Hitters to watch
Brent Rooker, Mississippi State: Not much to say here other than Rooker led the SEC in all three triple crown categories, posting a .415 batting average, 20 home runs and 73 RBIs.
Braden Shewmake, Texas A&M: Only a freshman, Shewmake has been one of the better players in the league, hitting .342 with 10 homers and 64 RBIs.
Riley Mahan, Kentucky: Kentucky has five of the league’s top 11 hitters, but Mahan is the engine that makes the Wildcats go.
Pitchers to watch
Brady Singer, Florida: Singer turned down big MLB draft money to come to Florida last season. The sophomore relies on his explosive fastball to get hitters out.
Kyle Wright, Vanderbilt: The big right-hander could be the No. 1 pick in June’s MLB draft. Vandy might need to win Tuesday for Wright to pitch this week, though.
Alex Lange, LSU: The Tigers ace has been arguably the SEC’s best pitcher during the past nine weeks. He leads all SEC pitchers in strikeouts with 111 in 90.1 innings.
Teams with the most to gain
Kentucky: Kentucky has a top-10 RPI but was not a conference champion. It needs to do everything it can to earn a national seed, because it is built to play in its ballpark (where it went 26-5).
Mississippi State: With an RPI of 30, the Bulldogs' chances of hosting a regional appear to be slim after they faded down the stretch. A big week in Hoover could be what the doctor ordered.
Teams with the most to lose
LSU: The Tigers put themselves in position to earn a national seed after their roaring finish to the regular season, but that’s not a lock. LSU can't fall on its face in Hoover and give the selection committee a chance to pass it over.
South Carolina: This is perhaps less about the Gamecocks and more about their coach. Chad Holbrook is on the hot seat after a disappointing campaign, and an 0-1 week certainly would not help.
LSU in the tournament under Paul Mainieri (since 2008)
W/L: 27-6 (four losses by one run)
Batting average: .297
Run differential: 199-94
Numbers worth knowing
.930: Kentucky's OPS (on base plus slugging percentage) ranks third in the country. LSU (.818) finished more than 100 points back to rank second in the SEC.
57.9: Of the outs recorded on balls in play by Florida pitching, 57.9 percent came on ground balls. The Gators also gave up an SEC-low 23 home runs.
.443: Don't try to counter MSU left-handed slugger Brent Rooker with left-handed pitching. The SEC Triple Crown winner hit .443 against southpaws with 18 extra-base hits in 61 at-bats.