2021 College World Series preview: Tennessee vs. Virginia betting odds, picks, analysis, more
Staff • 6/18/2021 in Baseball
Here are the resources you need for Tennessee vs. Virginia on June 20 at the 2021 College World Series.
Tennessee vs. Virginia betting odds (via DraftKings)
Run Line: Virginia +1.5 (-125), Tennessee -1.5 (+105)
Moneyline: Tennessee - 165, Virginia +145
Projected starting pitchers
Tennessee: Chad Dallas (R), 11-1, 4.10 ERA ,96.2 IP, 1.19 baserunners/inning pitched, 7% free pass rate, 30% K
Virginia: Andrew Abbott (L) 100.2 IP, 8-6, 3.04 ERA, 1.18 base runners allowed/inning, 9% free pass rate, 37% K
Tennessee's road to Omaha
RPI: 3 (No. 12 strength of schedule)
League finish: first (SEC East)
Coach: Tony Vitello (134-66)
CWS appearance: fifth
National titles: none
In four years under head coach Tony Vitello, Tennessee baseball has made the worst-to-first journey.
The Volunteers were last in the SEC Eastern Division from 2016-18. Four years later, Tennessee won its first SEC Eastern Division championship, hosted its first NCAA super regional and is headed to the College World Series.
How did the Vols do it? Vitello used a mix of veterans (seven seniors have played a prominent role) and newcomers to over haul and down-trodden program into a national contender.
Tennessee believed it could win and Vitello showed them the way. The Vols lead the SEC with seven walk-off wins and seven grand slams and both of those components propelled them to a thrilling 9-8 win over Wright State in the NCAA Knoxville Regional and began the post-season magic.
Tennessee swept through the most difficult regional in the 2021 NCAA Tournament bracket with wins over Wright State and Liberty (twice), and then swept post-season power LSU (playing in its 15th NCAA super regional) in two games in the super regionals to punch their ticket to Omaha.
Read our in-depth College World Series preview for Tennessee at this link.
Virginia's road to Omaha
RPI: 28 (No. 11 strength of schedule)
League finish: Third in ACC Coastal
Coach: Brian O'Connor (749-317-2, 18th season at Virginia)
CWS appearance: fifth
National titles: 2015
Virginia has been on the brink of elimination since April.
The Cavaliers were 4-13 in ACC after five straight series losses to North Carolina, Florida State, Notre Dame, Pitt and Miami, and a series-opening loss at Georgia Tech. Virginia rebounded to win the Easter weekend series in Atlanta and closed the season with a 14-6 mark in its last 20 ACC games.
Virginia continued that magic in the post-season by winning six straight elimination games at the NCAA tournament to advance to the College World Series for the first time since it hoisted the championship trophy in 2015.
Virginia became the third team since the NCAA baseball tournament expanded to 64 teams to advance to the College World Series after losing its opening game in the regional and super regional rounds, joining Rice in 1999 and Florida State in 2008 as teams to win six elimination games on the road to Omaha.
While six straight elimination games wins is pretty remarkable, it defines who this team really is. It followed a similar path to the title in 2015.
The Cavaliers lost four of their first six ACC series that season, including sweeps by Virginia Tech and Louisville. The 'Hoos won three of their last four series and swept the NCAA Lake Elsinore Regional before sweep Maryland in the Charlottesville Super Regional.
Head coach Brian O’Connor is one of three people to appear in the College World Series as player, assistant coach and head coach. The Council Bluffs, Iowa native played at Creighton and was a member of the Bluejays team that played in the 1991 CWS. He was an assistant coach at Notre Dame under Paul Mainieri when the Fighting Irish played in the 2002 CWS. George Horton and David Esquer are the other two to reach the CWS as player, assistant coach and head coach.
Read our in-depth College World Series preview for Virginia at this link.
Southeastern 14's Game Pick for Tennessee vs. Virginia
Virginia pitcher Andrew Abbott will be tough to break, but he's not invincible. Tennessee makes contact, and quite frankly, we just like the Vols' lineup better. While Chad Dallas's issue has been giving up the home run, the ballpark in Omaha could even that out. Tennessee should score enough runs to earn the victory.
Southeastern 14's Best Bet for Tennessee vs. Virginia
Pick: Tennessee ML
Want more SEC coverage? Subscribe to The 14 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app for daily SEC podcasts.