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Sam Harrigan | | May 20, 2023

3 bubble teams with the best chance to make it to the Men's College World Series

College baseball roundtable: LSU has competition at the top

A few teams that sit narrowly on the bubble of the 64 team field of the 2023 NCAA DI baseball tournament have a chance to do serious damage if they get in the tournament, according to D1Baseball's Aaron Fitt and Kendall Rogers. These three Big 12 teams sit with average RPIs, the major statistic used to determine the at-large bids for the tournament. Despite the sub-par performance through the regular season, the experts believe these teams still have a chance to make a run towards Omaha.

Texas Tech (37-19, 12-12 Big 12)

Texas tech baseball celebrates as a team
  • RPI: 44

Always a threat come postseason baseball, the Red Raiders need a good performance in the Big 12 tournament to make it to a regional. Texas Tech started the season red hot, winning their first 10 games before losing two out of three at the Shriners Children's College Classic.

Texas Tech has a handful of elite hitters that help compose an offense averaging nearly nine runs per game. Their lack of consistent pitching both from starters and relievers has limited the team's potential. But, with an offense as strong as Texas Tech's, the Red Raiders are a scary matchup for any team they play. Texas Tech will be the No. 6 seed in the Big 12 tournament, earning a game against West Virginia in the first round.

TCU (33-22, 13-11 Big 12)

TCU player slides into home plate
  • RPI: 45

Just one notch behind Texas Tech in the RPI, TCU has had a very similar season to Texas Tech. Like the Red Raiders, the Horned Frogs came out of the gates hot, knocking off No. 10 Vanderbilt and No. 8 Arkansas in the first two games of the season. But, a tough mid-season stretch where they lost five consecutive Big 12 games puts the Frogs in a desperate position entering the conference tournament.

TCU doesn't have the same superstar power as Texas Tech, but you won't find many lineups deeper than Kirk Saarloos'. The Frogs have nine hitters with an OPS better than .800, making them a threat top-to-bottom. TCU will meet Kansas State, a team they just took three out of four from, in the first round of the Big 12 tournament on Wednesday.

Oklahoma (30-24, 11-13 Big 12)

Braden Carmichael struts off the pitchers mound
  • RPI: 36

A year after reaching the Men's College World Series final, Oklahoma has yet to find the sustained success it found throughout its deep postseason run in 2022. The Sooners played the weakest non-conference schedule of the teams on this list and bring in a losing record in conference. 

Nonetheless, a lot of the talent from last season's national runner-up squad remains in Norman, where they have already proven their ability to win come postseason time. Like Texas Tech and TCU, pitching has been the blemish for Oklahoma. Their team ERA of 5.78 ranks 132 in America.

But, a lineup composed of six players with a batting average above .290 still represents a challenge for any pitcher it faces, and the experience of Skip Johnson's team will make the Sooners a tough out in the early stages of the tournament. Oklahoma's quest for a second-straight appearance in Omaha begins with a meeting against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tournament.

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Division I
Baseball Championship
June 14 - 24, 2024
Charles Schwab Field Omaha | Omaha, NE

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