Rob Senior previews Philadelphia Phillies vs San Diego Padres on October 18, provides his expert prediction and his best bets.
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The Phillies and Padres square off in Game 1 of the best-of-seven National League Championship Series on Tuesday, with the winner advancing to the 2022 World Series against the American League champions.
The Padres, the National League’s 5th seed, will host Tuesday’s game. The Phillies are the No. 6 seed in National League. This game is one of two games that will be played today, alongside Guardians vs Yankees Game 5.
Season Series: So far in 2022, the Phillies lead the Padres 4-3 in head-to-head matchups.
Starting Pitchers: Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82 ERA) vs. Yu Darvish (16-8, 3.10 ERA)
Philadelphia Phillies Preview
Zack Wheeler gets the ball for the visitors, who’ve started each of their prior playoff series with a road victory. Wheeler pitched the playoff opener against St. Louis, going 7.1 scoreless innings in a 6-3 Phillies win. He was a hard-luck loser in Game 2 vs. the Atlanta Braves, 3-0.
Wheeler threw seven shutout innings against San Diego back on May 18 in a Phillies win.
The Phillies would love to get leadoff hitter and NL home run leader Kyle Schwarber going, as the big lefty is only 1-for-20 at the plate in the playoffs. José Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez make the Phillies one of the few teams who can match the back end of the San Diego bullpen.
San Diego Padres Preview
Yu Darvish has outdueled arguably two of the best pitchers of his era – Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw – in his first two playoff starts. He’s received better run support than Wheeler, as the Padres won the respective games 7-1 and 5-3.
Darvish is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA vs. Philadelphia in 2022.
The San Diego offense starts with Manny Machado (32 HR, .897 OPS in 2022, two home runs in seven playoff games) but keep an eye on Trent Grisham at the bottom of the order. Typically a defensive-minded player, Grisham’s batting .381 with three home runs in the postseason.
Philadelphia Phillies vs San Diego Padres Prediction October 18
Two of the best starting pitchers in the National League, both with a penchant for getting their teams off to strong starts. Darvish has had the better run support, but Wheeler the better overall numbers.
Both lineups are getting timely hits, and while Philly’s top-end pitchers may be a little stronger, San Diego is said to have the deeper rotation. It truly looks like an ever series, and the oddsmakers agree with both teams at -110 to win the series.
Game 1 appears just as even. And with Philadelphia unafraid to play on the road (3-1 this postseason) we’ll take the plus-money side.