Phillies vs Padres NLCS Preview & Free Pick [Game 1]

Darvish and the Padres host Game 1 of the NLCS

Philadelphia (0-0) at San Diego (0-0)
When: Tuesday, October 18th 2022
Where: Petco Park,
San Diego, CA
Time: 8:03 ET | TV: FS1
Opening Odds: San Diego -125/6.5

The Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals were the four favorites in the National League coming into October to advance to the Fall Classic. Well, none of those teams are still standing, thanks to the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres. The No. 5 and 6 seeds will begin a seven-game series at Petco Park Tuesday night in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series. Philadelphia took care of St. Louis and Atlanta thanks to an offense that was woken up. The Padres somehow got through Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom, then slayed their demon in the Dodgers in just four games in the NLDS. The Phillies lead all teams this postseason with 32 runs and have scored at least six runs in four of their five playoff wins. Leading the way is a red-hot Bryce Harper, who is batting .435 and is 10-for-20 with three home runs and six RBIs over his last five games.

By eliminating the Braves before Game 5, the Phillies are able to line-up their pitching staff perfectly with Zack Wheeler in Game 1 and Aaron Nola in Game 2. The Padres will turn to Yu Darvish to begin the series, as he looks for his third win in three starts this postseason. The Phillies won the season series 4-3 by taking three-of-four in late June. The Padres blanked the Phillies twice in Philadelphia in May, as all three of those games went Under the total. In fact, the Under is 11-4 in the last 15 meetings. Game 2 will be on Wednesday, then an off day for travel before the teams play on consecutive days until the series is over, weather permitting in Philadelphia.

Pitchers: Phillies – Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82) | Padres – Yu Darvish (16-8, 3.10)

Wheeler allowed one earned run total in four starts including 6.1 scoreless-innings at St. Louis in the wild card round. The righty then allowed three runs over six innings in a 3-0 loss at Atlanta in Game 2 of the NLDS. Wheeler has been really good in night games, going 8-2 with a 2.05 ERA in 17 starts. He pitched once this season against San Diego, shutting them out for seven innings, while striking out nine and not allowing a walk.

Darvish has been arguably one of the best pitchers in the game over the last month. He not only beat the Mets and Dodgers this postseason, but is 7-1 with a 2.11 ERA over his last eight starts. Darvish shutout the Phillies over seven innings this season at Petco Park and delivered a quality start at Philadelphia in a rematch. In seven career starts against the Phillies, Darvish has a 2.23 ERA.

This should be a terrific series that I predict will go six or seven games. I’ll take Philly in Game 1 because they come in swinging some hot bats.

Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free MLB Picks page for today.

Pick: Phillies +111