OMAHA–Before I get to today’s picks, I need to correct an error from yesterday’s picks blog. I got an indignant phone call from John Manuel this morning after I accidentally wrote that he picked Rice yesterday–he actually picked the Tar Heels, as the text indicated. But John lost some ground in the nightcap, and I’m sitting pretty with a two-game lead with a maximum of four games left to play. Let’s get to today’s picks.
Game 13: Rice vs. North Carolina
It’s do or die time for the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation, as Rice and North Carolina will battle today for the right to face Oregon State in the CWS championship series. I’m very intrigued by the pitching matchup today, as a couple of very accomplished swingman types will go head to head. The numbers speak loudly for both North Carolina righthander Adam Warren (11-1, 1.95) and Rice righty Matt Langwell (8-1, 2.11), but I give a slight edge to the Tar Heels because they’re so good against righthanded pitching. I don’t think nerves will be a factor for Rice, and I bet the offense produces much better than it did yesterday or last year against Oregon State, but I say North Carolina wins a 7-6 kind of game. Really, it could go either way, and this one has the potential to be an instant classic.
Aaron: North Carolina
John: North Carolina
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