We’re headed to Game 6 of the NLCS, with the Philadelphia Phillies heading home with a 3-2 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in a best-of-seven series.
The Phillies likely just caught their first break of the NLCS with a road win over the Diamondbacks in Game 5. Previously, the home team had won the first four games. But the Phillies finally broke through in Game 5.
The Phillies have two home games against the Diamondbacks remaining in the series. Arizona needs to win two more games, while the Phillies only need one more to get back into the postseason.
With a series lead, the Phillies are now -650 to win the NLCS. They’re also sitting at +145, behind the Houston Astros, to win the World Series.
In Game 6, the Phillies are currently -175 with Aaron Nola on the mound. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks are +145, with veteran righty Merrill Kelly taking the hill. The total has the Over 8 juiced to -112, while the Under 8 is sitting at -108.
Check out our expectations below. Here’s a look at the D’Backs vs Phillies preview for a Game 6 of the NLCS.
Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Moneyline: Phillies -175/Diamondbacks +145
Corbin Carroll Not Stealing Bases in NLCS
The Diamondbacks’ rookie and probable NL Rookie of the Year has been on base for 40 pitches in the NLCS.
However, the speedster hasn’t attempted a stolen base despite earning 54 stolen bases in the regular season.
In Game 5, against Zack Wheeler and the Phillies, Carroll reached first base twice. However, the veteran Zack Wheeler knew how to hold him out.
He was quick to the plate and created a cat-and-mouse game between Carroll and himself.
Carroll told the Arizona media that MLB teams know he likes to run, so Philadelphia has done an excellent job making their pitchers throw quickly to the plate. It’s obviously worked out in the Phillies’ favor. Arizona has struggled to do much on the basepaths, which has hurt their game in this series.
Carroll projected that getting his ball to the plate took 1.2 to 1.3 seconds. That’s just not going to be enough time for Carroll to steal a base.
Kyle Schwarber Has Made History!
The left-handed slugger, Kyle Schwarber, has had one of the weirdest seasons in recent memory. He hit below .200 and smacked 47 home runs, with 104 RBIs, while holding a respectable OPS of .817.
Schwarber was pretty much home run or bust at the plate this MLB season. He had 47 home runs and just 115 hits this season. Schwarber also struck out 215 times while earning 126 walks.
Some of those stats are terrible. Other areas of his game were incredible. However, with Schwarber doing his thing, the Phillies are one game away from a World Series berth for the second straight season.
Having Schwarber on the team has helped, regardless of his stats.
In Game 5, Schwarber hit his NLCS-leading 11th home run, surpassing Albert Pujols for the most home runs ever hit in the NLCS.
That home run was also his 20th in the postseason. He’s just the fifth player to reach 20 and got there faster than anyone else in significant league history.
Arizona’s Game 5 starting pitcher, Zac Gallen, admitted that Schwarber (and Bryce Harper) are intelligent at the plate. Solo home runs don’t destroy a pitcher. But multiple solo shots do. That’s what Schwarber and Harper have been able to do.
Check out our Phillies vs D’Backs preview for Game 6 of the NLCS.
⚾ Game 6 ⚾
Merrill Kelly vs Aaron Nola
Will Aaron Nola Stay Hot?
Aaron Nola has pitched in three games in the postseason. The Phillies have combined to win those three games 27-3.
Nola’s last outing came against the Diamondbacks, where the Phillies won 10-0. Nola pitched six innings and allowed three hits with no runs. He also struck out seven batters and threw only 82 pitches.
The 30-year-old right-hander has an ERA of .96 through three games. He’s also struck out 16 batters in his last 11.2 innings. He’s on a roll right now, and there’s no sign that he’ll drop off anytime soon.
The Diamondbacks have a few lefties that have done damage against righties, like Ketel Marte and Corbin Carroll. But what good is Carroll on base if he can’t get the courage or reads to steal a base?
In 18.2 innings, Nola has allowed 12 hits and two runs. He’s also struck out 19 while walking two. He doesn’t give free passes, and he’ll be just as detailed as Zack Wheeler when Arizona has guys on base like Carroll.
Welcome to Philly, Merrill Kelly
In our Game 6 D’Backs vs Phillies preview, Merrill Kelly will get the start for Arizona. He faced the Phillies in Game 2 against Aaron Nola and left without finishing six innings. Kelly allowed four runs on three hits, with three home runs, three walks, and six strikeouts.
Kelly can rack up strikeouts like any right-hander against Philadelphia. But limiting the long ball is typically the issue when facing the Phillies.
Kelly gave up multiple bombs from Philadelphia, as most of the pitchers for Arizona have. The 35-year-old righty also allowed nine fly balls and induced just four ground balls in that first outing against the Phillies. That’s never a good sign, either.
Kelly still only had a 3.00 ERA through two starts after shutting out the Dodgers through 6.1 innings. But he didn’t have a good outing against the Phillies at all. In 12 innings, he’s already walked five batters in the postseason, which isn’t a good look.
Kelly hasn’t kept walks under two since September 4 in the regular season. When Philadelphia gets free passes, they’ll exploit the pitcher. They’re leading the MLB stats with home runs in the postseason.
The Phillies will have the chance to close out the NLCS tonight on their home field, thanks to their higher seeding in the MLB standings.
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