Diamondbacks vs Phillies Game 2 Odds, Prediction, Expert Pick | MLB Playoffs NLCS Game 2

Diamondbacks vs Phillies Game 2 Odds, Prediction, Expert Pick | MLB Playoffs NLCS Game 2 article feature image

Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryce Harper and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

  • The Philadelphia Phillies are favored on the moneyline tonight in Game 2 of the MLB Playoffs NLCS at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
  • The over/under on the game has been set at 7.5 in a matchup of starting pitchers Aaron Nola and Merrill Kelly.
  • Odds, picks and predictions for tonight's MLB postseason matchup between the Phillies and Diamondbacks can be found below for Tuesday, October 17.

Throughout the Major League Baseball playoffs, I will provide a daily breakdown summarizing my thoughts on futures and individual games for that day.

Below, I will address how to handle betting on these playoff series, whether on the series moneyline or a game-by-game basis, while using my daily MLB Model projections.

You can find my projections for every MLB game in the Action Network App (on both the PRO Projections tab and the game pages) and our Projections Hub (which you can bookmark).

You can also shop for the best lines on our odds page.

Using my projections, where can we find actionable value on NLCS Game 2 between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Philadelphia Phillies?

Series Moneyline Corner

Depending upon the book, Texas re-opened between -425 (81% implied) and -520 (83.9%) after Game 2, with Houston sitting between +340 and +400 to win four of the final five games in this series.

The Astros are closer to the value side of the market. I would need at least +450 (18.2% implied) to sprinkle Houston before Game 3.

The Phillies re-opened between -375 to -400 after defending home field in Game 1. Arizona is closer to the value side at current odds.

I would need at least +322 (24.7% implied) to consider betting the Diamondbacks to win the NLCS at this stage (re-opened +300 to +310). And you might get that price before Game 2, but I'm not hedging off my Phillies positions.

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Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies Game 2

Tuesday, Oct 17
8:07 p.m. ET
Diamondbacks Odds
-110o / -110u
Phillies Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Merrill Kelly vs. Aaron Nola (full projections here)

Like his teammate, Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola has dialed his stuff up a notch in the postseason the past two years. Nola averaged 92.7 mph on his four-seamer this year but has sat at 93.1 mph and 93.5 mph in consecutive playoff outings against the Marlins and Braves, respectively, a velocity level he held in just 11 of 30 regular season starts.

Nola's 2023 results (4.46 ERA, 3.77 xERA, 3.63 xFIP, 19.8% K-BB%) represent a significant step back compared to his 2022 campaign (3.25 ERA, 2.74 xERA, 2.77 xFIP, 25.5% K-BB%), as he allowed a career-high 32 home runs (1.49 HR/9; career 1.00).

Teams that out-homer their opponents are now 16-2 (88.9%) this postseason and 38-8 (82.6%) in the playoffs over the past two years, a near 83% rate which has held steady since 2018. Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly (0.98 HR in 63 starts over the past two seasons) may have the advantage over Nola in home run suppression.

Additionally, Nola has struggled to hold runners (he has allowed 100 steals on 136 attempts in his career, including 21 of 26 in 2023). I'd expect Arizona to be aggressive on the basepaths after ranking second in MLB this year with 166 steals.

Still, I do view Nola (101 Stuff+, 106 Pitching+) as the superior pitcher to Kelly (4.13 xERA, 3.84 xFIP, 16.3% K-BB%, 87 Stuff+, 103 Pitching+) in a vacuum; Nola has the edge across all underlying statistical indicators and pitch modeling metrics.

In a relatively small sample, Nola has limited current Diamondbacks hitters to a .650 OPS (15 K, 1 BB) across 56 plate appearances. Kelly has permitted a .795 OPS to current Phillies hitters in 65 plate appearances (14 K, 6 BB), with Trea Turner (9-for-21) doing most of the damage.

Nola emphasizes his four-seamer, sinker, and curveball against righties while swapping some sinkers for changeups against left-handers. Based on run value data against Nola's pitch types, Corbin Carroll unsurprisingly has the best matchup. Ketel Marte and Geraldo Perdomo could also find spots to hunt for curveballs and changeups, respectively.

Kelly has a fastball-oriented pitch mix against righties (four-seamer, sinker, and cutter). Still, he strongly preferred his changeup against lefties (31%), an elite matchup for Bryce Harper, who tied for ninth among all hitters with a +9 run value against changeups this season.

I'm returning to the well by betting Harper to walk again in Game 2. After swatting his fourth dinger of the 2023 playoffs on the first pitch he saw (a 93 mph fastball down the pipe) in Game 1, Harper didn't see one pitch in the strike zone from Gallen for the remainder of the night.

Bryce Harper’s home run without announcers gives you an idea of how crazy Citizens Bank Park is in October 😯
[via @MLB]pic.twitter.com/fk2pgKUIYH

— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) October 17, 2023

Harper singled on an inside pitch, and Gallen recorded a called strike on a pitch that missed inside in the same spot as part of a five-pitch walk. Kyle Nelson also successfully pitched around Harper with a runner on second and no outs in the seventh inning, generating a pop-up after throwing five of his seven pitches outside of the zone in that matchup.

Aside from the starting pitching advantage, Philadelphia has significant advantages in the offensive splits and the projected bullpens. The Phillies' offense ranked ninth against righties (109 wRC+) in the second half, compared to 25th (91 wRC+) for Arizona. The Phillies' bullpen ranked fifth with a 3.73 xFIP in September, alongside a 114 Stuff+ rating, compared to marks of 4.23 and 100 for Arizona's relievers.

I set the Phillies as -150 favorites for the first five innings (F5) and -146 for Game 2. Given the expected conditions (58 degrees at first pitch with limited wind), I set the total at 7.9 runs.

As a result, I don't see value on either side of the moneyline or the total compared to opening odds. However, we'll still fire at Harper's walk prop and bet the Diamondbacks will record more than 0.5 team steals (to -200) in Game 2.

Wait for Over 7.5 (-110) to fire on the total.

Sides and Totals for Tuesday, October 17

  • Arizona Diamondbacks / Philadelphia Phillies, Over 7.5 (-110, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to -110)

Prop Bets for Tuesday, October 17

  • Aaron Nola, Over 4.5 Hits Allowed (+135, 0.1u) at BetMGM (bet to +120)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks, Over 0.5 Team Total Bases Stolen (-193, 0.1u) at Caesars (bet to -200)
    • Caesars promo code ACTION1000 unlocks up to $1,000 in bonus bets if your Total Bases stolen prop loses
  • Bryce Harper, Over 0.5 Walks (+100, 0.1u) at BetMGM (bet to -120)

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