You learn something everyday in this business, and it was surprising to learn Tuesday's Game 7 of teh NLCS will be the first ever for the Philadelphia Phillies as they host the Arizona Diamondbacks for the NL pennant. The Phillies are in their 141st season of baseball and have never played a Game 7 until now. The winner will visit the Texas Rangers in Game 1 of the World Series on Friday. Bettors are mixed on Tuesday's victor but are optimistic on Bryce Harper at the plate. Click here for model picks.
At BetMGM, Philadelphia opened as a -155 favorite but is now -165 while taking 71% of the money but only 44% of the bets. The total has dropped from 8.5 runs to 8, with 61% of the bets and 58% of the money on the Under. The Diamondbacks at +1.5 (-145) on the run line are taking just 20% of the bets and 16% of he money.
The Phillies had been unbeaten at home in these playoffs and had won 11 straight home playoff games vs. NL foes before Monday's 5-1 loss. Both road teams in their respective LCS won Monday night and neither ever trailed. Arizona had been 0-4 all-time in postseason elimination road games before Monday. This will be the franchise's second-ever Game 7 -- it beat the Yankees in the memorable finale of the 2001 World Series. Arizona is 3-1 all-time in winner-take-all games.
While it's the first Game 7 for the Phillies, it's their fourth winner-take-all matchup and first since losing Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS vs. St. Louis. Philly is 1-2 in the previous three overall.
Teams trailing 3-2 to win Game 6 in a seven-game series have gone on to win the series 33 of 59 times (55.9%), including 12 of 19 times in the LCS (63.2%). When road teams in that scenario win Game 6, they have won the series 12 of 23 times (52.2%), including four of nine times in the LCS (44.4%).
Keep in mind that both starting pitchers are likely to have very short leashes. The season is on the line for both teams, and the winner will have until Friday to rest its bullpen.
It's rookie Brandon Pfaadt on the mound for the Diamondbacks. He's thrown 10 scoreless innings over his past two playoff starts with zero walks and 11 strikeouts. Those were both at home, though. Pfaadt's lone playoff road start was Game 1 of the Wild Card Series in Milwaukee, and he allowed three runs and seven hits over 2.2 innings in a no-decision.
Harper is 0-for-2 in the regular-season off Pfaadt, but Harper Over 0.5 home runs (+310) is the most-wagered player prop of Game 7, followed by Harper Over 0.5 walks (-105) and Kyle Schwarber Over 0.5 home runs (+225). Schwarber is currently the -225 favorite to win NLCS MVP. Philadelphia has been out-homered in two games in these playoffs and lost both: Monday and Game 2 of NLDS vs. Atlanta.
Lefty Ranger Suarez has a 0.94 career postseason ERA for the Phillies, the lowest since 1912 when earned runs became an official stat. Suarez does have a 5.20 ERA in 13 home starts this season, including the playoffs. He has an O/U outs total of just 10.5 and no price to win personally (Pfaadt is set at O/U 11.5 innings and is +1100 for a win). Arizona's Ketel Marte is 8-for-18 in his regular-season career off Suarez with two doubles.
Marte went 2-for-5 Monday and has now hit safely in each of his first 15 career postseason games, matching Atlanta's Marquis Grissom for the longest streak to start a player's playoff career. The MLB record is 17 games, shared by a few players. Marte is -265 for a hit tonight and is +340 to win NLCS MVP, which he likely would win if the Snakes advance.
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