2024 Kubota College Baseball Series - Weekend 3

NCAA Baseball Predictions 2024: Here's Who Wins It All This Year And More

NCAA Baseball Predictions 2024: Here's Who Wins It All This Year And More

Wake Forest Baseball, Arkansas Baseball are my favorites to win the College World Series. Here are more 2024 predictions on College baseball Opening Day.

Feb 16, 2024 by Joe Harrington

It’s College Baseball Opening Day and every team enters the season with a goal to win its league, make the NCAA Tournament and, just maybe, reach Omaha for the College World Series. 

But who will actually get there? Who will win the national championship? Who will emerge as the No. 1 pick in the 2024 MLB Draft?

Looking at the polls, Wake Forest Baseball is the favorite to win it all. And with good reason. Chase Burns, one of the top pitchers for Tennessee Baseball a year ago, joins Michael Massey and Josh Hartle on the Wake staff. Nick Kurtz returns at first base and one of the Division II standouts in 2023, Seaver King, who has emerged as a top prospect in the draft, transferred to Winston-Salem. 

Last year, the preseason predictions were bullish on LSU and the Tigers did exactly what they were supposed to do. What they didn’t see coming was Paul Skenes, an Air Force transfer, transforming into one of the best college pitchers ever. 

So, with games starting today across the country, including at noon with Nebraska and Baylor playing in the opening game of the College Baseball Showdown, here are some predictions. 

College Baseball Showdown Predictions: Michigan Baseball Has The Chance To Be Biggest Winner

The Wolverines play three games in College Baseball Showdown weekend two against three ranked teams: Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Arkansas. Two of those are legit national championship contenders. And Oklahoma State may have enough to win the Big 12. 

So why could Michigan be the biggest winner? They are unranked and picked to finish sixth in Big Ten and coming off a 28-28 season where they finished 13-11 in the conference and didn't make it to the tournament. 

But don't sleep on the Wolverines. That was the first year under coach Tracy Smith following Erik Bakich, who left for Clemson. Smith once took Indiana to the College World Series in 2013. 

He also has Dylan Vigue this year, who as a true freshman was named to the All-Big Ten preseason team. The Massachusetts native, who is draft eligible in 2025, is expected to enter the Michigan rotation right away and we should see him pitch against one of those ranked teams. 

It's about opportunity, and even if Michigan goes 0-3 against the most difficult schedule in the College Baseball Showdown, it has the most chances to improve over that weekend. 

SEC Baseball Prediction: Arkansas Baseball Will Win SEC

Eight teams are ranked in the SEC to start the season and that includes 60% of the top-10. An SEC team has won every national championship since 2019. They’ve won nine since 2009. 

This year, Arkansas Baseball (picked to win the league by coaches), LSU and Florida are all peppered in the top-4 of the rankings. 

The two divisions are equally as tough and there’s argument to be made that the No. 1 and No.2 conferences in college baseball are the SEC West and SEC East. 

I think Arkansas Baseball wins the league though, but Florida Baseball wins the SEC Tournament. 

It’s tough to disagree with the coaches despite how easy it would be to pick LSU. But the Razorbacks have the top freshman class combining with returning players like Wehiwa Aloy, Hagen Smith and Texas Tech transfers Mason Molina (the Red Raiders ace in 2023) and Hudson White. 

ACC Baseball Prediction: Wake Forest Baseball Wins The ACC

The pitching, the offensive potential… it’s all there. The Demon Deacons were the closest team in baseball to ending LSU’s season last year. Virginia, Clemson and Florida State will be tough, but Wake Forest is the pick. 

The Big 12 Baseball Prediction: Texas Tech Baseball Will Win The Big 12

This is the last year as we know it of the Big 12. Texas and Oklahoma are leaving. Arizona State, Arizona, Utah and Colorado (though Colorado has no baseball team) are entering this summer. 

TCU Baseball is the preseason favorite and Texas is next. 

Image if Texas Tech hadn't lost the transfers to Arkansas? Well, it might not matter. The Red Raiders still have the team that could challenge TCU in the league with Keith Bazzel being one of the best hitters in the country. 

We'll find out how well this prediction wins after Opening Day when the Red Raiders face Tennessee at the College Baseball Classic. 

Golden Spikes Award Prediction: Jac Caglianone Of Florida Baseball Wins 

Jac Caglianone will win it. He hit 33 home runs last season and was a weekend pitcher for the Gators. He’s back this season and will be playing for a chance to be the No.1 pick. 

If not Caglianone, Travis Bazzana of Oregon State is the best player in the PAC-12 and has a chance to lead college baseball in steals. He is the No.3 prospect in college baseball.

The argument against Wetherholt winning it has nothing to do with him. There’s no reason to think the unanimous No. 1 player in the draft class won’t rake again. But this can be as much of a team award as a player award, a lot like the Heisman Trophy. And West Virginia, which went 40-20 last season, is picked to finish tied for sixth-place in the Big 12. 

John Olerud Two-Way Player Of The Year Prediction: Payton Tolle Of TCU Baseball Wins

This award goes to the best two-way player, which very well could be Caglianone. But if it's not him...

Tolle was a finalist for this award when he was playing for Wichita State last season. Now he's a member of a top-10 team. The 6-foot-6-inch, 250 pound Tolle is a massive human who slashed 311/.361/.538 with 13 home runs. he was a Baseball America All-American on the second team in 2023. He also was 9-3 with a 4.62 ERA in starts. He has hit 96 MPH and has has a good slider. 

Baseball America has him as the No. 85 prospect in 2025 Draft, and No. 152 in 2024. 

TCU and Tolle will play Arizona State and USC in the final weekend of the College Baseball Classic. 

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National Pitcher Of The Year Prediction: Brody Brecht, Iowa Baseball Wins

Brecht is a returning All-Big Ten first-team pitcher and the No. 19 ranked prospect at Baseball America. In a composite ranking, he was No. 17 at FloBaseball. The 6-foot-4-inch right-hander has a 4.33 ERA in 99.2 innings. He was a receiver on the football team, but opted to concentrate on pitching this year. He throws an average of 97.5 MPH and has been up to 101. A full-time starter, he adds to that massive fastball with a plus slider. 

The pick of Brecht here is a pick that Iowa, the best team in the Big Ten and the preseason favorites, roll through the league and Brecht has an impressive season along the way. 

College World Series Predictions: Here's Who Makes It To Omaha

My picks are: 

  • Florida
  • LSU
  • Wake Forest 
  • TCU
  • Oregon State 
  • Northeastern  
  • Virginia 
  • Arkansas

Northeastern is my wildcard pick. 

The Huskies are the favorites in the CAA and Mike Sirota is on the Golden Spikes Award watch list. But more so, mid-major teams make it to Omaha pretty frequently and Northeastern just may have the offense to get to the College World Series, especially after playing in what is shaping up to be a tough CAA this spring. 

Northeastern, UNCW, Campbell and Charleston will all have tournament aspirations, but it’s Northeastern that’s starting in the top-25. All CAA baseball games are streaming on FloBaseball and the FloSports app. 

NCAA Baseball Championship Prediction Aside From Wake Forest: Arkansas Baseball

I’m not zagging. I think Wake Forest wins the national championship like most. But if they don’t, I’m siding with Arkansas Baseball and Hagen Smith emerging as one of the top draft selections pitching them there. Again, I trust the SEC coaches. 

MLB Draft 2024 Prediction: Here’s Who Goes No. 1? Nick Kurtz Of Wake Forest Baseball 

My prediction hasn’t changed since breaking down the Cleveland Guardians’ pick in January. It still seems like Cleveland has been handed a golden opportunity to select the elite slugging first baseman the Guardians have missed since the prime Travis Hafner years of the 2000s. 

And that means Nick Kurtz of Wake Forest is still the pick, even if Baseball America adjusted their initial MLB Draft prospect list to match MLB Pipeline with West Virginia’s JJ Wetherholt as No. 1. You can’t really go wrong with either.

That said, don’t be surprised if by July Caglianone has locked this spot up with another huge year at the plate and an improved season on the mound.

More MLB Draft 2024 Coverage 

What College Baseball Tournaments Are Streaming On FloBaseball?

These tournaments will stream on FloBaseball and the FloSports app in February and March:

How To Stream The 2024 College Baseball Showdown?

The first weekend of competition at the Shriners Children's College Showdown is Feb. 16-18 at Globe Life Field. It is streaming on FloBaseball and the FloSports app. 

Replays, highlights and breaking news from the event will be on both platforms. 

How To Watch The Kubota College Baseball Series Weekend 2

The second weekend, Feb. 23-25, at Globe Life Field is called the 2024 Kubota College Baseball Series. It is streaming on FloBaseball and the FloSports app. 

Replays, highlights and breaking news from the event will be on both platforms. 

How To Watch Kubota College Baseball Series Weekend 3

The final weekend of action, known as the Kubota College Baseball Series, at Globe Life Field is March 1-3. It is streaming on FloBaseball and the FloSports app. 

Replays, highlights and breaking news from the event will be on both platforms. 

What Teams Are Playing In the 2024 College Baseball Showdown?

Here are the teams: 

  • University of Oklahoma
  • Texas Tech University
  • Baylor University
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Arkansas
  • Oklahoma State University
  • University of Michigan
  • Oregon State University 
  • TCU 
  • Texas A&M
  • University of Southern California 
  • Arizona State University

2024 Shriners Children's College Showdown Schedule 

All times Eastern

Friday, Feb. 16 

  • 12 p.m. – Nebraska vs. Baylor 
  • 4 p.m. – Oregon vs. Oklahoma 
  • 8 p.m. – Tennessee vs. Texas Tech

Saturday, Feb. 17 

  • 12 p.m. – Baylor vs. Oregon 
  • 4 p.m. – Texas Tech vs. Nebraska 
  • 8 p.m. – Oklahoma vs. Tennessee

Sunday, Feb. 18 

  • 11:30 a.m. – Nebraska vs. Oklahoma 
  • 3:30 p.m. – Oregon vs. Texas Tech 
  • 7:30 p.m. – Tennessee vs. Baylor

2024 Kubota College Baseball Series Weekend 2 Schedule

All times Eastern

Friday, February 23 

  • 4 p.m. – Michigan vs. Oklahoma State 
  • 8 p.m. – Oregon State vs. Arkansas

Saturday, February 24 

  • 4 p.m. – Michigan vs. Oregon State 
  • 8 p.m. – Arkansas vs. Oklahoma State

Sunday, February 25 

  • 2 p.m. – Arkansas vs. Michigan 
  • 6 p.m. – Oklahoma State vs. Oregon State

2024 Kubota College Baseball Series Weekend 3 Schedule 

All times Eastern

Friday, March 1 

  • 3 p.m. – USC vs. TCU 
  • 7 p.m. – Arizona State vs. Texas A&M

Saturday, March 2 

  • 3 p.m. – Texas A&M vs. USC 
  • 7 p.m. – TCU vs. Arizona State

Sunday, March 3 

  • 12 p.m. – Arizona State vs. Texas A&M 
  • 4 p.m. – USC vs. TCU

FloBaseball Archived Footage

Video footage from past seasons is archived and stored in a video library for FloBaseball subscribers to watch for the duration of their subscriptions.

Watch College Baseball On FloBaseball

FloBaseball is home to thousands of college baseball games this spring, including the Shriners Children's College Showdown (formerly the College Baseball Showdown) from Feb. 16 to March 3 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Watch Independent Baseball On FloBaseball 

Follow the action from around the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, Frontier League and Pioneer Baseball League, whether you’re on FloBaseball.tv, the FloSports app or FloBaseball’s social media channels for select games.

Each week during the season, we'll feature at least one “Game Of The Week” from each league and stream it directly to social media. Tune in to catch the action LIVE on FloBaseball's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.

And remember, you can revisit all of your favorite moments from the season, as video footage from each league is archived and stored in a video library for FloBaseball subscribers to watch during the duration of their subscriptions. 

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