Louisville Cardinals vs. Florida Gators
Date and Time: Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, Nebraska
College World Series Odds:
College World Series TV Coverage: ESPN
We've seen this all postseason long out of the Cardinals. When they get a couple little things going their way, they tend to turn that into huge innings. It effectively happened right out of the chute against Texas A&M, as the Cards plated five runs in a big second inning. There were so issues along the way from there, namely when the Aggies cut the lead to 5-4, but the hero, catcher Colby Fitch came up with a career-high four RBIs to ultimately seal the deal.
What's scary for the Gators is that Brendan McKay really didn't have a great first game of the CWS. He allowed four runs in five innings and ended up going just 1-for-5 at the plate. Sure, McKay won't pitch on Tuesday night, but he figures to have a better shot at dominating on offense when he isn't focused on what he's doing on the bump.
It should be Kade McClure for Louisville on the mound on Tuesday night. He tossed 5.1 shutout innings against Kentucky, a huge accomplishment that setup McKay to finish off the Super Regional.
The Gators badly needed Alex Faedo to come up with one of his best games of the season on Sunday night against TCU, and that's exactly what they got. He threw seven shutout innings and allowed just four men to get on base before Michael Byrne came in and finished the game off. Neither will probably be available in this game, but if nothing else, that should give the rest of the pitching staff a couple more days to get over what was a grueling Super Regional against Wake Forest.
.224 – The Gators' batting average over the course of their last seven games.
Since dumping 10 runs on Marist in the first game of the Gainesville regional, the Gators flat out can't hit the baseball. They're batting just .224 as a team, and that just shouldn't cut it at this level. Sure, UF got through the first game here in Omaha thanks to a maestro performance by two great pitchers, but those arms aren't available now, and the Louisville lineup isn't going to be forgiving to most likely Brady Singer in the second game.
Florida only has nine extra base hits in its last seven games as well, and for a team that was thought to have a really good lineup with some pop, it just hasn't produced.
Louisville vs. Florida Free Picks
The handwriting is on the wall that the Cardinals are going to be playing for the National Championship next week. For as good as the Gators have been at times, they really had to luck their way through that series with Wake Forest, and they were fortunate to have gotten a great showing from Faedo against one of the best pitchers in America on Sunday night.
Louisville's offense isn't taking its foot off the gas pedal any time in the near future. So long as McClure keeps his head and straight and manages to get through five or six frames without giving up too much in the way of damage against the coldest batting order in Omaha, the Cardinals should ultimately get to within one win of the National Championship series.
Louisville vs. Florida Pick: Louisville Cardinals at BookMaker.eu
Louisville vs. Florida Score Prediction: Louisville 5, Florida 1