Phillies vs. Padres NLCS Game 1 Pick and Prediction for October 18

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Yu Darvish #11 of the San Diego Padres pitches in the first inning in game two of the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP.

It’s an NLCS matchup that few saw coming as the Philadelphia Phillies visit the San Diego Padres in Game 1 on Tuesday.

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Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Diego Padres

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 – 08:03 PM EDT at Petco Park

Phillies vs. Padres Analysis

It’s the first trip to the NLCS for the Philadelphia Phillies since losing in 6 games in 2010 to the San Francisco Giants. It’s the first trip for the San Diego Padres since 1998 when they beat the Atlanta Braves in 6 games but were then swept in the World Series by the Yankees. 

San Diego is the (-120) favorite at BMR’s top-rated books to win the NL pennant with Philadelphia at +105. The Phillies won the regular-season series 4-3, but they haven’t played since late June before San Diego’s big trades for Juan Soto, Josh Bell and Josh Hader.

Kyle Schwarber had 2 homers and 7 RBIs for the Phils in the series. JT Realmuto also went yard twice but hit only .136. The only Padres player to homer in the series was Eric Hosmer, and he’s not with the team any longer.  

This is the first-ever LCS matchup between two clubs with fewer than 90 wins. The total on the MLB odds has gone under in 11 of the past 15 meetings. 

Phillies End Braves’ Repeat Hopes 

The Wild-Card Phillies weren’t supposed to win in the Wild-Card series in St. Louis but swept the Cardinals in two and then upset the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves in four games in the NLDS, the two games we previewed here at BMR, we backed Philadelphia so that worked out well.

The clincher was 8-3 in Philly on Saturday. Atlanta's loss meant Major League Baseball hasn't had a repeat champ since the New York Yankees won three straight from 1998-2000. 

History was made Saturday as JT Realmuto became the first catcher to hit an inside-the-park homer in postseason history. Bryce Harper also homered, and he’s been terrific in this postseason in batting .435 with three homers and six RBIs.

In the bullpen, Seranthony Domínguez has allowed just one hit while striking out eight over 3 2/3 scoreless innings this postseason. 

Who Starts for the Phillies?

It will be 2021 NL Cy Young runner-up Zack Wheeler on the mound for Game 1. The 32-year-old right-hander was 12-7 with a 2.82 ERA and 10.4 WHIP during the regular season.

He shut out the Cardinals on 2 hits over 6.1 innings in the Wild-Card round in a no-decision and took a loss against the Braves in the NLDS, allowing 3 runs over 6 innings.

Wheeler faced the Padres once during the regular season on May 18 in Philadelphia and threw 7 shutout innings with 4 hits allowed and 9 strikeouts against no walks.

Juan Soto has faced him the most of any Padre (but while with the Nationals) and is 11-for-38 with two homers, 11 walks and 10 strikeouts. Josh Ball is 8-for-26 with two homers. Manny Machado is 2-for-8.  The Phillies are 6-13 on the MLB picks in their past 19 road games vs. teams with a winning record. 

Padres Upset Mighty Dodgers 

The 2022 Los Angeles Dodgers were considered one of the best regular-season teams of all-time after winning 111 games with a run differential of plus-334, but they lost in four games to San Diego.

The Friars finished it off with a 5-3 home victory in Game 4 on Saturday, rallying from a 3-0 deficit in the seventh inning. Jake Cronenworth hit a tiebreaking two-run single with two outs in the seventh.  

The Padres closed as +190 underdogs at BMR’s top-rated books to win the series. It was the second-biggest betting upset in a playoff series over the last 10 seasons. The Nationals were +195 to beat the Astros in the 2019 World Series. 

Catcher Austin Nola and outfielder Trent Grisham have been San Diego’s leading hitters in this postseason at .381 each. Grisham has three homers. Nola’s brother Aaron pitches for the Phillies, probably in Game 2.  

Who Starts for the Padres?

It will be right-hander Yu Darvish on the bump for Game 1, had there been a Game 5 vs. the Dodgers, he was going to start on short rest. The 36-year-old was 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA and 0.95 WHIP during the regular season and faced the Phillies twice, going 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings.

Rhys Hoskins is 6-for-16 career off him with 2 doubles and a homer. Bryce Harper is 1-for-6 with a homer. 

Darvish is 2-0 in this postseason with a 3.00 ERA, this will be his first home start and he was quite a bit better at home during the season (7-3, 2.60 ERA) than away (9-5, 3.50 ERA). 

San Diego is 4-1 in its past five at home and should win a low-scoring game here. 

Score Prediction: Padres 3 - Phillies 2 

MLB Pick: Padres ML (-125) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Padres ML (-125)
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