Philadelphia Phillies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks: Predictions, Odds, Best Bets, Starting Lineups for NLCS Game 4 (10/20/23)
The Diamondbacks got back into the series with a big win in game 3 and now trail the Phillies 2-1 in the NLCS heading into game 4 on Friday (10/20/23) at 8:07 p.m. ET. The betting odds tonight are nearly identical to game 3 as the Phillies are betting favorites at -135 on moneyline, while the over/under is set at 9.5 runs.
Continue below for Phillies vs. Diamondbacks analysis, predictions and betting picks and find out why the best bet in game 4 is the Phillies bouncing back and covering the -1.5 run line.
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks Prediction NLCS Game 4
Starting pitchers: LHP Christopher Sánchez (1st career postseason start) vs. LHP Joe Mantiply (9.00 ERA in 3 IP this postseason)
We have ourselves a series.
Now the question is, how will the Phillies rebound after their previously red-hot bats made about as much noise in game 3 as a tumbleweed rolling through the Arizona desert?
The Phillies’ 3 hits in game 3 were their fewest in a game since September 5, and their one extra-base hit was their fewest since September 30.
Maybe it was their curious decision to skip batting practice in their first game at Chase Field since June 15. Maybe it was simply rookie Brandon Pfaadt pitching the best game of his young career. Either way, as surprising as that performance was, it would be even more surprising if it happens again, especially given the pitching matchup in game 4.
While Christopher Sánchez and Joe Mantiply will get the starts in this game, both teams are essentially going with a bullpen game tonight.
Sánchez will likely get 1 turn through the order and might see a few batters twice so he can face lefty Corbin Carroll a second time before manager Rob Thomson goes to the bullpen. Thomson will likely use Taijuan Walker and/or Michael Lorenzen to eat up some of the middle innings before the back-of-the-bullpen guys take over around the 6th inning.
The rookie Sánchez got the nod over the veteran Walker because he pitched much better this season and Walker struggled down the stretch. Sánchez had a very solid 3.44 ERA this season and was 4th in the majors with a 3.09 xFIP. But he hasn’t pitched since September 30 and hasn’t started a game since September 24, so he is a complete unknown entering his first career postseason start, but he certainly seems confident.
Christopher Sanchez with a 😉 https://t.co/ViVijuqrd5
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 20, 2023
Mantiply will serve as an opener and will likely only pitch 1 inning for Arizona. He gets the start primarily to face lefties Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper at the top of the lineup, and may stay in to face lefty Bryson Stott if he gets through the first few batters efficiently. Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo will likely use Ryne Nelson and/or Slade Cecconi to eat up innings after that.
The Phillies have a deeper and better bullpen than the Diamondbacks right now and are better equipped to get through this type of game than Arizona is. The Diamondbacks also no longer have the advantage that the Phillies haven’t faced their high-leverage relievers yet, as their top 4 relievers – lefty Andrew Saalfrank and righties Ryan Thompson, setup man Kevin Ginkel and closer Paul Sewald – all pitched last night.
In a bullpen game like this, it’s hard to know what to expect in terms of offensive output. With no dominant starting pitcher on the mound, it would be easy to expect more offense than we saw last night. But it also means that the pitchers will be fresh most of the night and the managers can mix and match their arms to get the best matchups, which would portend the under hitting on 9.5 total runs. While we would lean towards the under at such a high line, we prefer to stay away from betting the total in this game.
Instead our recommended best bet is the Phillies -1.5, which is available at +125 odds. We are betting that the quiet bats last night was more of a blip than a sign that they’ve suddenly gone ice cold after entering that game with the best team slugging percentage in postseason history. With what should be an advantage on the mound as well, the Phillies will bounce back to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks Game 4 Prediction: Phillies win 6-3, cover -1.5 (+125)
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks Odds
PHI @ ARI
Oct. 21, 12:07 AM
Odds updated October 21st, 2023, at 3:28 am
The betting odds for game 4 are almost identical to the game 3 odds.
The Phillies are the betting favorites at -135 on the moneyline, while the Diamondbacks have +110 moneyline odds as home underdogs.
The Phillies are laying -1.5 runs on the spread at +125 odds, while the Diamondbacks are getting +1.5 runs at -150 odds.
The over/under is set at 9 runs, up a half run from game 3. The odds slightly favor the over at -115 odds while the under is at -105. These teams scored 8 and 10 total runs, respectively, in the first 2 games before the 3-run pitcher’s duel in game 3.
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide game 4 between the Phillies and Diamondbacks.
Phillies’ bullpen vs. Ketel Marte
Lost in the fact that the Diamondbacks won game 3 is that they only scored 2 runs and went 17 consecutive scoreless innings prior to crossing the plate in the 7th last night. They can’t expect to keep the Phillies’ offense in check like that for a second consecutive night (we think!), which is one of the main reasons we picked the Phillies -1.5 in our Phillies vs. Diamondbacks game 4 prediction.
Arizona needs to get more offensive production tonight, and Ketel Marte is the key to doing that. He has been by far the Diamondbacks’ best hitter in the postseason. He has a hit in all 12 postseason games so far and just had 3 more last night, including 2 doubles and the game-winning RBI. His current hitting streak is the third longest ever to start a postseason career and will be tied for 2nd with Greg Luzinski if he can get another hit tonight.
The switch-hitting Marte is much better from the right side, so the Diamondbacks are happy to be seeing another lefty starter for the Phillies. After that, however, the Phillies have plenty of right-handed arms to use against him, including both regular season starters (Walker and Lorenzen) that could pitch after Sánchez.
If the Phillies can keep Marte in check, the Diamondbacks could continue to struggle offensively, and would likely be falling into a 3-1 series hole if that happens.
Diamondbacks’ bullpen vs. Phillies lineup
For as much momentum as the Diamondbacks might have after winning game 3, that would all evaporate if the Phillies’ offense comes back to life in this game, particularly if they do some damage early.
Joe Mantiply struggled against the Phillies in game 2, allowing 3 earned runs on 3 hits and 2 walks while only retiring 1 batter. Arizona cannot afford another bad outing by Mantiply that puts them into an early hole. On the other hand, that is exactly what the Phillies need, not only to erase the bitter taste of game 3 but also to make Thomson’s bullpen decisions much easier.
This bullpen game could have a ripple effect on game 5 tomorrow. It’s possible that the Phillies’ top relievers Jose Alvarado (15 pitches last night) and especially Craig Kimbrel (24) could be unavailable tonight, but if they do pitch they will definitely be unavailable tomorrow. But if this game becomes a blowout in either direction – and especially if the Phillies do it – then Thomson can avoid using those high-leverage bullpen arms to preserve them for game 5.
The same thing is true for the Diamondbacks, who would prefer to avoid using their highest leverage arms tonight. If guys like Mantiply, Nelson, and Cecconi can eat up some innings, that would not only help the Diamondbacks win this game, but also give them a better chance tomorrow.
In the big picture of this series, the impact on tomorrow’s pivotal game 5 puts even more pressure on the Diamondbacks’ bullpen to keep the Phillies in check tonight.
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks Starting Lineups (Projected)
Phillies Starting Lineup
DH Kyle Schwarber (L)
SS Trea Turner (R)
1B Bryce Harper (L)
C J.T. Realmuto (R)
2B Bryson Stott (L)
RF Nick Castellanos (R)
3B Alec Bohm (R)
LF Brandon Marsh (L)
CF Johan Rojas (R)
Diamondbacks Starting Lineup
2B Ketel Marte (S)
CF Corbin Carroll (L)
C Gabriel Moreno (R)
1B Christian Walker (R)
RF Tommy Pham (R)
LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (R)
DH Evan Longoria (R)
3B Emmanuel Rivera (R)
SS Geraldo Perdomo (S)