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Baseball Weekend Preview: #17 LSU vs Arkansas

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Anybody feel like a hog roast?

Well, LSU doesn't get to be the champions of Mississippi this year. It sucks losing to Ole Miss and especially sucks to lose to Clanga St, but sometimes that's just the breaks you get. Congrats Mississippi, you beat LSU in baseball this year. Everything else about you still sucks.

Anyways, LSU needs a get right series this weekend and Arkansas looks like a prime target. The Razorbacks come into the box with a 2-5 SEC series record, and have lost three of their last four games. Arkansas dropped two games to Texas A&M and a midweek game to the very good Missouri St. The Razorbacks have been abysmal away from Baum Stadium, going 3-9 in road games this season.

Arkansas Razorbacks

Record: 26-19 Overall, 7-14 SEC, 3-9 Away

Rank: N/A

RPI/ISR: 85th/70th

Arkansas Bats

Player

Yr

Pos

BA

SLG

OBP

HR

RBI

K

BB

Carson Shaddy

So

CF

0.357

0.571

0.428

8

33

39

20

Luke Bonfield

So

LF

0.340

0.589

0.417

8

35

35

16

Clark Eagan

Jr

3B

0.304

0.413

0.372

3

28

27

20

Team

0.284

0.437

0.37

44

257

317

188

A cursory glance of the Arkansas Razorback stats looks somewhat scary. They rank in the top half of the conference in almost every major statistic and look mighty impressive with a team slugging percentage of 0.437. Fortunately, it appear that a lot of these stats have been padded by the easy early season schedule and non-con midweek opponents. In SEC play, the Razorbacks are a mid-pack offensive team. The one area they excel at is power. Arkansas' team slugging percentage drops to 0.395 in conference only games, but that's still good enough for 6th overall.  They have good long ball ability with 17 home runs in conference play and 44 overall. LSU needs to not give these guys pitches over the fat part of the plate because they clearly know what to do with them.

The biggest thing LSU needs to do is not issue walks. Free passes kill, and they've been killing LSU all season. Throw strikes and force Arkansas to beat you with their bats. Don't let them walk you to death.

Arkansas Arms

Player

Yr

Pos

IP

ERA

K

BB

BAA

Dominic Taccolini

Jr

RHP

58.0

4.81

53

17

0.252

Zach Jackson

Jr

RHP

44.0

5.11

54

30

0.221

Keaton McKinney

So

RHP

44.2

5.84

26

26

0.291

Blaine Knight

Fr

RHP

36.0

3.25

33

10

0.294

Team

398.2

4.81

379

182

0.268

And here is where the bottom falls out for Arkansas. The Razorbacks appear to be in the same situation as Auburn, pretty good offense with an atrocious pitching staff. Arkansas owns the worst ERA in the SEC and has allowed the third most runs in the SEC.  The biggest issue is the amount of free passes they give up.  The Razorbacks have walked 182 batters on the season, 105 of those in SEC play. If LSU can't score on Arkansas, we have bigger issues than we thought.

Should You Be Worried?

Honestly, I'm not sure. It all depends on which LSU team shows up on Friday. If the LSU bats come out swinging and build their confidence early, it should be a good weekend for the Tigers. If LSU struggles at the plate, it's going to be a loonnnnnng weekend.  Same goes for the pitching. Lange gets to set the tone this weekend, and it should be fun watching him go up against Taccolini, who seems to have been at Arkansas for a decade now.

How's the Weather Going to Be?

sunshine

Perfect weather to take mom to the ball park for mother's day. Do it, she'll adore you for it.

Best Logo I Found on Google Image Search

He's not even looking at the freaking ball. Hopefully they do that a lot this weekend.

Prediction

LSU wins two of three and gets back on track.  A regional host is probably out of play now, but seeding for the SEC tournament is still important.