Everyone seems pretty upset about the Wildcard system in the MLB. It’s hard to blame the internet’s disappointment that two teams, the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres, couldn’t win more the 90 regular season games, let alone their divisions.
That’s almost as unfair as the New York City Tax or takeout orders without napkins.
Yet here they are, alive for the National League Championship Series, set for a first pitch this evening in San Diego.
Suppose you want to fix the Wildcard system by adding more National MLB playoff games to produce a more legitimate outcome. Well, this is a live sporting event that already struggles to drive contemporary viewership, and your solution is to add more of it.
If that’s the case, you’re probably too active on baseball Twitter, and you’re the problem.
Suck it up, and remember the MLB will change the rules again next year, Braves and Dodger fans.
Phillies vs Padres: Game 1 Pitching matchup
The FOX broadcast should have plenty to discuss in a series that will include a graveyard of former Washington Nationals, a clash between the Nola brothers, and the simple fact that these two teams have a combined League Championship Series drought of 36 years.
Drink every time John Smoltz mentions the Braves or the Wildcard system.
Tonight will feature the reignition of the Zack Wheeler–Juan Soto rivalry. As Wheeler has spent his entire career in the NL East, Soto faced the righty 49 total times, only less than Freddie Freeman‘s 67 plate appearances.
Across those at-bats, Soto’s walked eleven times and reached base 23 times, including a 2021 campaign in which Soto owned an ungodly 1.397 OPS against Wheeler.
Although they only met three times in 2022, this will be Wheeler’s most significant challenge of the evening and possibly the series.
Although he’s never faced him more than six times in any given season of his young career, he owns a career OPS of 1.132 against the righty. His last nine plate appearances against Darvish also featured one homer run, two singles, and a pair of doubles.
I like him in this matchup.
Best Books and Better Bets
Unlike in Philadephia, the quickly approaching winter weather won’t touch our friends in San Diego. Temperature around the first pitch will float around 75F, with clear skies and 57% humidity. That’s nice hitting weather.
Still, I wouldn’t touch the o/u7 runs. Good pitching with good hitting weather doesn’t necessarily result in runs, especially in the postseason.
Although the Phillies have eclipsed the o/u run total four out of six times in the playoffs, going after the points seems safer. With Philadelphia covering in all but one playoff game so far, +1.5 looks pretty good, even at -194 on Fanduel.
Props and Parlays
Phillies’ Moneyline has been a great bet lately, and you can get that on FanDuel at +108 or $10 to win $10.80. That’s your vanilla, no stress bet.
Here’s something more dangerous than the Dangerwich:
|RHYS HOSKINS – TO HIT A HOME RUN
|RHYS HOSKINS – TO RECORD A RUN
|RHYS HOSKINS – TO RECORD 2+ TOTAL BASES
|JUAN SOTO – TO RECORD A HIT
I know it looks like a lot, but you’re just betting on Hoskins to hit a home run and Soto to record at least a single. As I outlined above, both those hitters have historically enjoyed these pitching matchups.
For $10, you can win $80.19 on FanDuel right now.
Bonus Bet Tracker
Action on the Phillies to win the World Series opened at 30-to-1 and has now fallen to 4-to-1 on most major books.
Those odds aren’t life-changing, but not too late to put a little skin in the game. I’m enjoying it.