We are officially down to four teams left in the World Series hunt and we’ve seen some incredible upsets go down in the postseason thus far. Could more be on the way with a trip to the Fall Classic on the line? In this piece, we have our MLB NLCS pick for the 2022 season, as the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres are all set to get this series started. Which team will come out on top?
San Diego is the favorite to move on to the World Series
As things stand, San Diego is the favorite to move on to the World Series. Later this week, these two teams will kickstart their best-of-seven series and they’ll both be doing so after recording upset wins in the NLDS last week. Just about everyone assumed that the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers would be facing off in the NLCS. There was no way they’d both lose, right? Wrong.
Indeed, both the Padres and Phillies were able to do the unthinkable. Starting with the Padres, they took down the Los Angeles Dodgers in their series. This was easily the biggest upset of the playoffs thus far, as the Dodgers have had the top World Series betting odds for months. Instead, the Dodgers blew it, with San Diego wrapping up their series on Saturday night. Now, the Padres have shifted their focus to the Phillies.
As for Philly, they took on the reigning World Series champs, the Atlanta Braves. Philadelphia was also able to stun Atlanta, with Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, Kyle Schwarber and others coming up big for this team. It’s been a year to remember for the Phillies and there’s a lot of positive energy surrounding this team. Now, the fans are waiting to see if they can keep things going and get to the Fall Classic.
According to the baseball sportsbooks, the Padres hold -120 MLB betting odds in the NLCS, while the Phillies have been placed at +100. As you can see from those numbers, things are going to be incredibly close here and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this series go at least six games. Heck, it could even go the full seven. Having said that, a lot of people think the Padres will keep things going to the next round. We don’t think that will be the case.
BRYCE HARPER SENDS ONE TO JERSEY!
SOUTH PHILLY IS ALIVEpic.twitter.com/t53t5Wow9O
— Barstool Philly (@BarstoolPhilly) October 14, 2022
The Phillies are our pick for the NLCS this year
In what would be a small upset, the Phillies are our pick for the NLCS this year. Why, you ask? Harper, that’s why. The reigning NL MVP has been fantastic once again this year and that was reminded thanks to his monster homer in the NLDS vs. the Braves. With Philly, this team has proved a lot of their doubters wrong. People thought they’d lose to the Cardinals in the Wild Card Round, but they came out on top.
Own it. Embrace it. Believe it.
Welcome to #RedOctober. pic.twitter.com/meVzc5Ynru
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) October 7, 2022
Then, a lot of those same people assumed that they’d fall to the Braves. Once again, this team was able to pull off a stunner and move on to the next round. Things of course won’t be made easy going up against the Padres, as this team is also motivated to move on to the World Series. No one thought either of these teams would still be in the hunt, but here we are with two underdogs facing off.
With the Phillies specifically, manager Rob Thomson has been a major blessing for this team. Things have been flipped since the team decided to fire Joe Girardi. Thomson has been huge for this team and he keeps making great decisions. More of the same is expected against the Padres in the NLCS. Again, there’s a strong belief in this team, which is why we’re going with them as our pick to win the NLCS over San Diego.
Phillies will have a tall task to win the World Series
Should the team move on to the Fall Classic, the Phillies will have a tall task to win the World Series. It’d be an amazing story if that were to happen, but the Houston Astros hold the top World Series betting odds after they managed to sweep the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS. Now, Houston is ready to get back to the World Series for the second straight year: this team lost to the Braves in 2021.
Houston indeed looks tough, as Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez are all playing at a high level. Alvarez was a monster in the ALDS, hitting his walk-off, three-run homer in Game 1. He followed things up with another huge dinger in Game 2 off of Luis Castillo. Now, the Phillies, should they get to the World Series and meet the Astros, would have to try and slow him down some way.
First, though, Philly will need to get by San Diego and then wait to see what happens in the ALCS. The Phillies hold +320 World Series odds, which has fans excited about their potential to get things done this year. There’s pressure on this team, but never rule them out. Especially not with a guy like Harper in the heart of the lineup.