The Philadelphia Phillies have advanced to the National League Championship Series for a second consecutive year. This time, they face the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks as part of baseball’s “Final Four” round as a lead-in to the World Series. Here are the latest odds from the best MLB betting apps:
The Phillies are favored to triumph in this best-of-seven series and advance to the World Series. In fact, BetMGM has the Phillies as favorites to win the World Series, at +200, the lowest odds of the four teams remaining in the MLB Playoffs. The Diamondbacks are +450.
Series Schedule, TV coverage of NLCS
The entirety of the NL Championship Series can be seen on TBS, with studio host Lauren Shehadi, joined by Pedro Martinez, Jimmy Rollins, and Curtis Granderson. Play-by-play is provided by Brian Anderson, with Ron Darling, and Jeff Francoeur.
- Game 1: Diamondbacks at Phillies, Oct. 16, 8:07 PM ET, on TBS
- 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, 4 games to 3. The road team won each series in the regular season: the D’backs won 2 of 3 in Philadelphia in May, and Philly took 3 of 4 in Phoenix in June. Five of the seven games were deiced by one run.
Caesars Sportsbook NL Winner Odds: Diamondbacks +160 | Phillies -190
Philadelphia Phillies Overview
The Phillies ranked third in the NL in OPS, and fourth in runs scored. The team strikes out a lot and also walks less than the league average. They basically play “station-to-station” baseball, waiting for the two-or-three run homer.
In the NL Division Series, they slugged 11 home runs in four games. And that was without their best HR hitter smacking one (Kyle Schwarber).
Yet the key to the Phils’ quest to get back to the Fall Classic may lay on the bat of a non-power hitter, Trea Turner. Yes, the Phillies’ shortstop hit two homers in the NLDS, but he is known more for hitting line drives. Turner hit .471in the last playoff series, and he looks very comfortable, especially going the other way.
The Diamondbacks need to keep him off the bases, or the big fellas like Schwarber, Bryce Harper, and Nick Castellanos, will put crooked numbers on the board.
The Phillies have the best pair of starters left in the playoffs: Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola. That duo is showing how much they can be depended on in October playoff baseball. Manager Rob Thompson can call on those two to start the first two games in Philadelphia.
Given their power advantages at the plate as opposed to Arizona, it seems like a tall task for the visitors to escape with a win. Even more scary is the fact that number three starter Ranger Suárez outpitched his teammates in the NLDS. Suárez is a tricky matchup, and in June the lefty had two good starts against the D’backs.
In the NLDS series win against the Braves, the Philadelphia bullpen allowed only two runs in 14 1/3 innings (1.25 ERA). That group is led by lefthanded closer Jose Alvarado, and fellow southpaw Matt Strahm.
The righthanders are Craig Kimbrel, Seranthony Dominguez, Orion Kerkering, and Michael “No-Hit” Lorenzen. What was once a weakness, has now become a strength for the Phillies, who will likely ride their pen as far as they can.
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Arizona Diamondbacks Overview
Most sports fans would have a difficult time naming two batters who play for the Diamondbacks. Yet, this team is undefeated in the postseason, and fresh off a shocking sweep of the Dodgers in the NLDS.
The Snakes’ offense is fueled by an unusual approach: the lineup focuses on making contact. Arizona struck out the second-fewest times in the NL. But this is not a singles-hitting group: the Diamondbacks hit more than 160 home runs and were above league average in OPS.
A young group (third-youngest offensive lineup in the league), the D’backs have flashed power this postseason. The key bats are rookie Corbin Carroll, Christian Walker, and Ketel Marte.
Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, and Brandon Pfaadt are not household names. Maybe not even in their own households. But, that trio allowed just two runs in their starts in the NLDS.
In a best-of-seven series, manager Torey Lovullo will need to find a fourth starter. The other options are not promising (Zach Davies, Tommy Henry, and Ryne Nelson, who combined for a 5.62 ERA in 61 starts). Oh, vintage Madison Bumgarner, where are ye?
The Snakes got good bullpen work in their first two rounds, but there is a big question mark for this series: will they have a lefty who can get tough outs late in games with runners on base? Joe Mantiply and (probably) Andrew Saalfrank (a rookie who appeared in 10 games in the regular season) will likely be asked to get left-handed sluggers Harper and Schwarber out. Keep an eye on those matchups.
Pitching Matchup for Game 1
Zac Gallen (3.18 ERA, 8 K in 11.1 IP*) vs. Zack Wheeler (2.08 ERA, 18 K in 13 IP*)
Stats during 2023 post-season
This is the first time in MLB playoff history that two pitchers whose name starts with a “Z” will face each other. But there will be few “Zzzzzz’s” in Philly on Monday when this game starts just after 8 PM local time.
In eight playoff games, Wheeler has gone into the sixth frame in seven of them. In today’s baseball, that makes him a Unicorn. Or a beast. Or something you just never see anymore. Look for him to go deep into this game. He has a 6-3 record (2.96 ERA) in 11 career games vs. Arizona.
Gallen faced the Phils once, way back in May, and he pitched well. But his team lost the game in Philly. Will it happen again? Check our pick below to find out what we think.
Phillies vs Diamondbacks Prediction
The Diamondbacks have a negative run differential for a reason: they are a flawed team. No team with a negative run differential has ever won the pennant. The Diamondbacks are a fun story, and they swatted away the Dodgers, which is impressive.
But let’s not get too amped up over a five-game postseason win streak. Arizona’s flaws (lack of run producers, mediocre pitching staff) will be exposed by the Phillies. We expect Philadelphia to win this series in five games.
Game 1 Pick: We anticipate Wheeler and the Phillies win Game 1 on Monday. Bet Phillies -2.5 on the Alternate Spread, and get +195 odds. A $100 winning wager will earn you $195 plus your stake.