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LSU vs Wake Forest Predictions & Odds for College World Series (June 22)

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in News

Updated Jun 22, 2023 · 1:36 PM PDT

Cade Beloso home run reaction
Jun 21, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; LSU Tigers designated hitter Cade Beloso (24) reacts after hitting a three run home run against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the third inning at Charles Schwab Field Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
  • LSU is -145 favorite vs Wake Forest in a win-or-go-home matchup to advance to the CWS final
  • The Tigers beat the Demon Deacons 5-2 Wednesday night, setting up the Thursday showdown
  • Don’t miss the LSU vs Wake Forest predictions and odds below

Perhaps this was the way it was always going to have to be.

The LSU Tigers (51-16) lived to play another day, simultaneously putting the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (54-11) on the brink of elimination with a 5-2 win over the top seed at the College World Series Wednesday night.

Now, the two teams — the only two schools to hold down the no. 1 ranking during the college season — will battle for the final spot in the CWS Final, where the Florida Gators are waiting.

Action gets underway Thursday (June 22) at 7pm ET from Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, NE. You can watch the game live on ESPN and ESPN+.

LSU vs Wake Forest Odds

Team Moneyline Runline Total
LSU Tigers -145 OFF OFF
Wake Forest Demon Deacons +115 OFF OFF

In somewhat of a surprise, the Tigers are the betting favorites in this winner-or-go-home scenario, pegged with -145 odds, an implied win probability of 59.18%. Perhaps the pitching matchup has something to do with that (read on below).

It won’t be easy: Wake has yet to lose back-to-back games this entire season.

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LSU vs Wake Forest Probable Pitchers

If this is indeed the pitching matchup (still to be confirmed), what a dynamite showdown Thursday night.

LSU trots out college baseball’s strikeout king Paul Skenes. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound righty was the only pitcher in the NCAA to reach 200 strikeouts this season. His 1.81 ERA is the second-best mark in college baseball.

Skenes’ only appearance so far in the CWS was a memorable one: he went 7.2 innings, scattering five hits and giving up two earned runs, walking one and striking out 12, as LSU beat Tennessee 6-3.

He’ll be going up against a Wake lineup that is hitting .306 and has averaged 9.2 runs per game in the regular season, the 5th-best total in the NCAA.

Skenes vs Lowder Stats

Paul Skenes
VS
Rhett Lowder
12-2 Record 15-0
1.81 ERA 1.99
0.776 WHIP 0.962
10.53 SO/W Ratio 6.23

It’s difficult to think that Rhett Lowder takes a back seat to anyone, yet the Wake ace, who has yet to lose a game this season (15-0) is fifth in ERA at 1.99 and sixth in strikeouts, is the underdog in this one.

The ACC Pitcher of the Year and First team All-American didn’t figure into the decision in his first game of the World Series, though the Deacons pulled out a tight 3-2 win over the Stanford Cardinal.

Lowder went 5.1 innings, giving up seven hits, two earned runs, walking one while striking out six.

He’s facing an LSU side that hits .311 as a team, and was the only school to post 600+ runs this season to lead college baseball.

How LSU and Wake Forest Got Here

If LSU does indeed go on to knock off Wake, they’ll forever remember the third inning of Monday’s game.

Trailing 2-1 heading into the bottom of the inning, LSU loaded the bases, and Dylan Crews was able to score on a wild pitch.

Shortly after, Cade Beloso hit a go-ahead three-run homer of Seth Keener — only the fourth home run Keener’s allowed in 69 innings pitched this season. It was a lead the Tigers would never relinquish.

It was the first loss anyone has hung on the Deacons in eight tournament games this season. They are trying to become the first top seed in 24 years to claim the College World Series.

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Tigers vs Demon Deacons Prediction

There’s a sudden power outage for Wake in the most critical time. After pumping out over nine runs per game in the regular season, the Demon Deacons have only been able to churn out eight runs across their first three games at the CWS.

After watching a 2-0 lead vanish in the blink of a swing, the ‘Deacons couldn’t muster any offense, even though they got the leadoff man aboard in four of the final five innings.

LSU has now played a pair of win-or-go-home games this week and have survived with flying colours, so it will be interesting to see how Wake Forest reacts after not having had to face much adversity until now.

With both aces on the mound, I like Skenes taking care of business and tumbling the top seed.

Pick: LSU Tigers ML (-145)

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