NLCS Game 3 Prediction, Pick, Odds for Padres vs Phillies
Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Juan Soto
- The Padres and Phillies meet in Game 3 of the NLCS tonight in Philadelphia.
- San Diego has Joe Musgrove on the mound, while Philly goes with Ranger Suarez with the series tied, 1-1.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a prediction.
Padres vs. Phillies Game 3 Odds
|Over/Under||7.5 (-106 / -114)|
|Time||7:37 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Ranger Suárez will start in Game 3 for the Philadelphia Phillies against Joe Musgrove and the San Diego Padres. Suárez only has one appearance in the playoffs this year, in which he allowed one earned run in 3 1/3 innings. However, the nerves were definitely a factor. He walked five hitters in his time on the hill, while allowing three hits against the Braves.
Meanwhile, Musgrove went at least six innings pitched in each postseason start, allowing zero earned runs in one game and only two in the other against the New YorkMets and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively.
Philadelphia has a tendency to chase after pitches and not walk in the aggregate. This might come into play with Musgrove getting hitters to chase regularly. In addition, Josh Hader has looked more like himself in the playoffs.
Is that enough to give San Diego the edge in this crucial Game 3?
Musgrove Could Give Phillies Fits
Musgrove had a tough second half compared to his first half with a 3.62 ERA against a 2.42 ERA, but he still ended the season with a 2.93 ERA and 3.27 xERA. He did so by not allowing hard contact (90th percentile in average exit velocity and 88th in hard hit rate). He also ranked in the 82nd percentile in walk rate and the 74th percentile in chase rate.
The Phillies have the fourth-highest chase rate on the season at nearly 31%. Since August 1 against right-handed pitching, they also only walked 7.7% of the time, so they need to be prepared to swing with Musgrove throwing. However, with the chase rate that high, Musgrove matches up extremely well with a batter like Rhys Hoskins who has struck out more than 10 times this postseason already.
The Phillies have five batters on the NLCS roster with a .320+ xwOBA since August 1 in the regular season against righties. The rest of the lineup falls off significantly. Batters like Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber match up well with Musgrove from the left side of the plate but mostly because they have sense of patience the remainder of the lineup refuses.
The Padres have struggled out of the bullpen, but Musgrove has gone at least six innings in each playoff appearance. Hader has improved immensely from his regular season struggles. He owns a 0.00 ERA and 1.31 xFIP. Pair that with Robert Suárez and Nick Martinez, and it will be extremely hard for the Phils to score.
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Phillies' Suarez Could Be In Trouble
Suárez has not had the same playoff experience as Musgrove. He barely squeaked away with a lead against the Braves in his lone appearance this postseason. Outside of not allowing hard contact (73rd percentile in average exit velocity and hard hit rate), his peripherals are not encouraging. He rarely strikes anyone out, and walks batters more than the average MLB pitcher.
The Padres only struck out 20% of the time against lefties since August 1 in the regular season. This does not bode well for Suárez. San Diego also has five batters on the NLCS roster with a .320+ xwOBA. This certainly has different circumstances with Suárez throwing, so expect them to jump on him early.
Lastly, the Philly bullpen is relatively similar to the Padres. They do not strand many runners, which is a concern, and since Suárez walks so many hitters, he will not eat enough innings to hand the game to José Alvarado, David Robertson and Seranthony Dominguez as needed.
Musgrove is the better starting pitcher, and there is not enough of a discrepancy in bullpen usage or lineups to take the Phillies in this game. Yes, the Padres are on the road in what is likely going to be a raucous environment, but taking the savvy playoff starter against a starter who rarely throws strikes and will likely tax the bullpen is the correct call.
Take San Diego to -125.
Pick: San Diego Padres moneyline to -125