Many analysts and fans counted the Arizona Diamondbacks out of the NLCS after falling 2-0 in the series to the Philadelphia Phillies.
It took a lot of scrappiness and late-game heroics, but the Diamondbacks are now tied with the Phillies 2-2 after late-inning magic.
Arizona trailed the Phillies in Game 4, 5-2, heading into the bottom of the 7th inning. A run in the 7th and three more in the eighth pushed the Diamondbacks over the Phillies after Paul Sewald shut the door for his fifth postseason save.
Although Arizona won both home games, they’re underdogs against the Phillies in Game 5 tonight. With Zack Wheeler on the mound, Philadelphia is sitting at -130. The total for this game is at 8. However, the Under is juiced to -115.
Not only are the Phillies favorites in Game 5, but they’d likely be favorites in Games 6 and 7 if the series came down to it.
Therefore, the Phillies are also at -170 to win the series, while Arizona is at +135. Arizona would make things interesting with another win at home. The final two games of this series will take place in Philadelphia next week with Game 7 still pending the outcome of the next two MLB games.
Let’s look at the D’Backs vs Phillies preview for a pivotal Game 5 in the NLCS.
Day/Time: Saturday, October 21, 8:07 p.m. ET
Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
Moneyline: Phillies -130/Diamondbacks +110 | Total: 8
Craig Kimbrel’s Meltdown
The Phillies added veteran right-hander Craig Kimbrel into their bullpen in the offseason. He struggled in 2021 with the White Sox but found himself again with the Dodgers last year after a 3.75 ERA in 63 games.
Therefore, the Phillies took a shot. In 71 games, Kimbrell had a 3.26 ERA with 23 saves. That was the most games he’s pitched in a baseball season since 2011.
In the playoffs, he allowed just one hit in the first four innings of work. However, the last two games have been dreadful for Kimbrel. With the Phillies up 2-0 in the series, Kimbrel was on the losing side in Games 3 and 4.
In a 1-1 game for NLCS Game 3, Kimbrel allowed a Ketel Marte game-winning, walk-off RBI single. In Game 4, Kimbrell came in for the bottom of the 8th with a 5-3 Phillies lead. He ultimately blew it, allowing an Alek Thomas homer and a Gabriel Moreno RBI single, eventually the game-winner.
Kimbrel’s meltdown has Philadelphia fans in shambles. The series is now tied at two, and the Phillies might not have a closer for Game 5 if it comes down to it.
Thomas, Moreno Give Diamondbacks Life
The Diamondbacks just won’t quit. Arizona trailed the Phillies at home, 5-2, in the 7th inning. Christian Walker was able to walk in a batter in the 7th. However, the Diamondbacks couldn’t do any more damage.
With only six more outs to play with, down two, the Diamondbacks found a way to tie up the series.
Lourdes Gurriel set the table for the second straight game. He hit a double to lead off the 8th against Craig Kimbrel. Arizona decided to pinch-hit Alek Thomas for Emmanuel Rivera, giving themselves a lefty to face the righty.
That move paid off, as Thomas hit a full-count fastball into the right-field swimming pool to tie the game.
But the hype didn’t end there. Ketel Marte singled with two outs to begin another rally. Behind him, Corbin Carroll was hit by a pitch. With a man on first and second, Gabriel Moreno ripped a line drive to center field to score Marte and push Arizona ahead of the Phillies.
Arizona never looked back.
The series is now tied at 2.
Check out our Phillies vs D’Backs preview for Game 5 of the NLCS.
⚾ Game 5 ⚾
Saturday, 8:07 p.m. ET
Zack Wheeler vs Zac Gallen
Can Zack Wheeler Earn 4th Straight Quality Start?
Zack Wheeler has been sensational for the Phillies in the postseason. The right-hander is the No. 1 ace on the team for a reason. He’s held teams to a .237 ERA through 19 innings in the postseason.
He’s allowed no more than two earned runs in all three of those games. The ace pitcher has also struck out at least eight batters in every game this MLB season.
Most recently, in Game 1 against the Diamondbacks, Wheeler allowed two runs on three hits. He gave up one home run and struck out eight with only 81 pitches. That was enough to help the Phillies get past the Diamondbacks, 5-3.
Arizona has been better against righties than lefties this season as a lineup. They couldn’t do much damage against Wheeler last time out. However, Ketel Marte and Corbin Carroll are two batters who have hit a high ISO and wOBA against righties this season against righties.
Essentially, Arizona might wait for the late innings to do their damage. That’s how they’ve won each of the last two games.
They’ll need Zac Gallen to keep them in the game for the time being.
Do The Phillies Have Gallen’s Number?
In Game 1, when Wheeler won, Zac Gallen got the loss.
Gallen wasn’t excellent in Game 1 of the NLCS. He had thrown well against his first two opponents in the postseason. However, the Phillies got to him on the road.
This time, Gallen will be home. That changes things for this D’Backs vs Phillies preview. It’s a tough place to play in Philadelphia. But with the home team cheering, Gallen will likely put together a better outing.
He’s thrown at least five innings in each postseason game. However, his ERA jumped to 4.96 in those three games after allowing five runs and three home runs to the Phillies. Before that game, he had allowed just two runs in his other two games.
Philadelphia has hit better against lefties than righties. While the offense also hasn’t shown off much power on the road, Kyle Schwarber is one to watch out for as a lefty against the righty.
The scores and odds believe the Phillies still have the advantage in this series. While the Phillies ultimately have the better MLB team stats, the MLB betting lines excite us about selecting the Under 8.5 for this game. It’s hard to bet against two aces in a series that’s tied at 2-2.
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