College World Series Game 8 Odds: Strength Vs. Strength In Texas A&M-Kentucky

Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
kentucky texas a&m odds CWS

Baseball betting options within College World Series odds present another opportunity Monday, as the No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats take on the No. 3 Texas A&M Aggies. Both teams advanced through their opening-round games with low-scoring, one-run victories. Kentucky hit a walk-off to upend NC State while Texas A&M snagged a game-saving home run robbery past 2 a.m. ET to beat Florida. Texas A&M opened as a -130 favorite on moneyline odds, while Kentucky opened at +106.

Kentucky vs. Texas A&M begins Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET from Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska. Watch the game on ESPN or ESPN+.

College baseball: Kentucky Vs. Texas A&M Odds

Compare UNC vs. Virginia game odds from the best sports betting sites below. Click on odds to place a bet.

The Case For Kentucky

It’s a mantra I’ll wear out all June: In the College World Series, pitching trumps all. We saw it in five of the first six CWS matchups – only one winner allowed more than four runs (Tennessee, 12-11 over Florida State). Kentucky has the deepest pitching rotation in Omaha.

The Wildcats needed an extra frame to beat NC State in their opening game. Five arms took the mound, and ultimately, closer Johnny Hummel (5-0, 3.30 ERA) picked up a victory. Starter Trey Pooser gave up three runs on nine hits (6.2 IP), but the relief behind him allowed one hit and one run combined. Against Texas A&M, the bullpen will need its A-game once again. The win pushed UK to a perfect 6-0 in the NCAA Tournament.

Though Pooser is now unavailable – likely until a possible championship series – Kentucky trots out Mason Moore (9-3, 4.93). Moore is meticulous, walking 51 batters this season but Kentucky’s bullpen offers undeniable support.

Ryan Nicholson was the workhorse against NC State. He recorded three hits and scored twice in four at-bats; he also hit the ninth-inning, game-tying home run. It was Mitchell Daly who walked it off with the Wildcats’ third home run of the afternoon. Just one Kentucky run didn’t come via homer. Texas A&M’s pitching staff has a tendency to give up power.

The Case Against

In this game, Kentucky is out-gunned offensively. Texas A&M’s lineup offers more power and all-around better contact. Kentucky ranks 108th in batting (.286) while Texas A&M is 50th (.299); of the Omaha 8, the Aggies carry the third-best wRC+ (130) while the Wildcats sit seventh (117).

The Case for Texas A&M

It’s ace time for the Aggies. Pitcher Ryan Prager (8-1, 3.30) takes the mound against Kentucky. This season, he has 114 strikeouts and just 19 walks issued, and opponents bat a measly .225 when he’s on the mound. Coach Jim Schlossnagle is making his strategy clear: get to the Bracket Two finals and avoid elimination.

When Texas A&M gets a lead, they rarely relinquish it. Closer Evan Aschenbeck (1.59 ERA, 10 saves) is the best in the country. He shut the door on Florida, although he needed 51 pitches to do so (3.0 IP). Kentucky took advantage of a flawed NC State rotation – one that tends to give up some batting practice – and made it pay in the Wildcats’ last outing. Texas A&M’s rotation is much more savvy, but the control needs to be there for Prager.

The Aggies can win in any number of ways. It took 25 runs in two games to beat Oregon in the Super Regionals. But when the offense crashed against Florida, the pitching stepped up for a 3-2 win. Through three innings, it appeared A&M was going to score in buckets once again. But the bats went silent against the Gators’ better arms. Run prevention was needed for six more innings and the Aggies delivered.

Against Kentucky, Texas A&M likely won’t have ample scoring opportunities. The defense and pitching staff will need to really carry A&M here.

The Case Against

Two of Prager’s last three outings were disastrous. He allowed six first-inning runs to Oregon and was yanked in the second. Three starts ago against Tennessee, Prager was handed a loss and was pulled after 2.1 innings. When he fires on all cylinders, Prager is one of the country’s best starters. But his postseason struggles should not be ignored.

Relief pitch count is something to monitor throughout the entire College World Series. Aschenbeck already has 51 pitches under his belt, potentially limiting the amount of work Schlossnagle will give him on Monday. If he’s asked to throw another 50, Aschenbeck might not be able to go again until a Bracket Final or championship series.

Expected Pitching Matchup

The strategy for pitching in the College World Series is extremely difficult. Do you keep your ace arms for elimination games? Maintain your usual rotation? Or exercise the big guns early to avoid getting in elimination games at all?

We likely won’t know starters until 24 hours before (or even fewer), but here’s who may go if both teams rely on their usual rotation.

Kentucky: Mason Moore (9-3, 4.93 ERA)

Texas A&M: Ryan Prager (8-1, 3.10 ERA)

  • In his last outing, Prager melted down against Oregon. He lasted just 1.2 innings, where he allowed six runs and a long ball. In two of Prager’s last three starts – all in postseason play – he was pulled before three innings. The outing in between, he threw 6.1 against Texas, allowing four hits and two runs.

Final Thoughts on Kentucky Vs. Texas A&M Odds

It’s clear A&M is gunning for a spot in a potential closeout game Wednesday. At its peak, Texas A&M is one of the two best teams in the country – look no further than College World Series odds for evidence.

All four underdogs took considerable action in the opening four games. Each of the four underdogs closed with shorter odds than they opened with. The result? A 4-0 favorites moneyline clean sweep. Favorites are 6-0 straight up thus far in the CWS. In the postseason, the better teams show themselves. With A&M pushing the chips to the middle and the market’s nose for favorites (even in toss-up games), I’m betting Texas A&M -130.