The Diamondbacks stayed alive last night by beating the Phillies in Philadelphia to force a game 7 to decide which team will battle the Texas Rangers in the World Series.
Suarez excels at keeping the ball low, with a 48.8% groundball rate in regular season play and three hits allowed by Arizona in Game 3. That was key in keeping him dominant during a Game 3 matchup against them.
Monday’s game gave us the first indication of the Phillies offense being more human when playing at home; now the question will be whether Pfaadt can keep them under control like in Phoenix during Game 3.
Pfaadt will need to neutralize powerful batters such as Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper if the Phils want any chance at victory in this game; his stuff makes me optimistic, while any free passes he avoids would be hugely beneficial.
Like the Diamondbacks, every member of the Phillies bullpen should be available in Game 7 except Aaron Nola. As with the Diamondbacks, their focus has been mainly on Jeff Hoffman and Seranthony Dominguez; these two relievers currently boast an xFIP of less than 4.00 during this postseason.
Brandon Pfaadt looked rejuvenated upon returning from Triple-A after his inauspicious debut against the Phillies, and this showed in Game 3.
Due to his poor play after the initial call-up, his regular season numbers may not impress; specifically, a glance shows an 11.7% Barrel Rate with a 90.1 mph Average Exit Velocity and 44% Hard-Hit Rate as well as a 22.3% Strikeout Rate against a 6.2% Walk Rate with 4.61xERA against a 5.72ERA.
Included his Game 3 start in Arizona, he has allowed only three earned runs over 12 2/3 innings with 15 strikeouts against one walk, and his stuff has been excellent. While these results may appear favorable at first glance, they should not be taken for granted as being indicative of anything less than quality pitching performance.
On Monday night against Aaron Nola, the Diamondbacks offense put on an impressive performance to turn their season around after lackingluster results during the regular season against Nola. Now, six bats have eclipsed 100 wRC+ since Game 3 when Ranger Suarez struck them out seven times within five innings!
The Diamondbacks will likely have all available pitchers except Merrill Kelly in this winner-take-all contest, which should help as their bullpen has struggled throughout the regular season and postseason. Yet, five arms now possess below a 4.00 xFIP with 9.7% walk rates or lower are performing admirably for them.
I like the Phillies bullpen better and I like Suarez starting at home. II will take the Phillies at -162 to advance to the World Series.
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