Thank to solo homers from Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber and a stellar outing on the mound from Zack Wheeler, the Philadelphia Phillies beat the San Diego Padres 2-0 in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series as minor underdogs -- a loss for the various sportsbooks as the Phillies were taking solid leans on the moneyline. They are short 'dogs again this afternoon for Game 2 in San Diego, but bettors are still backing them. First pitch is set for 4:35 p.m. ET. Click here for model picks.
Schwarber had been terrible in these playoffs after leading the National League with 46 homers during the regular season, but he sent a Yu Darvish curveball to the moon in the sixth inning. Harper's reaction on TV was priceless. The blast was estimated at 488 feet, the longest home run at Petco Park in the Statcast era (since 2015) and the second-longest postseason homer. Only Willson Contreras's homer against Alex Wood in Game 4 of the 2017 NLCS went further (491 feet). Schwarber's shot came off the bat at 119.7 mph. Only the Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton, the Angels' Shohei Ohtani and the Pirates' Oneil Cruz hit a ball at least 119 mph in 2022.
Harper has been red hot in the postseason. His shot last night was his fourth playoff homer this year, and he's now homered in three straight games. Harper is the the second player in Phillies history to homer in three straight games in a single postseason (Gary Matthews in 1983 NLCS).
There were only four total hits in Game 1, tying for the fewest in a postseason game in MLB history along with Game 4 of the 2013 NLDS (Cardinals def. Pirates, 2-1) and Game 5 of the 2004 NLCS (Astros def. Cardinals, 3-0).
Aaron Nola is on the mound today for the Phillies. He was 11-13 with a 3.25 ERA during the season and took a tough-luck loss in San Diego on June 24 despite striking out 10 and allowing just one run over seven innings. Nola has been spectacular this postseason, scattering nine hits in 12.2 scoreless innings. Nola and his brother Austin, San Diego's starting catcher, will make history. It'll be the first time two siblings have ever faced one another as pitcher and batter in MLB postseason history. They have faced off a few times in the regular season.
Lefty Blake Snell starts for the Friars. He was 8-10 with a 3.38 ERA during the year and 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA against the Phillies. He has been so-so in the playoffs, allowing three runs and nine hits in 8.2 innings.
On the moneyline for Game 2 at BetMGM, 71% of the money is on Philadelphia and 61% of bets. On the total of 6.5, 54% of the money is on the Over, but the tickets are split down the middle.
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