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Advanced Stats Regional Predictions

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Which teams are most likely to pull off an upset?

HailState.com

Arguably the most entertaining weekend of the season in college baseball begins tomorrow.  Fans all over the county will define their favorite team's season based on the next 2-4 games, which is a little insane considering how often upsets happen in baseball.  Anyway, I've listed which teams should win their regionals based on the ranking systems that exist.  I'm skeptical of most of them since the people who make these ranking systems don't share how they are calculated.  That being said, we can make fun of them for being wrong or be impressed if they do well, so we might as well look at what they predict.  It's not like I've watched enough Southeast Missouri State baseball to have an informed opinion on them anyway.

Thanks to a user on college baseball reddit, we have the average RPI of each team in a regional.  It is not encouraging.  I also looked up all the ranking systems on warrennolan.com.  I have each regional listed below.

Starkville

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO Average Team Rank
Mississippi State 11 8 8 8 9
Cal-State Fullerton 42 25 62 49 45
Louisiana Tech 31 27 33 17 27
Southeast Missouri State 54 71 20 46 48
Average System Rank 35 33 31 30 32

MSU is the best team in this regional, but there isn't an easy opponent in this regional.  These rankings don't think Cal-State Fullerton is a very strong 2 seed, but they think La Tech should be a two seed, and SE Missouri State could be a 3 seed.  It will be interesting to see who starts against SE Missouri State tomorrow.

To briefly preview the regional, Cal-State Fullerton's lineup is not intimidating.  However, they have extremely good pitching.  Connor Seabold is striking out 13 batters for every one he walks, so hopefully he pitches against somebody else.  La Tech has a balanced lineup and a good bullpen, but their starting pitching looks vulnerable.  SE Missouri State's lineup looks good, but their strength of schedule is bad, so I'm not sure how good the pitchers are that they have faced.  Outfielder Chris Osborne is their best hitter.  He has a lot of power, but does strike out a lot.  Joey Lucchesi is by far their best starting pitcher.  MSU should win this regional, but it is going to be difficult, especially if teams save their best starting pitchers for MSU.

Gainesville

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO Average Team Rank
Florida 1 2 4 5 3
Georgia Tech 20 32 40 51 36
Connecticut 51 67 49 27 49
Bethune-Cookman 163 187 146 82 145
Average System Rank 59 72 60 41 58

This isn't a bad regional, except for Bethune-Cookman.  They are an example of why I don't like conference tournament champions getting automatic bids to regionals.  They went 29-25 in one of the worst conferences in Division I.  Maybe Georgia Tech makes this regional interesting.

Baton Rouge

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO Average Team Rank
LSU 7 10 13 4 9
Rice 23 33 61 35 38
Southeastern Louisiana 40 42 22 40 36
Utah Valley State 129 94 73 42 56
Average System Rank 50 45 42 30 35

This is one of the more competitive regionals.  It is sort of similar to MSU's in that there isn't a specific team that looks like a good upset pick, but no team should be taken lightly.

College Station

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO Average Team Rank
Texas A&M 4 3 5 2 4
Minnesota 50 56 35 84 56
Wake Forest 25 48 71 38 46
Binghamton 105 172 102 58 58
Average System Ranking 46 70 43 46 41

Texas A&M is my pick to win the national championship, and they should have little trouble winning this regional.

Nashville

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO Average Team Rank
Vanderbilt 9 6 16 11 11
UC Santa Barbara 24 21 41 61 37
Washington 55 34 74 64 57
Xavier 79 122 117 37 89
Average System Ranking 42 46 62 43 49

Unfortunately, the ranking systems project the whistling Vandy fan to advance to Super Regionals.  Prepare the mute button on your remotes.

Columbia

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO Average Team Rank
South Carolina 8 11 15 13 12
UNC Wilmington 33 60 37 57 47
Duke 26 45 58 26 39
Rhode Island 111 160 101 86 115
Average System Ranking 45 69 53 46 53

This is the easiest regional in the SEC, unless the Gainesville one is the easiest.

Oxford

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO Average Team Rank
Mississippi 5 7 14 9 9
Tulane 29 31 39 39 35
Boston College 39 55 63 32 47
Utah 93 78 139 67 94
Average System Ranking 42 33 64 37 46

That is all the regionals that are hosted by an SEC team.  I am going to cut out the average ranks the rest of the way because it is time consuming.

Tallahasee

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO
Florida State 13 14 26 22
Southern Mississippi 19 15 25 19
South Alabama 41 43 43 75
Alabama State 158 145 31 28

This is an interesting regional.  Southern Miss has as good a chance as any team of getting an upset.  Why do two of these ranking systems like Alabama State so much?

Raleigh

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO
North Carolina State 10 16 27 36
Coastal Carolina 12 18 9 7
Saint Mary's 57 44 66 63
Navy 150 140 34 59

Be terrified of Coastal Carolina, Wolfpack.  Also, Preston Palmeiro is hitting .326, with an on base percentage of .401 and slugging percentage of .519.

Lubbock

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO
Texas Tech 14 9 7 21
Dallas Baptist 22 22 19 25
New Mexico 49 40 38 52
Fairfield 183 192 131 80

Charlottesville

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO
Virginia 17 23 29 18
Bryant 28 54 1 12
East Carolina 36 53 46 92
William and Mary 97 143 119 113

There is not a typo in the table above; Bryant is the best team in the nation according to Nolan Power Index.  Interestingly, they are also named the Bulldogs.  Get ready to shock the world, Bryant.  I will be watching to see what the hype is all about.

Fort Worth

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO
TCU 16 5 6 16
Arizona State 43 30 60 54
Gonzaga 30 24 17 44
Oral Roberts 64 77 48 48

The three and four seeds in this regional are quite good, which bodes well for Texas A&M.  The winner of the College Station regional plays the winner of this regional.

Louisville

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO
Louisville 2 1 2 1
Ohio State 35 37 28 10
Wright State 44 39 10 20
Western Michigan 215 225 221 167

A Western Michigan first round win would be the upset of the century (an overstatement, maybe).  It is safe to say these rankings like Louisville.  Hopefully for Ohio State, their starting pitching is as stacked as their group of quarterbacks.  Also, I need to give a shout out to Western Michigan going 22-32 and making it to the regionals.  The winner of this regional gets the winner in Nashville.

Clemson

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO
Clemson 6 12 11 6
Oklahoma State 32 28 32 47
Nebraska 48 46 52 30
Western Carolina 103 132 112 95

Lafayette

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO
Louisiana Lafayette 15 17 18 15
Arizona 21 13 36 26
Sam Houston State 34 41 42 14
Princeton 110 156 109 130

I hope Arizona gets out of this regional, so Stingray can ask Greg Byrne "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO, BROTHER?!?!"

Coral Gables

Team RPI Boyd's World NPI ELO
Miami 3 4 3 3
Florida Atlantic 27 26 23 41
Long Beach State 52 36 57 45
Stetson 148 170 159 110

FAU wound up actually being very good.

Predicted Upsets

RPI: RPI is going chalk, which isn't surprising since the selection committee uses RPI.

Boyd's World: Only Arizona, although a few were 50-50.

NPI: Bryant, Coastal Carolina, and Southern Miss.

ELO: Same as NPI.

Myself: Coastal Carolina and Southern Miss.