There’s an old saying about first impressions, and the Philadelphia Phillies made a great one in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series. It started with a first-pitch home run by Phils’ leadoff man Kyle Schwarber. A few mighty swings later, the Phils had an insurmountable lead as they defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-3.
Game 2 will be the only baseball game to bet on Tuesday as the NL teams meet again at Citizens Bank Park in the City of Brotherly Love. Odds show the Phillies as -375 favorites to win this series at BetMGM, and to win Game 2. The Diamondbacks have been road warriors in this postseason (4-1 away from home this postseason), and if you think the underdogs can steal Game 2, you can find them at .
Series Schedule, TV coverage of NLCS
- Game 1: Phillies 5, Diamondbacks 3
- Game 2: Diamondbacks at Phillies, Oct. 17, 8:07 PM ET, on TBS
- Game 3: Phillies at Diamondbacks, Oct. 19, 5:07 PM ET on TBS
- Game 4: Phillies at Diamondbacks, Oct. 20, 8:07 PM ET on TBS
- Game 5:* Phillies at Diamondbacks, Oct. 21, 8:07 PM ET on TBS
- Game 6:* Diamondbacks at Phillies, Oct. 23, 5:07 PM ET, on TBS
- Game 7:* Diamondbacks at Phillies, Oct. 24, 8:07 PM ET, on TBS
The Phillies won the season series, four games to three. The road team won each series in the regular season; the D’backs won two of three in Philadelphia in May, and Philly took three of four in Phoenix in June. Five of the seven games were deiced by one run.
Pitching Matchup for Game 2
Merrill Kelly (0.00 ERA, 5 K in 6.1 IP*) vs. Aaron Nola (1.42 ERA, 12 K in 12.2 IP*)
Stats during 2023 post-season
Everything is coming up rosy red for the Phillies this postseason. Or maybe that’s “Phillies” red. The team has a 6-1 record in the playoffs and has yet to lose at home. The crowds in their home ballpark are loud and enthusiastic.
While that doesn’t factor into strategy, it can buoy a pitcher like Aaron Nola, who had a 3.29 ERA at home. He’s pitching much better when he can sleep in his own bed. The right-hander will need that confidence because he has a 7.67 career ERA against Arizona.
The Diamondbacks will watch Kelly closely for signs of being off his game. He hasn’t pitched in live game action in 10 days. That could mean he will be strong, which could help power his fastball and cutter, which he throws about 45% of the time.
But if his changeup isn’t setting those pitches up, Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper & Co. can lay in wait for fastballs. That could mean U-G-L-Y innings for the Snakes.
Merrill Kelly has good career numbers against Castellanos and Harper, but he has been victimized by Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto this season for a home run. Manager Torey Lovullo will lean into his bullpen quickly Tuesday. An 0-2 deficit is near-death in the MLB Playoffs. The last nine times a team fell behind 0-2 in a best-of-seven series, that team is 1-8.
Phillies vs Diamondbacks Game 2 Prediction, Best Bet
One game does not a series make. It’s tempting to read too much into Game 1, but there wasn’t anything Monday night that hinted at Arizona being overmatched. The Phils capitalized on some good guesses at the plate early, built a lead, and got good enough pitching to stave off a Diamondbacks rally.
But, in Game 2, the Diamondbacks must avoid an early deficit and, hopefully, build a lead to keep the Phillies on their heels. That will fall on hitters like Cristian Walker and Tommy Pham, middle-of-the-lineup boppers who have yet to get fully on track this postseason. Ditto the responsibility of Kelly, who cannot let the Phillies turn on his high pitches. Free passes will also need to be avoided.
If you’re seeking prop bets for Game 2 of the NLCS, consider Nola to record oodles of strikeouts. Or look at Realmuto to go deep. We like Trea Turner as a possible multi-hit candidate (DraftKings is best for building an MLB prop bet on hit totals for batters). On the Diamondback side, the only batter we trust is Gabriel Moreno, who has an all-fields approach, and is 2-for-3 off Nola. Small sample size? Yes, but the Snakes need all the hope they can get right now.
Game 2 Pick: Build this three-leg parlay with the FanDuel Sportsbook app:
- Bryce Harper To Hit a Home Run
- Nick Castellanos To Record an RBI
- Aaron Nola To Record 5.5+ Strikeouts
Odds are +2491 for this parlay. To win, you must be successful with each of the bets. At FanDuel, you’ll win $249.10 on a $10 wager if you are.