Is this real life? The Philadelphia Phillies are not only in the NLCS, but currently hold a 1-0 series lead over the San Diego Padres thanks to Zack Wheeler’s phenomenal pitching performance last night. Aaron Nola and Blake Snell will head to the mound for game 2, but can the Phils stay hot?
The Phillies are only 3 games away from a World Series appearance. Let that sink in. Momentum is red-hot right now and Citizen’s Bank Park has been electric throughout Red October and that won’t change today.
With the help of their thunderous home crowd, the Phils have bulldozed their way through everyone in their path. Whether it was the Braves or the Cardinals, it didn’t matter. The team shockingly owns a 2.18 ERA through 7 postseason games this year, second only to the Houston Astros.
On the offensive side of things, we’ve seen a resurgence from Rhys, bombs from Bryce, and the awakening of a sleeping Giant in Kyle Schwarber. Can the Padres really steal a game with so much moving against them?
Phillies vs Padres pitching matchup
Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25 ERA) vs. Blake Snell (8-10, 3.38 ERA)
The Padres will send Blake Snell to the mound, who is allowing a 4.91 ERA against the Phils through 4 career starts. Aaron Nola will face off against his brother in game 2 of the NLCS, but had no qualms doing so earlier this year.
Nola was excellent in his playoff debut and was able to build on that against the Braves, giving up only one run. Now, with the home crowd roaring for his success, we may well see just how good Nola is when he’s at his best under the brightest lights.
- Moneyline: Phillies +100 | Padres -120
- Run line: Phillies +1.5 | Padres -1.5
- Over/Under: 6.5
The Padres might have come out flat in game 1, but the bounceback narrative here isn’t enough to drive them to be favorites in this game. The Phillies are at home and have been riding a wave of momentum all postseason long. That isn’t just going to evaporate, especially after proving that they have what it takes to beat Machado and the Padres in game 1.
I’m backing the Phils as underdogs. If things stay the same, there may not be many more opportunities to do so.
AP Photo/Matt Slocum