It's the Iron Bowl of the Larger Diamond. The Iron Bases? The Iron Series? Eh, it's #BeatBama time.
Auburn returns home to Plainsman Park this weekend in a match-up of the SEC leader vs the SEC cellar-dweller. You may think that means this is a sure thing for our Auburn Tigers. I urge you not to think that way.
Alabama Baseball is currently 15-29 on the season, 2-19 in the SEC. They've also been the victim of tons of 1-run losses and taken very good teams to the wire multiple times. This is a team that knows they're not going to the post-season. They also know they have a chance to spoil their arch-rival's party.
Auburn hasn't won the Alabama series in going on 6 years. Even when Auburn has had a decent team, the Tide have found a way to win this one. Auburn is playing for post-season position. Alabama is playing for the chance to knock the Tigers off the top of the conference. Regardless of the records, this isn't going to be easy.
Fortunately, we've got the gang all back together! That's right, for the first time since near the beginning of conference play, the Tigers will have the regular pitching rotation of Thompson, Mize, and Daniels pitching in their normal spots. With that pitching rotation, Auburn's chances of winning the series increase mightily.
For Alabama, we don't exactly know who the Sunday pitcher is going to be, but I'll definitely put our Friday and Saturday starters up against theirs any day of the week. I wish I knew more about what types of pitchers they are. Auburn has struggled most against pitchers with excellent movement on the ball. If they're not able to throw the breaking stuff at Auburn's suddenly high-scoring offense, then this could be a very fun weekend for the home team.
For the other stats, the two teams are pretty even. That should show you just how tough things are in this conference and better represents the close losses that Alabama has suffered.
As a team, the Tide have 201 RBIs on the season. They're leading hitter by average is Kyle Kaufman, averaging .315 for the season. He only has 11 RBIs, though, which seems rather strange at first glance. Their home run leader is Chandler Taylor with 12 on the season. They don't have a Brent Rooker on the team like MSU, which is great news for Auburn's pitchers.
Auburn doesn't really have a slugger in terms of home runs, either. Dylan Ingram leads the team with 7. The Tigers have 265 total RBIs on the season and are led by Jonah "Joe Dirt" Todd, who is hitting a blistering .396. He, Jay Estes, and Josh Anthony lead the team in doubles with 14, 13, and 12 respectively. Auburn's batters have really come alive in the last few weeks and have managed to chase opposing teams' starters from the game in the early innings almost every time.
Auburn has the tools to get the series victory. They have the tools and the ability to get the sweep. It's still going to be very difficult against a team with nothing else on the line. It's a big weekend on the Plains, so get out there and support our Tigers against the hated Taaaahd.