It's a busy day for Florida State University as Pro-Day was held earlier and the Noles basketball team tips off tonight as a #1 seed in the NIT while the baseball team and their #1 ranking travel to Florida for the first of three games they play this season.
As recapped here the Noles had a great weekend series with NCST in which they swept the top ten team. With that win the Seminoles move to 17-2 on the season and a tie at 5-1 with Clemson in the Atlantic division. The Gators won their conference opening series with Arkansas in unimpressive fashion, winning the first two games by a score of 1-0 and 2-1 before losing in the finale 3-9. Florida is now 13-7 on the year and 2-1 in conference.
The Florida State offense is elite and arguably the best in the nation, the Florida Gator offense is pathetic and if fans cared they would be extremely upset. Much like the Seminoles pitching under their former pitching coach was unacceptable the performance that this UF offense is showing is not where it needs to be. The offense in Gainesville has been on the decline of the past few years and for a school of that caliber that recruits that well it should raise some questions.
Let's talk about scoring first, as of today the Noles are 5th in the nation at 8.8 runs per game while the Gators are tied for 221st in scoring with an anemic 4.1 runs per game. In one less game Florida State has scored 86 more runs, the Gators have scored double digits just once this season while the Noles have achieved that feat 9 times. Florida has played 11 games that were decided by two runs or less and are 6-1 in one run games, that means they have been extremely fortunate so far and are not playing to what their record indicates. For comparison the Seminoles have played in only one game decided by a run or less as they have distanced themselves from their competition in the majority of their games with an average margin of victory nearing 6 runs while the Gators win by only half a run.
Now let's talk about how they score, Florida State does so well because they are continually near the top of the country in key categories. The Noles are 5th nationally in walks and doubles which lends to them having the top on-base percentage in the country while the Gators are 135th in walks, 94th in doubles and 187th in on-base, nearly 100 points less than Florida State. There is one Gator hitter that currently has an OBP greater than .400 while the Noles have 8 contributors that can say that including 3 that have an OBP of .500 or better.
The pitching staff for the Gators on the other hand has been extremely solid thus far and is the sole reason that this season is not a disaster for Florida. The quality of offense that the Gators have faced really doesn't stack up to what they will see tonight and to be honest the offenses that they have been played have been almost as terrible as there's. With the exception of this past weekend against North Carolina State the Seminoles haven't faced all that strong of offenses either.
As abysmal as the UF offense has been it might night matter if bad Peter Miller shows up tonight. In 2 of his 3 starts on the season he has failed to make it through the third inning surrendering 9 hits, 6 walks and 8 runs in just 4.1 innings pitched. If good Peter Miller shows up the Noles should be in great shape. The Gators are countering with a left-handed sophomore who has had plenty of outings this season but only one start. In his lone start against Southern Miss (who are quite terrible) he threw 5 innings allowing only 1 earned on 5 hits, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts.
Good news is this game is televised if you live in North or Central Florida on Sun Sports, bad news is Nick Belmonte and Mick Hubert are the commentators. My suggestion would be to watch this game on mute with the sound on the basketball game, that or bang your head into a wall every time they say something asinine.
This is a one game series and in baseball and anything can happen. However I don't recall these two teams being so far apart in terms of success in a long time.
Game starts at 7PM, both Ariya and myself are out of pocket tonight and Dustin will be at the basketball game so if you can help out with the updates in this thread it would be appreciated.