A pair of National League wild card teams have pulled off two straight upsets, respectively, in order to reach the 2022 NLCS.
The San Diego Padres will have home field advantage against the Philadelphia Phillies with Game 1 set for Tuesday evening at Petco Park. Here’s a look at the series price, Game 1 odds and how each team arrived has made the improbable run to the NLCS.
Series price: Phillies +105, Padres -125
Game 1 ML: Phillies +1-5, Padres -115
Game 1 run line: Phillies +1.5 (-220), Padres -1.5 (+180)
Pitching probables: Zack Wheeler vs. Yu Darvish (Game 1), Aaron Nola vs. Blake Snell (Game 2)
The Phillies have been arguably the most impressive team in the postseason thus far, riding a red hot pitching staff with a lineup that scored at least seven runs in three out of four games against the Braves in the NLDS.
Nola is yet to give up an earned run over 12.2 scoreless innings in his two playoff starts while striking out 12. Wheeler has been nearly as impressive with just three earned runs over 12.1 innings in his two starts.
Bryce Harper has been sensational through six playoffs games with three homers, six RBI, and a remarkable 1.437 slugging percentage. Jean Segura and Brandon Marsh have been the unsung heroes in the order. Segura is hitting .389 while Marsh has hit .308, including a clutch home run in Game 4 of the NLDS.
The Padres have been equally as impressive this postseason with series wins against the Mets and Dodgers. San Diego took down Los Angeles in four games despite going just 5-14 in the regular season against its chief NL West rival.
Much like Philadelphia, San Diego’s pitching staff has also been superb and held the Dodgers to three runs of less in all three NLDS wins. The Padres have gotten clutch hitting from their stars like Manny Machado, Juan Soto and Jake Cronenworth with Trent Grisham and Austin Nola being the unsung heroes. Grisham his just .184 during the regular season yet is somehow hitting .381 through seven playoff games with three home runs and seven runs scored. His on-base percentage is a ridiculous .519. Nola, the brother of the Phillies Game 1 starter, is hitting .381 with a .440 OBP. Those two have done a tremendous job of setting the table for the aforementioned big three.
The Phillies and Padres rank third and fourth in slugging percentage, respectively, among 2022 postseason teams. San Diego has the slight edge in batting average at .239 compared to Philadelphia’s .237.
The pitching margins are nearly as small. San Diego has a 2.80 ERA in the postseason, just behind Philadelphia at 2.55.
This should be a remarkable series, and the only reason San Diego is favored slightly is due to home field advantage. The Padres biggest edge is depth within the starting rotation. Joe Musgrove is far superior to whomever Philadelphia decides to start in Game 3. The same could be said, though to a lesser degree, about Mike Clevinger in Game 4. You might see bullpen games from the Phillies in Games 3 and 4, just as you saw in the ALDS with Ranger Suarez and Noah Syndergaard getting starts with short leashes.