Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park – College Station, TX
Friday @ 6:30 PM CT – Fox College Sports
Saturday @ 2 PM CT – Fox College Sports
Sunday @ 1 PM CT
Missouri (15-25, 7-14 SEC) @ Texas A&M (23-22, 7-13 SEC)
The Tigers are on the road this weekend at Texas A&M coming off a series win at home against Auburn, in a series where they only surrendered five runs. They look to take their third conference series of the season in College Station, against an Aggie team that snapped a five game losing streak Tuesday against Grambling State. Their 23-22 record is paired with 7-13 conference mark, highlighted by an 18-8 home record.
Texas A&M has a lack of production from the top of their order, even though both Blake Allemand and Krey Bratsen have a combined 27 stolen bases this season. Allemand’s .387 OBP is solid at the top of the order, but Tiger pitching can keep him off the base paths if they find the strike zone. Bratsen’s OBP is at .330, which is low for somebody at the top of the order, and of his 42 hits, only five have come for extra bases (all doubles). Their best hitter resides in the three-hole in designated hitter Mikey Reynolds. The senior leads the team in average (.390) and on-base percentage (.455). What stands out about him is the ability to put the ball in play. He has only struck out 15 times in 154 ABs. The middle of the order is where the power in the lineup comes. The Aggies as a whole have only hit 16 homeruns in 45 games, but Cole Lankford, Troy Stein, and Hunter Melton have combined for seven of them. Lankford’s 10 doubles lead the team, as does his .490 slugging percentage. Stein and Melton have three homers apiece, with Melton’s coming in only 45 at-bats.
SS Blake Allemand (S) .268
CF Krey Bratsen (R) .259
DH Mikey Reynolds (R) .390
1B Cole Lankford (L)
C Troy Stein (R) .305
3B Hunter Melton (R) .222
RF Brandon Wood (R) .228
LF Jonathan Moroney (R) .259
2B Charlie Curl (R) .204
The Aggies have thrown quite a few different pitchers out there lately, including Parker Ray. Ray started his first game of the season last weekend but threw the ball well in the loss, so I expect Childress will give him another shot. He went 7.2, giving up three runs on only five hits. Friday we will surely see Daniel Mengden make his twelfth start of the year and he has impressed this season. His 2.21 ERA leads all regular starters, and he has an impressive .204 batting average against. None of the three starters the Tigers will face have been overpowering this year; the Aggies relying on their defense to back up their pitchers.
Projected Pitching Matchups
RHP Rob Zastryzny (2-8, 4.12 ERA) vs. RHP Daniel Mengden (4-3, 2.21 ERA)
RHP Brett Graves (1-5, 4.42 ERA) vs. RHP Parker Ray (0-1, 1.34 ERA)
RHP Keaton Steele (4-2, 3.61 ERA) vs. RHP Rafael Pineda (4-4, 3.21 ERA)
If Missouri pitchers can avoid walking the top of the order, it will give A&M’s 3-6 hitters little chance to drive in runs. If they fail to do this, the game can turn ugly. They also need to work deep in counts to find a pitch they like, because they will not be overpowered by any of the starters the Aggies will throw out there.
Other SEC games this weekend (all 5/3-5):
Alabama @ (22) Mississippi State
(14) Arkansas @ (23) Kentucky
(24) Ole Miss @ Auburn
(21) Florida @ (3) LSU
Georgia @ Tennessee
(2) Vanderbilt @ (15) South Carolina