Philadelphia Phillies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks: Predictions, Odds, Best Bets, Starting Lineups for NLCS Game 3 (10/19/23)
The Philadelphia Phillies hold a commanding 2-0 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS as the series shifts to Arizona for game 3 on Thursday (10/19/23) at 5:07 p.m. ET. The Phillies are the betting favorites at -130 on the moneyline, while the over/under is set at 9 runs.
Read on for Phillies vs. Diamondbacks analysis, predictions and betting picks including a recommendation that the best bet in game 3 is still the Phillies -1.5 on the run line.
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks Prediction NLCS Game 3
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks Game 3 Prediction: Phillies win 8-4, Phillies -1.5 (+125, best bet), over 9 runs (-115)
Starting pitchers: LHP Ranger Suárez (2 starts, 8-2/3 innings, 1.04 ERA this postseason) vs. RHP Brandon Pfaadt (2 starts, 7 innings, 3.86 ERA)
The Phillies look like a team on a mission, and it doesn’t seem like anything can slow them down right now, even as they leave the cozy confines of their beloved home stadium and the rabid fanbase that occupies it.
Philadelphia has absolutely rampaged through the postseason so far, breaking all kinds of records for home runs and offensive production, while the pitching staff has dominated practically every game they’ve played. That has led to a ridiculous +33 run differential in their 8 postseason games. They have held a lead at the end of 57 innings so far in the postseason and have only trailed at the end of 2 innings (the 8th and 9th innings of the 1 game they lost).
They can’t keep this up forever, but we also can’t bet against them until we see them start to slow down. With a major pitching advantage in game 3, we don’t expect that will be tonight.
Phillies game 3 starter Ranger Suárez had an up and down season and ultimately saw most of his numbers decline from his breakout season last year. However, for the second consecutive year Suárez has raised his game in the postseason and has been one of the Phillies’ more unheralded playoff contributors.
In his two starts against the Marlins and Braves this postseason, he has a 1.04 ERA and 0.58 WHIP over 8-2/3 innings. Last season he had a 1.23 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 5 appearances (3 starts, 14-2/3 innings) and also earned the save that sent the Phillies to the World Series in game 5 of the NLCS. His career postseason ERA of 1.16 ranks third all time among pitchers with at least 5 postseason starts, behind Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax (0.95) and Christy Mathewson (0.97).
Suárez is the perfect pitcher for the Phillies to send to the mound in this situation. His postseason success has been partly attributed to his cool, unflappable demeanor. The big playoff moments simply don’t faze him. That is also part of the reason why he has been a better pitcher on the road over the last 2 years. His 2.75 road ERA this season was nearly half of his ERA at home (5.45), and his ERA was more than 1 run better on the road last season too.
Opposing Suárez is 25-year-old rookie right-hander Brandon Pfaadt, who logged a 5.72 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 19 games (96 innings) this season. Pfaadt struggled in his first career postseason start in the Wild Card round against Milwaukee, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits in just 2-2/3 innings. He was much better against the Dodgers, whom he held to just 2 hits in 4-1/3 scoreless innings. He threw only 42 pitches against the Dodgers and probably could have gone longer, but manager Torey Lovullo opted for his strong bullpen to close out the series-clinching win.
It would be very surprising if Pfaadt can repeat that success against this red-hot Phillies lineup. The Phillies’ offense may not be quite as explosive as it has been over the last 4 games at home, but Chase Field is another hitter-friendly park that the Phillies’ power bats can exploit.
The Diamondbacks really need their suddenly silent bats to come alive at home if they want any chance of avoiding a 3-0 deficit. That will be a tough task against Suárez. While we expect more from Arizona’s lineup tonight than we saw in the last 2 games, it won’t be enough to stop the Phillies from cruising to another comfortable victory.
We are 2-0 so far in this series laying the -1.5 with the Phillies, and we’re going to keep it rolling until we lose. The -130 moneyline tonight is more playable than it has been in the last two games, but there is still more value at -1.5 with +125 odds, which is our best bet in this game.
We have also recommended a no play on the total in both games so far, and would have been 1-1 if we played the picks we considered. As long as the Phillies bats stay hot outside of Citizens Bank Park – and we think they will – then the over should be a good play tonight.
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks Odds
The Phillies are the betting favorites at -130 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 in this game is set at 9 runs with -115 odds on the over and -105 odds on the under. The over has hit in each of the first two games at lines of 7 and 7.5, with 8 and 10 total runs being scored in each game, respectively.
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Phillies vs. Diamondbacks.
Ranger Suárez vs. top of the order
The Phillies’ pitching advantage with Suárez on the mound was the main reason we picked the Phillies -1.5 in our Phillies vs. Diamondbacks game 3 prediction. We expect the Phillies to keep up their torrid offense, so the Diamondbacks to find a way to keep up with them against Suárez. To do that they need to get much better production from their top 4 hitters than they have gotten so far in this series.
Entering the series, four of the top 5 hitters in the Diamondbacks’ order were doing most of their damage offensively – Corbin Carroll (1.389 OPS, 2 HR, 4 RBI), Ketel Marte (.984, 2, 4), Christian Walker (1.023, 1, 5) and Gabriel Moreno (1.107, 3, 6). That quartet accounted for 8 of their 13 home runs and 19 of their 29 RBI.
In this series, Marte is the only one that has done anything, with 3 hits including a double. He has continued his playoff hit streak which includes every game this postseason. But the trio of Carroll, Walker and Moreno is just 3-for-21. The D’Backs cannot afford for that to continue in this game.
Walker (5-for-15, 1.0074 OPS) and Marte (6-for-15, .871 OPS) have good career numbers against Suárez in a solid sample size.
Both bullpens should have all their best arms available after a day off.
The Diamondbacks have hardly used any of their high-leverage bullpen arms in the first two games of the series. The one they did use, lefty Joe Mantiply, allowed the 4 runs in the 6th inning of game 2 that broke things open. The Phillies still have not seen closer Paul Sewald, setup man Kevin Ginkel or righty Ryan Thompson. Lefty Andrew Saalfrank saw 1 batter in game 2 – Bryce Harper – and could be used as a specialist against Harper late in this game.
The Phillies’ bullpen has continued to be dominant, allowing just 2 hits and 1 unearned run over 6 innings in the first 2 games. Manager Rob Thomson does not hesitate to use his best relievers early in games and we could see him be similarly aggressive with his relievers in this game knowing a win would all but guarantee a trip to the World Series. That means lefty Jose Alvarado could enter the game as early as the 6th inning and closer Craig Kimbrel could be used earlier than the 9th.
Both managers will also need to be judicious with their bullpens tonight knowing that this is the first of 2 (and potentially 3) games in a row. With no clear starter for game 4, the Diamondbacks also might need to preserve some of their relief arms for a bullpen game tomorrow.
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks Starting Lineups (Projected)
Phillies Starting Lineup
DH Kyle Schwarber (L)
SS Trea Turner (R)
1B Bryce Harper (L)
3B Alec Bohm (R)
2B Bryson Stott (L)
C J.T. Realmuto (R)
RF Nick Castellanos (R)
LF Brandon Marsh (L)
CF Johan Rojas (R)
Diamondbacks Starting Lineup
2B Ketel Marte (S)
RF Corbin Carroll (L)
DH Tommy Pham (R)
1B Christian Walker (R)
C Gabriel Moreno (R)
LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (R)
CF Alek Thomas (L)
3B Evan Longoria (R)
SS Geraldo Perdomo (S)