How much will both teams run?
Both these teams like to run. But how much of a factor will base stealing be in Game 1 of the NLCS?
The Diamondbacks finished the regular season with 166 stolen bases, second in the majors, and continued running through their two series sweeps, with seven in total. Led by the speedy super rookie Corbin Carroll and his 54 regular season thefts, they have a robust running game that the Phillies will have to try to slow down.
The Phillies aren't too shabby on the basepaths either, finishing the season with 141 steals, the seventh-most in baseball. Bryson Stott led the way with 31 swipes, while Trea Turner had 30. In the postseason, they have more stolen bases than Arizona, with eight — four coming from Turner. They set a franchise postseason record when they took five bags from the Braves in Game 1 of the NLDS.
It's well-known that Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto has the fastest pop time in the majors, at 1.83 seconds to second base, and he finished the year in the 74th percentile with a plus-two CS Above Average mark.
As good as Realmuto has been, it'll be up to the pitchers to give him a hand in controlling the Diamondbacks' running game and stop them from causing complete havoc on the basepaths.
On the other side of the field, Arizona has a stud catcher of their own. Youngster Gabriel Moreno's pop time of 1.90 puts him in the 86th percentile, while he led the majors with a plus-nine CSAA.
Moreno's a big reason why the Diamondbacks gave up the second-fewest stolen bases this season, with only 84. Pretty good when you compare that to the Phillies 104 and the league average of 117.
As it stands, both teams will have a tough time stealing bags in this series. The only question is how much will each team have base stealing built into their game plan, and how dedicated will they be to keep trying to pressure the opposing defense?
NEXT: How will the young Diamondbacks handle the pressure of the NLCS and Citizens Bank Park?