The Phillies quickly dispatched the Marlins before crushing the Atlanta Braves 104-win team during the National League Division Series for an easy victory in four games for their second consecutive NLDS title win.
The D-backs, who defeated both Brewers and Dodgers en route to reaching the National League Championship Series (NLCS), currently stand a +150 chance of making it all the way to the World Series. They are by far and away the biggest longshot contender for victory this year.
The Arizona Diamondbacks won just 84 games during the regular season before defeating Milwaukee 2-1 and then dominating Los Angeles 3-1 in the National League Division Series (NLDS).
The Philadelphia Phillies are on a roll after beating the Miami Marlins and upsetting the Atlanta Braves this week. Now their hitters look to continue the momentum by targeting one of baseball’s premier pitchers to return to the World Series.
Bryce Harper has been on an offensive tear, hitting 368 with three home runs, five RBIs, seven runs and one stolen base in these playoffs. Trea Turner is also performing well – hitting.500 with two homers, three RBIs, and five runs, while Brandon Marsh hit.357 with one homer, one RBI, two runs and one stolen base; Nick Castellanos hit 391 with four homers, five RBIs, six runs and one stolen base while Kyle Schwarber is only hitting.160 this playoff while no home runs hit or RBI – something he must improve upon to become influential contributor.
Zack Wheeler will start game one and boasts a perfect record with a 2.08 ERA in this postseason, going 6 1/3 innings while giving up three earned runs against three hits with ten strikeouts in a no-decision against the Atlanta Braves.
The Arizona Diamondbacks weren’t expected to make it this far in the playoffs and indeed weren’t supposed to beat the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers with surprising wins, yet here they are with an opportunity to reach the World Series – each possessing five great hitters who could change any game with one swing of their bats.
Christian Walker has been hitting.294, collecting one home run, five RBIs, four runs and two stolen bases during the playoffs. Ketel Marte is hitting.318 with two homers, four RBIs and four runs, and one stolen base during that same time frame. Lourdes Gurriel Jr is at batting.238 with one homer, four RBIs and one run in his playoff performance, while Corbin Carroll has been scorching hot by hitting.412 with two homers, four RBIs, six runs and two stolen bases while Gabriel Moreno is at batting.250 with three homers six RBIs three runs during this same time frame.
Zac Gallen will start Game 1 for the Nationals and has an outstanding 2-0 record with an ERA of 3.18 with eight strikeouts to his name. Recently, he went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs with five hits and four strikeouts against Los Angeles Dodgers; Gallen should aim to provide an effective start while leaving it up to an inconsistent bullpen to close out the game.
Philadelphia may boast the strongest pitching staff, bigger bats, and greater star power. However, Arizona has plenty of speed throughout their lineup and plays excellent defense; thus, they should not be discounted from winning this series.
However, the D-backs’ Cinderella run will eventually come to an end and over a more extended series, I favor more balanced teams like the FPhillies my victor. Take the Phillies in six games.
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