The Philadelphia Phillies hold a 2-1 lead over the San Diego Padres in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series. Game 4 is set for Saturday evening, and the contest approaches must-win status for the Padres given that Philly's tandem aces Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola are lined up to start Games 5 and 6, respectively, on full rest. The winner of this series will advance to the World Series to face the winner of the New York Yankees-Houston Astros ALCS.
You can view the full postseason schedule by clicking here, and . Now, let's get to the important stuff for Game 4.
How to watch
Date: Saturday, Oct. 22 | Time: 7:45 p.m. ET
Location: Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
TV channel: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Odds: SD -105; PHI -115; O/U: 8.5
Starting pitchers: PHI: Bailey Falter (6-4, 3.86 ERA), SD: Mike Clevinger (7-7, 4.33 ERA)
The decision to start Falter doesn't necessarily mean "bullpen game" for the Phillies, but it does probably mean "preemptive hook" mode for manager Rob Thomsen. Falter may be lifted after facing the lefties in the top half of the San Diego lineup, or he may be given one trip through the order. After that, Thomson could piggyback him with Noah Syndergaard, who made a three-inning start against the Braves in Game 4 of the NLDS, or he could lean on his true relievers. Thomson used his top relievers for a total of four innings in Game 3, so that's a consideration in Game 4.
As for the Padres, Clevinger followed up a somewhat disappointing regular season by getting knocked around in his lone NLDS start against the Dodgers. Manager Bob Melvin made it through Game 3 without using any of his big four relievers, so Clevinger will be on a very short leash.
The Padres are set up much better with their bullpen in this one, and we'll say that makes the difference in Game 4.
Pick: Padres 4, Phillies 3