TWSN 2022 National League Championship Series Predictions

@Padres on Twitter

TWSN 2022 National League Championship Series Predictions

Baseball

TWSN 2022 National League Championship Series Predictions

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@Padres on Twitter

The National League side of the bracket provided fans with two upsets in the NLDS, setting us up with two teams that were not expected to make it this far in the postseason. Christian De Block and Michael Seitz predict who they have representing the NL in the World Series later this month. 

Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Diego Padres:

Christian De Block: The Philadelphia Phillies are facing off against the San Diego Padres in the NLCS. This is far from what the expectation was going into the playoffs, but that is the beauty of postseason baseball. Both of these teams are playing at an extremely high-level, setting us up for an evenly matched series. 

Even after the Padres defeated the New York Mets in the Wild Card series, the team was given little to no chance against the 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers. The Padres not only won the series, but it only took them four games to do so. 

Trent Grisham and Austin Nola have been two of the bright spots for the offense, with Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth coming up with the big hits as well. Josh Bell is someone to keep an eye on against the Phillies, as he is just 3-for-19 with seven strikeouts in the playoffs. 

Similarly, the Phillies were given little to no chance against the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS after a two-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals. A Game One win on the road put the Phillies in a great spot, and they were able to eliminate the defending champs at home in Game Four. 

Bryce Harper is far from 100-percent healthy, yet his numbers in the postseason show how important he is to this offense. The two-time MVP is slashing .435/.480/.957 with three home runs in six games. If the Phillies are going to return to the World Series, Harper has to come through at the plate in this series. 

While the Phillies are getting consistent production from Harper, Jean Segura and Brandon Marsh, some of their biggest bats at the top of the order have let to click in October. Kyle Schwarber is hitting .050 in 20 at bats, and Rhys Hoskins is hitting .154 in 26 at bats through two rounds of the postseason. While Hoskins did have a critical three-run home run in Game Three of the NLDS, Phillies fans should expect more from those two. 

In terms of talent, these teams matched up quite evenly across the board. Both the Padres and the Phillies have great starting pitching, offenses that can explode at any given moment, and bullpens that go a bit under the radar. The small details will make the difference in the series, and I believe the Phillies will do just a bit more of the small stuff to make it back to the World Series.

Series Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies in seven.

 

Michael Seitz: If you had the Phillies and Padres in the 2022 NLCS, then I don’t believe you. The Padres were the more likely of the two teams to be here right now. San Diego has built itself up to the fourth-highest payroll in MLB. The additions of Josh Bell, Juan Soto, and Josh Hader are finally paying off for the Padres, too. 

After taking the Wild Card series in three games in New York, the majority of people counted the Padres out of its series against the Dodgers before it even started. San Diego hung around in Game One, but could not come out on top. The Padres did not allow the Dodgers to lead in either games two or three, and went into Game Four up two games to one. After falling down 3-0, San Diego exploded for five runs in the seventh inning and exercised the demons that are the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Phillies backed into the postseason before showing off its pitching in its Wild Card round sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals. The NLDS shifted the focus to the Phillies’ offensive firepower as Philadelphia put up seven, nine, and eight runs in its three wins. This is a Philadelphia team that will slug its way to multiple wins while its top-two starters can shut down any lineup. The Philadelphia bullpen and starting rotational depth are my two major concerns as the playoffs progress. 

As for this series, I see the NLCS going far. There will be some sloppy games in this series, too, after the top-end starters pitch and when the series shifts back to Philadelphia. The Phillies have that “team of destiny” fell to them and I think it carries them through the NLCS. 

Series Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies in six. 

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