LSU baseball’s path to the postseason becomes more clear after win over No. 1 Texas A&M

LSU baseball has helped its chances of making the postseason massively after a series win over No. 1 Texas A&M. PHOTO BY: Jonathan Mailhes

LSU baseball looked like a long shot at making the postseason just three weeks ago, but three straight series wins mean the Tigers could have good odds of making a regional if they win their next two series.

LSU will know if it’s done enough to convince the selection committee by the end of the month.

The selection committee will have a few tweaks to the selection process this year. While RPI is still the main ranking being used, KPI will also be given to the selection committee.

The quadrant system that’s been used by basketball will now be used for baseball as well. This change helps adjust for where teams are played instead of just focusing on who the opponent was.

The committee previously saw how teams performed against teams ranked 1-25 in RPI, 26-50, 50-100 and 100+. With the new change, Quad 1 is home games against teams 1-25 in RPI, neutral games against 1-40 and road games against 1-60. Quad 2 is home games against 26-50, neutral games against 41-80 and road games against 61-120. Quad 3 is home games against 51-100, neutral games against 81-160 and road games against 121-240. Quad 4 is home games against 101+, neutral games against 161+ and road games against 241+.

KPI is a system created by Keven Pauga that was originally used for basketball but has since been applied to baseball and other sports. It’s like RPI as it also considers strength of schedule to determine the quality of wins. However, where the two scales differentiate is that KPI considers the score of each game.

A 1-0 win is the same a 20-0 win in RPI, but KPI gives more weight to a bigger win. The scale gives a score from each game with the best wins being given around a 1.0 and the worst loses being given around a -1.0. Last season’s best win was Alabama’s 12-1 victory on the road against Arkansas, which was given a 1.36.

After the Texas A&M series, LSU sits at No. 34 in RPI and No. 30 in KPI. LSU’s next series is on the road against Alabama, the No. 14 team in RPI and No. 24 team in KPI. If LSU can claim that series, it could boost both its RPI and KPI into the top-30.

The Tigers’ final series will be at home against Ole Miss. LSU is just ahead of Ole Miss in KPI and sits nine spots behind it in RPI. If LSU can manage wins in both series, it could find itself in good position in both rankings.

There are 31 automatic conference bids and 33 at-large bids. If the Tigers can make it to 13 or 14 conference wins and keep their RPI and KPI hovering around 30, they should be in a good position to make the postseason.

“The path is simple. We will be 23-3 outside the league (if LSU beats Northwestern State). I don’t know if there’s five teams in the country that can say that,” LSU head coach Jay Johnson said. “We’ve played a difficult schedule, we played better in the back half of the year.”

The selection show for the 2024 NCAA baseball tournament will be on May 27 at 11 a.m. It will be televised on ESPN2 and the regionals will start on May 31.

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Will Nickel

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