Red-hot hitting Ketel Marte notched a walk-off single to propel the Diamondbacks to a 2-1 victory in Game 3 of the NLCS that kept their hopes of the World Series alive. Game 4 should be a completely different animal, however, as the Phillies and Diamondbacks both trot out pitchers who could get an early hook in a much higher-scoring affair.
The Phillies, up in the series 2-1, went cold at the plate in Game 3 after hitting what felt like 100 home runs in their previous four playoff games, all wins. They were due for some regression, but I don't see that lasting long.
The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, got the win they needed, overcoming a late 1-0 deficit to earn a win at home. The issue they face now is containing a Phillies offense that feels unstoppable with a pitcher I don't trust.
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Now, how about the odds followed by the pick.
Phillies vs Diamondbacks Odds, Moneyline, Total
Phillies vs Diamondbacks Prediction and Pick
As teased earlier in the story, both teams are going with starting pitchers who leave something to be desired. Cristopher Sánchez starts for the Phillies in his first postseason action and Joe Mantiply will start for the Diamondbacks, though he might not even make it out of the first inning.
Mantiply is a righty reliever and the Phillies notched 3 runs against him in their 10-0 shellacking of the Diamondbacks in Game 2. In his other appearance against the Phillies in June, he gave up 4 runs in three innings. Simply put, I don't trust him to get through more than one inning, at the most.
Behind him is a D-Backs bullpen that has already given up 7 runs in this series.
The Phillies aren't sending an ace to the mound either, but Sanchez is better than Mantiply and I trust him to give the Phillies enough early in the game to not get an early hook. He hasn't pitched since Sept. 30, but he pitched well down the stretch, going five innings or more in seven of his last nine starts, giving up 3 or fewer runs in six of those games.
The Phillies bats have been cooking early in games all season, scoring an average of over 1.5 runs per game in the first three innings in the regular season. In the playoffs, that's jumped to 2.0 runs per game.
I'm going to back their bats to stay hot in the early going against a shaky spot starter and a bullpen that's already been taxed and tattooed in this series. I also can't pass up plus-odds the Phillies to lead by 1 or more after three,
PICK: First 3 Inning Run Line Phillies -0.5 (+130)
Odds change periodically and are subject to change.