2023 NLCS Preview: Diamonbacks vs. Phillies NLCS Preview

2023 NLCS Preview: Diamonbacks vs. Phillies NLCS Preview


The Philadelphia Phillies return to the National League Championship Series for the second consecutive year after a 3-1 NLDS win over the 104-win Atlanta Braves. The Phils will face off against the red hot, upstart Arizona Diamondbacks, who swept the 100-win Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS, in a best-of-seven games series beginning on Monday at Citizens Bank Park. The two clubs met seven times during the 2023 MLB regular season with the Phillies taking the season series, 4-3. The Phillies are looking to become the first National League team to reach back-to-back World Series since the Dodgers in 2017 and 2018. 

Here’s a preview of the 2023 NLCS, Diamondbacks vs. Phillies, including how they got here, storylines to watch, betting odds, matchups and more. 

How They Got Here


Arizona Diamondbacks

  • The Arizona Diamondbacks finished the 2023 MLB regular season with an 84-78 record and snuck into the MLB Postseason as the last NL Wild Card team.  It took the D-Backs until the final Saturday of the season to clinch a postseason berth and what they’ve done since has been remarkable.  Arizona has swept through the first two rounds of the postseason, 2-0 over the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card Series and 3-0 over the 100-win Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series. Led by their top two pitchers, Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly, the D-Backs have been playing with “house money” so far this postseason.  No one expected them to be here and they’re playing cool, calm, expectation-free baseball as a result.
    • NL Wild Card Series: ARZ def. MIL, 2-0
    • NL Division Series: ARZ def. LAD, 3-0

Philadelphia Phillies

  • The Phillies finished 2023 MLB regular season with a 90-72 record, good enough for 2nd place in the NL East and the top NL Wild Card spot (4th seed in the NL Postseason bracket).  As the top NL Wild Card team, the Phillies hosted the 2023 NL Wild Card Series at Citizens Bank Park against the Miami Marlins.  Thanks to stellar starting pitching from Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola combined with timely hitting, the Phillies dispatched the Marlins in two games to advance to the 2023 NLDS for the second consecutive season. What followed was another systematic dismantling of the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series. Almost a carbon copy of 2022, the Phillies used stellar pitching and the long ball to send home the 104-win Braves in four games.
    • NL Wild Card Series: PHI def. MIA, 2-0
    • NL Division Series: PHI def. ATL, 3-1


Five Things to Watch for in the NLCS

  • Who gets the better of the pitching matchups in Game 1 and Game 2?
  • Arizona is a right-handed dominant pitching team. Can the Phils’ left-handed bats –looking at you Kyle Schwarber– carry the Phillies lineup?
  • The Diamondbacks are playing with “house money” but they’ve been a streaky team all sesason long.  How long can they keep up their hot streak?
  • The Phillies enter a postseason series as the favorite — -175 from BetMGM– for the first time in two-seasons.  Will being the “favorite” change the approach for the Fightins?
  • Will the seven-game series change Phils’ manager Rob Thomson’s approach to the bullpen?


2023 MLB Postseason Betting Odds from BetMGM

Philadelphia Phillies Postseason Betting Odds Odds Play
To Win the World Series +200 BetMGM logo
To Win the National League -175 BetMGM logo


2023 World Series Projection from FanGraphs

  • Arizona- 16.7%

  • Phillies- 32.2%


Diamondbacks vs. Phillies: NLCS Projection from FanGraphs

  • Arizona- 39.9%

  • Phillies- 60.1%


Diamondbacks vs. Phillies: Probable Starting Pitchers


NLCS Game 1: Monday, October 16 | 8:07 PM/EDT

    • ARZ Zac Gallen (2-0, 3.18 ERA) vs. PHI Zack Wheeler (1-0, 2.08 ERA)

NLCS Game 2: Tuesday, October 17 | 8:07 PM/EDT

    • ARZ Merril Kelly (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. PHI Aaron Nola (2-0, 1.42 ERA)


NLCS Game 3: Thursday, October 19 | 5:07 PM/EDT

    • PHI Ranger Suarez (0-0, 1.04 ERA) vs. ARZ Brandon Pfaadt (0-0, 3.48 ERA)


NLCS Game 4: Friday, October 20 | 8:07 PM/EDT

    • PHI Cristopher Sanchez or Taijuan Walker vs. ARZ TBD


NLCS Game 5: Saturday, October 21 | 8:07 PM/EDT (if necessary)

    • Likely: Wheeler vs. Gallen


NLCS Game 6: Monday, October 23 | 5:07 PM/EDT (if necessary)

    • Likely: Nola vs. Kelly


NLCS Game 7: Tuesday, October 24 | 8:07 PM/EDT (if necessary)

    • Likely: All Hands


Diamondbacks vs. Phillies: Offensive Leaders (2023 Postseason)

Arizona Offensive Stat Phillies
Moreno 3 Home Runs 4 Castellanos
Carroll .412 Batting Average .500 Turner
Moreno 6 RBI 7 Stott
Carroll .565 OBP .538 Harper/Turner
Carroll 1.389 OPS 1.455 Turner
Three Tied 2 SB 4 Turner

Diamondbacks vs. Phillies: Pitching Leaders (2023 Postseason)

Arizona Pitching Stat Phillies
Kelly 0.00 ERA 1.22 Suarez
Gallen 2 Wins 2 Wheeler
Gallen 8 Ks 18 Wheeler
Gallen 11.1 IP 13.0 Wheeler
Gallen 6.35 K/9 12.46 Wheeler
Kelly 0.79 WHIP 0.58 Suarez
Note: Pitching Stats Are For Starters.


Diamondbacks vs. Phillies: 2023 Head-to-Head

  • Philadelphia won the 2023 season series, 4-3.
  • Five-games were decided by one-run including two extra-innings games.
  • Only one-game, a 15-3 Phillies win, was decided by less than three-runs.
Thu, Jun 15, 2023 PHI 5 @ARI 4 W:Aaron Nola (6-5), L: Ryne Nelson (3-4), S: Craig Kimbrel (10)
Wed, Jun 14, 2023 PHI 4 @ARI 3 (10) W:Craig Kimbrel (5-1), L: Scott McGough (0-5), S: José Alvarado (6)
Tue, Jun 13, 2023 PHI 15 @ARI 3 W:Zack Wheeler (5-4), L: Zach Davies (1-2), S: Luis Ortiz (1)
Mon, Jun 12, 2023 @ARI 9 PHI 8 W:Drey Jameson (3-1), L: Dylan Covey (1-2), S: Miguel Castro (7)
Wed, May 24, 2023 @PHI 6 ARI 5 (10) W:Craig Kimbrel (3-1), L: José Ruiz (1-1), S: none
Tue, May 23, 2023 ARI 4 @PHI 3 W:Miguel Castro (3-1), L: Seranthony Domínguez (1-2), S: none
Mon, May 22, 2023 ARI 6 @PHI 3 W:Tommy Henry (2-1), L: Zack Wheeler (3-4), S: Andrew Chafin (7)
2023 PHI over ARI 4-3

Diamondbacks vs. Phillies: Postseason History

  • This is first ever postseason meeting between the two clubs.
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