Jean Segura carried Philadelphia to a monster Game 3 victory Friday evening, and the Phillies are now just two games away from the World Series.
Will the Phillies inch closer to the final goal? Or will the Padres bounce back in Game 4?
Let’s break it down. Read on for the starting lineups, predictions, and betting odds for Game 4 of the National League Championship series.
San Diego Padres vs Philadelphia Phillies Odds
Initially, we were getting Mike Clevinger vs Noah Syndergaard for this game. However, the Phillies went with Bailey Falter instead, indicating they might go for a bullpen game.
Either way, the odds are almost dead even for this matchup, with both teams as close to -110 as you can get.
The total seems high at 8.5, even for a shoddy pitching matchup. However, that would explain why the public money is on the over while the sharp money is hitting the under, pushing the line down slightly.
San Diego Padres Starting Lineup
LF J. Profar S
RF J. Soto L
3B M. Machado R
DH J. Bell S
2B J. Cronenworth L
1B W. Myers R
SS H. Kim R
CF T. Grisham L
C A. Nola R
San Diego Padres vs Bailey Falter
The young Falter is still growing into his role in the Majors. The Phillies value his versatility, plus he walks almost nobody and has the best extension in the majors (7 ½ feet).
Thanks to that extension, Falter’s low-90s fastball plays more like mid-90s with a weird approach angle. And his fastball has been his most effective pitch. But everything else mostly replacement level.
The more important thing is that we’re likely getting a bullpen day out of Philly. That is a scary prospect given that the Phillies bullpen is the worst among all teams that made the playoffs this year. While Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado are great, there is zero depth.
It will be monstrously important for San Diego to take advantage. They left too many men on base in Game 3, with Josh Bell hitting into a very untimely play with men on first and third and no outs.
The Padres are due for a few more runs. I hope it happens here.
Philadelphia Phillies Starting Lineup
LF K. Schwarber L
1B R. Hoskins R
C J. Realmuto R
DH B. Harper L
RF N. Castellanos R
3B A. Bohm R
CF B. Marsh L
2B J. Segura R
SS B. Stott L
Philadelphia Phillies vs Mike Clevinger
Clevinger is not as bad as his start against Los Angeles made him seem. The Dodgers are his personal boogeyman, and Clevinger is a slight positive pitcher all-in-all.
This does not make him a good pitcher. His xERA and xFIP are approaching 5.00. He allows too many barrels and hard-hit balls, resulting in an xERA in the 15th percentile or below.
The Phillies will take advantage. Bryce Harper has been slugging over .900 during this run while Kyle Schwarber continues to make huge hits out of the leadoff spot.
The key has always been Nick Castellanos. He heated up in the second half of the season and is now slugging his way through the playoffs, helping the Phillies come close to a World Series appearance.
San Diego Padres vs Philadelphia Phillies Pick & Prediction
My picks: Philadelphia Phillies First Five Innings ML (-105 at BetMGM Sportsbook)
This is a pure fade of Clevinger. He does not match up well against this Phillies offense.
Meanwhile, Falter should be able to use his fastball to stay afloat during the early innings. The Padres were a bottom-10 offense at hitting fastballs over the course of the season.
I don’t trust the Phillies bullpen, so I’ll avoid them on the full game ML. But I do expect them to hop out to an early-inning lead.