Analyzing The 2018 Baseball Schedule

The 2018 baseball schedule is a very good one for the Coogs and their chances of hosting a regional. But it’s not great for fans looking to see Houston at home against the nation’s top teams. Fans looking for games against top 25 programs should make sure to be at Minute Maid on the first weekend of March.

Otherwise, few marquee games will be in the city this year. The Coogs play 8 games against DIBaseball.com’s Preseason Top 25 – none of them at home. This weekend, the Cougars open the season hosting Holy Cross then head to SHSU on Tuesday.

Playing the RPI Game

Todd Whitting is a master of working the RPI (Rating Percentage Index) in our favor. This year, UH has 17 out of conference games against top 50 RPI teams from last year including 10 on the road and 5 neutral games. Why is that important?

According to RPI guru Warren Nolan, the RPI ranking of teams is based on their win percentage and strength of schedule (their opponents’ average win percentage and their opponents’ opponents’ average win percentage) and bonus or penalty factors such as game location or site and non-division I losses. Playing good teams that also play good teams is ideal and playing them on the road is even better. This is exactly how Coach Whitting has set the 2018 schedule.

Kudos to Todd for leaving home to test his team against the best.

17 OOC Games vs Top 50 RPI:

  • 3 games at Fullerton (2/23-2/25): The Titans finished 25th in the RPI last year.
  • At Minute Maid (3/2-3/4), a game each against Kentucky (9th), Mississippi State (21st), and Vandy (18).
  • 3 against (2017 RPI #38) SHSU: Huntsville (Feb 20th), Home (4/17), and in Sugar Land (5/1).
  • A game at McNeese (45th) on 3/13.
  • Three against Rice (41st last year): At Rice (3/27), Home (4/10), and Sugar Land (5/15).
  • Go to Texas A&M (33rd) on 4/3.
  • At Texas (17th) 4/24.
  • Finish the season at Southeastern Louisiana (30th): May 17 & 18.

In my mind, the most important midweek games are at Rice, at A&M, and at UT. It is vital to get road wins against the teams we will be battling for the right to host. The 3 games at Minute Maid are pretty important, too, as UH will face top-line SEC pitching.

In The Conference

The biggest conference weekends are the final two of the year: Hosting UCF on Cinco de Mayo weekend and at UConn the next week. UCF is picked 3rd in the league while UConn is picked to finish runner-up to Houston.

Because of the addition of Wichita State, UH and Tulane will not play 6 games against each other this year. Just a 3-game set in New Orleans – April 13-15. The Shockers visit the next weekend.

Cougar baseball gets stuck playing the furthest 3 AAC teams away from home: weekend trips to Cincinnati, ECU, and UConn are on the docket.

This schedule presents a lot of opportunities for Cougar baseball. For a young squad, the big games begin after opening weekend: UH goes on the road for games against 2017 Super Regional team SHSU and CWS participant Fullerton.

 

GoCoogs.com Baseball Preview:

Monday: Baseball Sees Big Changes Ahead of 2018 Season
Tuesday: A Look Back At The 2017 Baseball Season
Wednesday: Analyzing The 2018 Baseball Schedule
Thursday: Previewing The 2018 Cougar Baseball Team
Friday: It’s Opening Day! Houston vs. Holy Cross

 

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