Phillies vs Padres Game 1 Odds, Picks for NLCS MLB Playoffs
Drew Hallowell/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: The Phillies celebrate after beating the Braves.
- The Padres are short favorites in NLCS Game 1 tonight against the Phillies.
- San Diego has Yu Darvish on the mound, while he'll be going against another ace in Philly's Zack Wheeler.
- Continue reading to find out how our staff is betting this playoff matchup.
Phillies vs. Padres Game 1 Odds
|Time||8:03 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The National League Championship Series gets underway Tuesday night with the Padres hosting the Phillies in San Diego. The home team is a slight favorite in a battle of aces, with Yu Darvish taking on Zack Wheeler.
Here are our best bets for Game 1 of the NLCS between the Phillies and Padres.
MLB Odds & Picks
Phillies First Five ML +106
Odds via FanDuel
Anthony Dabbundo: The Padres have the advantage in the bullpen against the Phillies, but I like the Phillies early in games in this series, especially when Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola get the starts.
Over the course of the season, the Phillies had a marginally better offense against right-handed pitching by wRC+. Wheeler has a marginally better K-BB% and Pitching+, based on the model from Eno Sarris of The Athletic.
Wheeler’s xERA is 3.10 compared to 3.50 for Yu Darvish. Neither pitcher is going to walk many hitters at all because both have excellent command and location numbers.
The difference between them is giving up the long ball. Wheeler is excellent at keeping the ball in the yard and Darvish’s problem has been the long ball in the past.
In this specific matchup, the Phillies are much better suited to find a home run in the first five innings. The Phillies were sixth in barrels and finished fifth in the league in homers. The Padres were 21st in homers and 20th in barrels.
One underrated angle as well: Although the Padres have a better all-around defense, if Darvish does let runners on base, the Phillies will have success trying to steal bases. Darvish is slow to the plate and J.T. Realmuto is much better at controlling the run game for the Phillies on the other side.
I like the Phillies in the first five innings at +100 or better with the slightly better pitcher and more power in the lineup.
Charlie DiSturco: The Phillies have been one of my favorite teams to bet throughout the postseason and I’m going back to the well in Game 1.
Zack Wheeler gets the start and has been great since returning from the injured list in late September. The right-hander has given up just four runs over 22 1/3 innings.
Wheeler has faced the Padres just once in 2022 and struck out nine over seven scoreless. His expected indicators sit in the low 3s, just slightly above his ERA of 2.82, and has a .343 xSLG.
The Phillies’ offense is fresh off a dominant showing against the Atlanta Braves. In three of four games, they scored 7+ runs, and have the highest OPS of the remaining playoff teams. Bryce Harper is fully healthy and this lineup is now strong from top to bottom.
Opposite Wheeler will be Yu Darvish, who has won both his starts. He was a bit fortunate not to have been hit harder in either game — the Mets and Dodgers were a combined 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position — and enters with four runs over 12 innings.
Darvish has an 8.8% barrel rate, which is tied for his career-worst, and his expected indicators are about a half-run higher than his 3.10 ERA. In his two starts against Philadelphia this year, he’s thrown 13 innings, giving up just three runs.
While I don’t want to take a chance with the Philadelphia bullpen, I think Wheeler holds the edge over Darvish and shouldn’t be an underdog, even on the road. The Phillies have the advantage at the plate, too, and should be able to catch Darvish early.
Back Philly to continue its excellence on the road over the first five innings, up to (-110).
Zack Wheeler Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-140)
Odds via DraftKings
Doug Ziefel: Zack Wheeler has tremendous numbers against this Padres lineup over the course of his career. In 115 combined at-bats, he’s held them to just a .226 batting average. However, the number that stands out the most is his 28 percent strikeout rate.
He added to those numbers in his only start against San Diego this season back in May. Wheeler threw seven shutout innings allowing four hits and striking out nine.
I know that is well before the acquisition of Juan Soto and Josh Bell, but he’s seen plenty of them from their time in the NL East. They have alright numbers against Wheeler, Soto hitting .289 and Bell hitting .308, but both have struck out in at least 18 percent of their at-bats against Wheeler.
Looking at the bigger picture, this total is far too low for Wheeler. He went over this number in 78.6 percent of his starts this season. That gives us implied odds of -366 that he’ll go over again tonight.
Phillies Team Total Over 3 (-120)
Odds via Caesars
DJ James: This matchup is much more favorable to the Philadelphia Phillies than it is to the San Diego Padres. For one, Zack Wheeler is a better pitcher than Yu Darvish. In addition, Wheeler will only face two batters in the lineup who held a .320+ xwOBA since August 1 for the Padres: Juan Soto and Manny Machado. Otherwise, this is a top-heavy lineup in which he can mow down to go deep into the game.
The Phillies have six batters with a .320+ xwOBA. They also posted a .744 OPS in that same timeframe off of righties. This should be more than enough to force Darvish out of the game by the fifth inning to attack the weaker San Diego relievers. As long as they find some wiggle room between Darvish’s exit and Josh Hader’s entrance, they should score some runs.
The Phillies team total stands at 3 (-120). In his last start against the Phillies, Darvish allowed three runs, so the Phillies should match that and hit the over against the San Diego middle relievers.
Take this over from 3 (-120), and play it to 3.5 (-130).