Expert College Baseball World Series best bets, picks and predictions today for Florida vs LSU, 6/26: A high-scoring Game 3?

Florida Gators first baseman Jac Caglianone (14) celebrates after hitting a two-run home run against the LSU Tigers during the eighth inning at Charles Schwab Field Omaha.

We’ve made it – the final day of the college baseball season. It’s been an incredible year that should translate into one of the best MLB Draft classes we’ve seen in years. But before these kids can become professionals, they have the chance to become a National Champion. In Game 1 of the Championship series, LSU won 4-3 in extra innings. Florida bounced back in Game 2 with a 24-4 win, and that leads us to a winner-takes-all Game 3 for the title of the best college baseball team in the country. So, let’s dive into my College Baseball World Series best bet for today’s action.

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Florida vs LSU Over 8.5 (-128)

Available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing

LSU gave the ball to their bullpen yesterday in hopes that they could keep the game close so that their offense could do the rest of the work. Considering the final score was 24-4, neither side held up their side of the bargain. The Tigers pitchers were throwing batting practice to the Florida hitters, who hit 6 home runs and combined for 23 hits en route to one of the biggest wins we’ve ever seen in Omaha. It was quite the showing for a Gators team that had their backs to the wall and their season on the line, and that creates the best 2 words in sports: Game 7 (well, it’s really Game 3, but for all intents and purposes, it’s a Game 7). The big question surrounding tonight’s game is simple – is Paul Skenes available? LSU’s ace, and the best pitcher in college baseball, threw 120 pitches on Thursday night against Wake Forest and would be on 3 days of rest if he threw today. That would be the shortest rest of the year for Skenes, who usually starts on 5-6 days of rest but made Thursday’s start on 4 days.

Florida is fortunate enough to not have to worry about their pitching matchup. Since they came into the Championship series without a loss, they were able to use their top 2 guys Brandon Sproat in Game 1 and Hurston Waldrep in Game 2. That leaves the 2-way star known as “Jactani”, inspired by Ohtani, to start in the final college baseball game of the season. Jac Caglianone is one of the best power hitters in the country and was the staple of the Florida offense this season, but he’s also a dominant starting pitcher that rounds out the Gators’ rotation. In 73.1 innings, Caglianone has a 3.68 ERA and has punched out 85 batters.

However, similar to Ohtani, Caglianone can struggle with control. He has 52 walks allowed and 12 hit batters in 73.1 innings. In his last start against TCU, the nerves were obvious for Jactani as he gave up 3 walks, hit 2 batters and had 2 wild pitches. Although TCU wasn’t able to capitalize on his command problems, an elite offense like LSU can. Even if the Tigers can’t use Skenes, they have Thatcher Hurd, Griffin Herring and Riley Cooper ready to go. Keep an eye out for the final decision on Skenes, but it’s hard to not like the over between a pair of high-powered offenses and several questions still surrounding the pitching situation.

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