Padres vs. Phillies Game 3: NLCS Picks and Prediction for Today

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Joe Musgrove #44 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies. Denis Poroy/Getty Images/AFP.

Top sportsbooks have released their MLB odds for tonight’s NLCS matchup between San Diego and Philadelphia.

After the first two games were played in San Diego, the series moves to Philadelphia. Tonight’s Game 3 will take place in Philadelphia. Currently, the series is tied 1-1. Philadelphia won Game 1 with its ace on the mound, Zack Wheeler, but lost Game 2 in which Aaron Nola started.

For reasons that I will explain, you should invest in the side for tonight’s game at one of our best sportsbooks.

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San Diego Padres vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Friday, October 21, 2022 – 07:37 PM EDT at Citizens Bank Park

Who Pitches for the Padres Today?

Joe Musgrove starts for the Padres today.

Musgrove is San Diego's most profitable pitcher. Overall, San Diego is yielding +6.3 units in his starts.

Pertinently to my best bet for this game today, Musgrove has been a road warrior.

Musgrove on the Road

San Diego is yielding +7.2 units in his road starts. This is odd to say, because Petco Park, home of the Padres, is known as a pitcher-friendly ballpark, but Musgrove has been performing better away from home.

Some competitors relish hostile environments, and Musgrove is certainly at least comfortable away from the Padres' faithful.

It's not like his competition away from home has been soft, either. Outside of Petco Park, victims of his include the Mets and Dodgers.

Musgrove's Recent Form

Musgrove has been at his best in his most recent starts, achieving his peak form at just the right time of year. His ERA is 1.56 in his last seven starts.

Musgrove's excellent form has contributed to the following ongoing trend: San Diego is 3-0 in Musgrove's last three starts. Two of those three opponents were playoff teams, the Mets and Dodgers.

In his last six starts, Musgrove has allowed a combined total of three earned runs. Meanwhile, he lasted at least six innings in five of those starts.

Musgrove's Pitch Quality

Part of Musgrove's strength consists of the unique variety in his arsenal. He doesn't throw a single pitch as much as 25% of the time.

Specifically, he features a slider, fastball, cutter, and curveball between 19% and 25.5% of the time. This variety makes him less predictable.

Difficult to Hit

Musgrove thrives because his pitches are difficult to hit. His current superb form persists against teams, like the Dodgers, who match up excellently against him on paper in that they have an eminently high slugging rate against his pitches thrown by righties.

Obviously, other teams repeatedly face inferior iterations of his pitches thrown by other pitchers, which is why they hit other pitchers well but not Musgrove.

Two of Musgrove's pitch characteristics are frequent borderline location, which is evident in heat maps, and a high spin rate. His fastball spin rate, for example, is in the 98th percentile.

Who Pitches for the Phillies Today?

Ranger Suarez starts for Philadelphia today.

While the Philadelphia moneyline is chalked because the Phillies are playing home, this doesn't make sense to me, because of Musgrove's road warrior status and also because of Suarez.

Suarez yields a 4.27 home ERA compared to a 3.20 road ERA, and his win percentage is accordingly higher away from home.

Suarez Against Padres' Batters

A southpaw, Suarez features a sinker, changeup, and fastball. These three pitches combine to make up about 80% of his arsenal.

Padres' batters merit optimism tonight because, outside of their uniquely pitcher-friendly ballpark, they rank 4th in slugging .445 against Suarez's favorite pitches from lefties.

Bullpen Advantage

In terms of ERA, Philadelphia has one of baseball's worst bullpens.

Jose Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez can be effective, but, if they are effective, Philadelphia's bullpen output is highly problematic outside of the two innings pitched by those two pitchers. For example, they've converted Zach Eflin to a reliever, and his ERA is 8.31 in 4.1 postseason innings.

With a stronger start from Musgrove, San Diego will be able to focus on having its best relievers secure a victory. Overall, San Diego's bullpen is statistically anyhow much more effective than Philadelphia's.

Pick and Prediction

While I think that San Diego wins this game by multiple runs, the Padres' moneyline is so cheap that it is hard for me, purely on principle, to advocate for the run line.

But what sounds like a good idea is to be a bit greedy and to also invest a bit extra in the Padres' run line.

So, for our MLB picks, let's put our one standard unit on the San Diego moneyline and sprinkle a quarter unit on the Padres' run line, for a big night.

Score Prediction: Padres 6 - Phillies 1

MLB Pick: Padres ML (-109) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Padres ML (-109)
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MLB Pick: Padres RL -1.5 (+151) at BetOnline

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Padres RL -1.5 (+151)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.