Somehow, at 5-19 in the Southeastern Conference, Missouri baseball is still in the running for the 12th and final spot in the conference tournament. The Tigers are last in the SEC, but have a chance to snag one of the last two spots in the tournament if they do well in their final two series. The door is open just a crack for Missouri to take advantage.
The top 12 teams in the SEC, regardless of division, make the tournament in Hoover, Alabama. Below is how the division rankings shake out right now.
SEC standings with two weekends of play remaining. pic.twitter.com/ppcTWARdUn— SEC Baseball (@SECbaseball) May 10, 2021
Here is a look at the three teams Missouri has a chance at catching.
Winning three of their past five conference series, the LSU Tigers are heating up down the stretch. They haven’t been playing nobodies, either. The team won two of three at Kentucky, didn’t get swept by then-No. 10 South Carolina, went 2-3 on the road at then-No. 12 Ole Miss, lost a series to No. 1 Arkansas and beat Auburn twice in Baton Rouge.
If LSU can keep its hot streak going , it will lock down one of the final two spots in Hoover. In its way is a winnable series at home against Alabama and another on the road at Texas A&M, though the Tigers are down one of the best pitchers in the nation in Jaden Hill, who tore his UCL.
Let’s be clear, Texas A&M is chock full of talent and has underperformed in 2021. That works out in Missouri's favor, because when the Aggies visited Columbia in April, the Tigers bounced back from a 16-2 defeat in the series opener to take two of three from A&M. With that result, MU holds the tiebreaker it catch up and tie Texas A&M's conference records.
What works most in the Aggies’ favor is their remaining schedule. They play Auburn on the road and LSU at home to close out the season, games which could turn into postseason clinchers against two of the conference's other bottom-dwellers.
Like Missouri, Auburn has just been bad. The Tigers from Alabama started off the conference season with two series sweeps and didn’t do much to improve from there. They added four more series losses before finally getting things done in Athens, Georgia, where they took two games from the No. 20 Bulldogs, including a 14 inning Game 2.
Like the Aggies, the Auburn Tigers have a favorable final two series. They play at home against Texas A&M, which they have an opportunity to leapfrog in standings. Things may come down to the final series in Columbia, where Missouri hosts Auburn in the last series of the year.