas opened as the top-ranked team in the nation, but a poor showing at the Coca-Cola Classic with losses to Arizona State, Gonzaga and Pacific dropped the Razorbacks in the rankings.
The Razorbacks hung around the Top-15 for much of the season and were led by arguably the top player in the SEC, pitcher Ryne Stanek (8-2, 1.54 ERA, 72 strikeouts). With a team ERA of 1.90, the Razorbacks could pitch their way to an SEC title.
LSU, 20 Percent
SEC Tournament Seed: 2
Record: 48-8 (23-7)
Overview: One of the top teams in the nation (most polls have them ranked No. 2 or No. 3), the Tigers have an impressive 13-5 record against teams that were ranked when they played them, including sweeps of Kentucky and Florida.
Led by a starting pitching trio of Aaron Nola, Cody Glenn and Ryan Eades and dangerous hitters in Mason Katz, Alex Bregman and Raph Rhymes, LSU will surprise no one if they win the SEC tournament.
Vanderbilt, 25 Percent
SEC Tournament Seed: 1
Record: 48-7 (26-3)
Overview: Vanderbilt is, without question, the favorite heading into the SEC tournament. The team set a conference record with 26 wins, has a stacked lineup led by second basemen Tony Kemp and a strong pitching staff led by Kevin Ziomek (10-2, 1.99 ERA) and Tyler Beede (13-0, 2.28 ERA).
The nation's top-ranked team has a stiff test in a deep SEC field, but the Commodores are not to be taken lightly.