4/10/2014 1:05:29 AM
This week’s games (# = ISR)
An example ballot would look like this:
- #7 OSU at #80 WSU
- #42 Stan at #8 UW
- #37 UCLA at #145 Ariz
- #64 Cal at #27 ASU
- #152 Utah at #73 USC
- #84 UC Riverside [XR] at #13 Ore
- #29 Louisville [XL] at #1 Houston [YH]
Week 9 Series
- OSU 2-1
- UW 2-1
- UCLA 2-1
- ASU 3-0
- Utah 3-0
- XR 3-0
- YH 2-1
- One of the Pac-12’s longest played rivalries heats up in the frigid Palouse as #5 Oregon State battles hot-or-cold Washington State, which is surprisingly tied for third in the conference. These two teams have played each 427 times, with the Cougars holding a 31-game advantage. With a sweep, Oregon State could make Wazzu only the second team it will have beaten at least 200 times. Can you guess the other team?
- First-place Washington, the season’s biggest surprise, hosts Stanford. The Huskies are ranked among the top 20 teams in the nation (and top ten in some polls). After taking two of three one-run games in dramatic fashion against the Ducks last weekend, it’s hard to think of Stanford as an easier opponent, but reality has not been kind to the Cardinal this year. Because of their tough competition, they still garner a respectable ISR at 42, yet they are in 10th place in the conference with a 3-6 record and are three games under .500 overall.
- UCLA has a chance to make up ground in the standings on Wazzu and OSU by taking on Arizona in Tucson. At 4-8 and 15-19, this is one of the weakest Wildcats teams in a long time. But they still hit well. Will UCLA’s pitching shut them down? Oregon State’s pitching did...for two of three games.
- Cal travels to Tempe to play Arizona State. ASU has shown some strength lately. After losing their opening series at home to UW, they’ve rattled off three series victories, at OSU, at UCLA, and against USC. The Bears are under water in conference and overall standings After a promising start with victories over Texas, Cal Poly, Auburn, Baylor, and San Diego, they’ve either been swept (by UCLA and Wazzu) or done the sweeping (Utah) in conference. If I had to pick one of those options this weekend, I’d go with getting swept.
- The Utes of the One Win take their 1-11 record into LA to see if their wretchedness can continue against the Trojans, who are suffering their own prolonged misery. Both teams have losing conference and overall records.
- Oregon steps out of conference this week and welcomes the UC Riverside Highlanders to Eugene. UCR has the #41 OBP (.382) and #63 BA (.286), both better than Oregon’s. At 2.89 ERA (#38), the Ducks make up for that deficit when compared to UCR’s 3.60 (#104).
- Our non-Pac series comes to us by way of some odd thing called the American Athletic Conference, a merger of Big East and Conference USA teams, shortened I’m told to the “American” so they don’t confuse everyone with the AAC (as compared to the ACC). #11 Houston, though tied for second with #10 Louisville at 4-2, sports the nation’s #1 ISR with an overall record of 26-6. Louisville’s record is similar (24-8), and with two top 15 teams, one would expect a good series. Houston’s resume looks good: Two wins over Rice, singles over UCLA, USC, aTm, Texas Tech, and Baylor, with losses Texas, Pepperdine, and TCU. The only notable teams on Louisville’s schedule so far have been Indiana and Kentucky, against whom they are 0-3. Houston has the second best ERA in the nation at 1.79. (For comparison, Oregon State is #8 with 2.15.) Louisville is #64 with 3.21. The Cardinals have a .391 OBP (#21) and .294 BA (#40) compared to Houston’s .375 (#66) and .273 (#117), so it could be another case of great pitching versus great batting.