With consecutive late-inning rallies, the Arizona Diamondbacks have evened their best-of-seven NLCS with the Philadelphia Phillies at two games apiece, as we share our top Phillies vs. Diamondbacks prediction based on the MLB odds from our best sports betting apps.
The Diamondbacks became the first team to win two straight postseason games when trailing in the seventh inning or later since the 2015 Kansas City Royals (and the 15th team to do so overall), according to MLB.com's Sarah Langs.
Arizona climbed to 18-7 at home since Aug. 12 (including the postseason) with Friday's 6-5 comeback victory, which is the best in baseball. The loss dropped Phillies manager Rob Thomson's career record in the postseason to 18-9 (7-3 this season).
In MLB postseason history, the team that emerges victorious in Game 5 of a best-of-seven series has gone on to win the series 71% of the time when the first four games were split.
Here is our best Phillies vs. Diamondbacks prediction for Game 5 of the NLCS (odds via our best MLB betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
First five innings Under 4 (-115 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐
With the Diamondbacks using a bullpen game and the Phillies starting a pitcher who had not pitched since Sept. 30, both teams figured to use plenty of bullpen arms in Game 4. The two teams used 16 combined pitchers Friday, and that has us backing the Under for the first five innings with each team's ace on the mound, as the offense should pick up against tired and overused arms in the late part of Game 5.
Phillies righty Zack Wheeler has had a historic start to his postseason career. Wheeler's 0.70 WHIP is the lowest by any pitcher with a minimum of 50 innings pitched in the playoffs. He owns a 2.63 ERA in nine playoff starts with Philadelphia and has averaged 6.6 strikeouts per start (59 strikeouts in total). Wheeler has allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven of those nine starts, and we expect him to be dominant once again, as his road ERA in the regular season was nearly a full run lower than his ERA at Citizens Bank Park (3.16 on the road, 4.13 at home).
Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen was doomed from the first five pitches in his Game 1 start, as Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper each took him deep for solo home runs in that span, marking the first time in Phillies postseason history they hit two home runs in the first inning.
In three career games at Citizens Bank Park, Gallen has thrown just 12 1/3 innings with a 4.38 ERA and has allowed a .278/.339/.519 slash line. The good news is that this is a home start, and Gallen's numbers are light-years better at Chase Field than on the road this year.
In the regular season, Gallen pitched to a 2.47 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 16 home starts against a 4.42 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 18 road starts. His GO/AO splits are even more eye-popping, with a 1.23 ratio at home and a 0.74 ratio on the road. If Diamondbacks pitchers have learned anything when watching Philadelphia's hitters this postseason, it is not to let them elevate the baseball.
This is a three-star play, as three Diamondbacks hitters at the top of their lineup (Ketel Marte, Tommy Pham, Christian Walker) have batted over .300 with a wOBA of over .400 in their careers against Wheeler. But Wheeler's postseason numbers make all the difference with this wager, and we expect him and Gallen to settle into a nice groove early and take some stress off their overused bullpens.
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Phillies vs. Diamondbacks best odds
|Over (-130)/Under (+100)
|Over (-128)/Under (-102)
|Over (-105)/Under (-125)
|Over (-105)/Under (-115)
As tempting as it is to back the even-money odds at DraftKings at the Under of 3.5 runs, we can't ignore the leeway we get at bet365, needing five or more runs to lose our wager while a total of four runs results in a push. Caesars offers an O/U after only the first three innings, which is juiced to -135 for the Under of 2.5, while the Over pays plus-money odds (+105).
We would also not put anyone off backing the Over on Wheeler's and Gallen's outs recorded props, given the need for long outings to rest the bullpens. At DraftKings, Wheeler has an O/U of 16.5 outs (-125 Over, -105 Under), while Gallen's O/U is 15.5 (-155 Over, +115 Under).
Philadelphia's moneyline odds range from a low of -125 at Caesars to a high of -140 at BetMGM. The most common number is -130, found at DraftKings, FanDuel, and bet365. Roughly 57% of the early moneyline wagers have backed the Phillies despite the Diamondbacks winning eight straight games as home underdogs against National League opponents.
BetMGM is the only shop offering a total of 7.5 runs, while all our other best sports betting apps are in unison with an O/U of 8.0. Every sportsbook with an eight-run total is juiced to the Under (Caesars is highest at -120). The betting splits are 70/30 in favor of the Over, which has cashed in three of the four games in this series thus far.
- When: Saturday, Oct. 21 at 8:07 p.m. ET
- Where: Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ
- How to watch: TBS
- Weather: Indoors
Phillies-Diamondbacks pick made 10/21/2023 at 7:44 a.m. ET.
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