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Monday CWS Finals Game Thread: Vanderbilt vs. Clanga

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Game one of the Finals versus a hated rival with Jack Leiter on the mound. Does it get better than this? 6pm CT ESPN2.

Syndication: The Tennessean George Walker IV / Tennessean.com via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Monday June 28th at 6pm CT on ESPN2

#7 Clanga (48-17, 20-10 SEC)

vs.

#4 Vanderbilt Commodores (48-16, 19-10 SEC)

On the Mound

Vanderbilt #22 So. RHP Jack “Leits Out” Leiter (10-4, 2.08 ERA, 14.80 K/9, 3.63 BB/9.)

vs. Clanga #28 Jr. LHP Christian “Cloudy Mac“ MacLeod (6-5, 4.61 ERA, 12.40 K/9, 3.40 BB/9), who started last Tuesday against UVA (though he got lit up and only lasted an inning and a third).

*Note: Neither lineups nor pitching match-ups have been released today, so this is an educated guess on my part. Leiter last pitched a full week ago, so he should be rested and ready. We know it won’t be their Ace, Bednar, as he needed to pitch them past Tejas on Saturday, and Clanga is not managed by Dave Van Horn.

Snap Analysis and Predictions:

With Leiter likely getting the ball, Vanderbilt will have the clear advantage on the mound, but Clanga is a worthy opponent, as they truly are a complete team. Offensively, it’s tough to know what to expect, as Vanderbilt has been feast or famine, whereas Clanga has been relatively consistent offensively (with blips one game against Notre Dame and their first game against Tejas). Let’s take a closer look at how both teams have performed all year

Offense: You know full well how capable both of these offenses are, and you also know how mercurial Vanderbilt’s offense has been in Omaha. Still, let’s take a look.

Clanga: .278/.374/.441 with 117 2B, 13 3B, 72 HR, and 415 RBI. On the base paths, Clanga has swiped a more than respectable 71-89 bags.

Vanderbilt: .292/.383/.489 with 129 2B, 20 3B, 89 HR and 423 RBI. On the base paths, the Diamond Dores have swiped 90-102 bags (though other than Javy “Cloney Kemp” Vaz, they have not been running as much as we would like at Omaha).

As you can see, on paper, the Commodores and Clanga are pretty evenly matched, offensively, with Vanderbilt having the slight advantage in AVG, OBP, SLG, 2B, 3B, HR, Stolen Bases, and RBI/Runs Scored (all categories).

The only caveat here is what has been said before—Clanga has largely maintained their offensive consistency in Omaha, whereas Vandy has been hot or cold.

Advantage: Push.

Pitching: Jack Leiter will have a sizable advantage on the mound over anyone Clanga starts, especially as they had to burn Bednar to reach the Finals. Their back end of the pen, though—especially their closer, Sims—is more than cromulent. We need to be prepared for anything, so let’s look at the pitching staffs of both teams as a whole.

Clanga: 4.07 ERA, .224 b/avg, 12.32 K/9, 3.94 BB/9.

Vanderbilt: 3.27 ERA, .187 b/avg, 11.92 K/9, 3.62 BB/9.

Advantage: Though Clanga may be the only team in existence who Ks more batters than the Diamond Dores, this is advantage Vanderbilt. With Leiter starting tonight, the advantage is magnified.

Anchor of Gold Twitter Poll Prediction:

Prediction: This is extremely tough to predict, but you’ve got to be pretty confident with Leiter on the mound. Twist my arm, and I’m giving the slight advantage to the Diamond Dores. Just make sure to pitch around Tanner “The Tool Man” Allen and Rowdey “Roddy” Jordan (please and thank you).

See you in the comments.