NLCS Odds: Phillies vs. Padres Game 1 Betting Line, Series Price, Prediction

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The National League’s sixth-seeded Philadelphia Phillies and fifth-seeded San Diego Padres, off stunning MLB playoff upsets of NL kingpins in the Division Series, are scheduled to open best-of-seven play Tuesday in Southern California. NLCS odds have the Padres listed as slight favorites to advance, per the series price at DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, and BetMGM.

The Padres are available for -115 on the BetMGM oddsboard, while the DraftKings series price offers Phillies +105.

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Phillies vs. Padres Game 1 Odds

While RHP Yu Darvish is on the bump for the Padres in the series opener, the Phillies have not named a starter as of Monday morning, and the Game 1 line has yet to be hung at many sportsbooks. BetRivers, though, is dealing San Diego -125/Phillies +108, and a total of 6.5 (under +102). Over 6.5 -120 is available at Caesars Sportsbook.

Here are current odds from the top sports betting apps.

PHI Phillies vs SD Padres Odds MLB Odds

MLB · Tue (10/18) @ 8:37pm ET

PHI Phillies at SD Padres
Petco Park, San Diego, California

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Philadelphia (87-75 regular season), which edged out Milwaukee by two games for the final NL postseason berth, just vanquished the defending world champion Atlanta Braves (101-61) in four games of their best-of-five meeting. That came on the heels of the Phillies sweeping the Central Division champion Cardinals (93-69) in St. Louis in the best-of-three wild-card round.

This is the team’s first competition in the NLCS since 2010.

NLDS odds, Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper and the Phillies are short underdogs vs. the Padres, per NLDS odds (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

San Diego (89-73) finished 22 games behind the Dodgers (111-51) in the West, but beat LA in four games in the NLDS. In the wild-card round, San Diego KO’d the host New York Mets (101-61) in three games.

This is the Padres’ first NLCS appearance since 1998.

With regard to the Padres’ success vs. LA despite that gap of 22 wins, the only team in MLB postseason history to overcome a greater differential was Chicago’s “Hitless Wonders” White Sox in 1906, who beat the cross-town Cubs in the World Series despite having won 23 fewer games than their foe.

Anyway, here’s a closer look at the battle between these giant-killers, with Games 1 and 2 in San Diego on Tuesday and Wednesday, Games 3-5 in Philadelphia on Friday through Sunday, and without a travel day, Games 6 and 7 would be back in San Diego the following Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 24-25).

Head-to-Head

The teams met seven times this season, with the visitor winning five times.

On May 17-19, the Padres took two of three in Philadelphia. On June 23-26, the Phillies won three of four in San Diego with new manager Rob Thomson in charge.

And thanks to clinching their division series Saturday, both teams are coming off a two-day break and will have their mound aces available on normal rest.

Phillies vs. Padres Pitching Matchup

San Diego announced it is going with Darvish (16-8, 3.10 regular season). He has two wins in the playoffs, but in his outing vs. the Dodgers yielded three homers in five innings.

He started twice against Philly this season, including seven shutout innings in a 2-0 win May 17. But a month later, he left after giving up three earned runs and seven hits in six innings of an 8-5 loss. The teams haven’t met since.

Philadelphia has not announced its opening starter as of early Monday, but since Zack Wheeler hasn’t pitched since Wednesday in Atlanta, he would be the logical choice. Aaron Nola likely will go in Game 2 and not work in the opener on three-days’ rest.

For San Diego, Blake Snell could get the ball in Game 2. He was the No. 2 starter when the postseason began. But since Philly had a .266 average vs. lefties this season, compared to .248 vs. righties, maybe SD will make another choice.

Both teams have relatively strong top-to-bottom lineups, but they have also been surprisingly dominant on the mound this postseason. Particularly the Phillies.

The Philadelphia staff was 16th on the stat chart by allowing enemy hitters a .245 batting average in the regular season. But in their playoff series, they held the Cardinals to a .185 average and then did better vs. the Braves, who hit only .180.

The Padres are not far off, with the Mets batting only .185 in their three-game set after leading the NL with a .259 mark in the regular season. Against LA, which was second on the NL batting chart, San Diego held the Dodgers to a .227 average.

It wasn’t just the starting pitchers. Three cheers for the bullpens.

In Philly’s final three games vs. Atlanta, the relievers worked 11 innings, gave up four hits, two earned runs, and even more impressively struck out 17 against the Braves’ potent lineup.

Equally dazzling, if not more so, was the Padres’ rejuvenated closer, lefty Josh Hader.

Since a midseason meltown that started when he was with Milwaukee, he hasn’t allowed a run in his past 14 appearances. And in the playoffs, he’s allowed one hit in 4.1 innings. Ironically, that meltdown started when he gave up two ninth-inning homers to the Phillies in a loss that ended his 40-appearance shutout string.

Also check: World Series 2022 Odds

NLCS Prediction: Who Has the Edge?

Give the edge to the Phillies, thanks in large part to the starting pitching and also the likely return of one-time closer David Robertson, who missed the NLDS after straining a calf while celebrating the team’ wild-card triumph.

Wheeler and Nola have combined to throw 25 innings in the playoffs without allowing an earned run, and the team’s bullpen has been one of the surprises of the postseason.

Then there’s DH Bryce Harper, who struggled through a late-season slump after returning from thumb surgery. He was lost for two weeks after being hit by a pitch thrown by Snell in June. Harper leads all playoff hitters with a .435 average and has three homers and six RBIs.

J.T. Realmuto has excelled behind the plate and at bat. The team also has been getting clutch hitting across the board — except for NL home run leader Kyle Schwarber, who is only 2-for-20. As they say, he’s due.

As for the Padres, there’s no doubt their mid-lineup trio of six-time All-Star Manny Machado, slugger Juan Soto, and the clutch-hitting Jake Cronenworth will cause trouble. But not enough.

Since the Phillies hit lefties well and have had success against Hader, maybe they have an edge there, too.

Then there’s this: How are the Padres going to handle being the favorites for a change instead of a nothing-to-lose Cinderella squad going against 100-win opponents? Surely they expended a lot of emotional energy in their upset of the archrival Dodgers after losing 14 of 19 to them in the regular season.

As for the Phillies, these road warriors bonded in spectaular fashion during their giant journey that saw them play 14 straight games away from home, including four in the playoffs. They aren’t likely to be fazed by playing on the road again. But the Padres’ might be fazed when playing in Philly over the weekend — especially their back-of-the-rotation pitchers.

Forecast: Phillies in 6.

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About the Author
Bob Christ

Bob Christ

Bob Christ, based in New Mexico, has been a gaming writer (primarily the NFL) for almost four decades, with his work appearing in publications/websites across North America. He's a big fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks, Philadelphia's Eagles and Phillies, and inexplicably the NHL's Winnipeg Jets.

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