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Phillies vs. Padres series odds, prediction: Which Cinderella story will win NLCS?

Philadelphia has betting value as a slight underdog in evenly matched best-of-7 series

Right fielder Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies enter the 2022 National League Championship Series as a slim underdog against the San Diego Padres. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Right fielder Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies enter the 2022 National League Championship Series as a slim underdog against the San Diego Padres. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)Read moreTimothy Nwachukwu / Getty Images

If you’ve been riding the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres throughout the first two rounds of the National League playoffs, we have one question for you: Can we get a loan? Because you certainly can afford it.

The National League’s two lowest seeds coming into October square off in the best-of-7 NLCS, which begins Tuesday at Petco Park in San Diego.

Not surprisingly, this highly unexpected matchup is essentially a tossup in the NLCS betting market. The Padres, who have home-field advantage, are a very slim favorite to advance to the World Series for just the third time in franchise history.

So which side is the right side? Here’s our break down of Phillies vs. Padres odds, including a series prediction.

Phillies vs. Padres Series Odds (Caesars Sportsbook):

  1. Phillies +105

  2. Padres -125

Phillies vs Braves Series Preview: Analysis

After earning the third and final NL Wild Card berth, Philadelphia went on the road and swept the St. Louis Cardinals in a best-of-3 series, then eliminated the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves 3-1 in the best-of-5 NL Division Series.

As impressive as that was, the Padres’ run to the NLCS was even more remarkable. San Diego traveled to New York and eliminated the 101-win Mets in three games, then flew back west to face the hated Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS.

Los Angeles, which won a franchise-record and MLB-best 111 games in the regular season, took Game 1, only to see the Padres rip off three straight wins, capped by Saturday’s 5-3 series-clinching comeback victory.

If you believe in history, Philadelphia has an ever-so-slight edge in this matchup. The Phillies won four of seven regular-season meetings, including two comfortable victories in San Diego (8-5 and 4-2).

But if you believe in recent history, well … there is no edge. These squads haven’t seen each other since a three-game series at Petco that ended June 26.

» READ MORE: The Phillies didn’t just clinch an NLCS berth. They recaptured a city.

What about recent form? Not only are both squads bursting with momentum, but they have near-identical postseason stats:

Philadelphia pitching: 2.55 ERA overall, .562 opponents’ OPS, 58 strikeouts, 16 walks, 6 HRs

San Diego pitching: 2.80 ERA overall, .665 opponents’ OPS, 66 strikeouts, 25 walks, 7 HRs

Philadelphia hitting: .237 batting average, .717 OPS, 6 HRs, 49 strikeouts

San Diego hitting: .239 batting average, .703 OPS, 9 HRs, 76 strikeouts

The Padres do have a statistical bullpen edge, with their relievers posting a 2.19 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP (in fact, San Diego’s bullpen yielded just one run in 16 innings against the Dodgers). Phillies relievers check in with a 4.15 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.

Sticking with the similarities theme, the Padres boast three sensational front-line starting pitchers in Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove. Philadelphia counters with co-aces Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola, plus solid No. 3 starter Ranger Suarez.

Those pitchers will try to tame two deep lineups loaded with big names. San Diego is led by NL MVP candidate Manny Machado and 2022 Home Run Derby champ Juan Soto. Philadelphia has reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper and 2022 NL home run champ Kyle Schwarber. Those sluggers also are surrounded by a slew of pesky hitters who have stepped up big in the postseason.

If all that doesn’t adequately explain how evenly matched these teams are, there’s this: Philadelphia and San Diego rank 1-2 in the postseason betting standings in terms of per-game profitability.

Which brings us to our NLCS prediction: In what truly is a 50-50 matchup, take the value with the underdog Phillies. And if you’re an MLB prop bettor, consider wagering on this series going the full seven games, which is offered at +200 odds at Caesars Sportsbook.

Phillies vs. Padres Prediction

  1. Phillies (+105 at Caesars Sportsbook)

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

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