The Arizona Diamondbacks are a single game away from the National League Championship Series.
It’s been a wild ride for the Diamondbacks, yet here they are, up 2-0 on the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was the first playoff series win for the Diamondbacks organization since 2017 after they swept the Milwaukee Brewers in back-to-back games.
The Diamondbacks will look to get to the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2007.
Pfaadt Gets the Nod
Brandon Pfaaadt will get the nod on the mound for the Diamondbacks in Game 3.
Pfaadt was poor in his first-ever playoff start last week against Milwaukee. He allowed seven hits and three runs over 2.2 innings in that game. He was solid in his season finale at the White Sox but, overall, has had a pretty poor season.
This is the Diamondbacks’ third starter, and he finished the season with a 3-9 record and a 5.72 earned run average. Pfaadt threw 96 innings and allowed 61 earned runs, including 22 home runs.
Diamondbacks Enjoying Underdog Status
Zac Gallen certainly enjoyed the underdog status in Game 2. Now, Pfaadt and the Diamondbacks will be again in Game 3. Arizona will face Lance Lynn as their starting pitcher in this one. Pfaadt and the Diamondbacks come into the listed at +124 in the game.
Regarding the divisional round, the Diamondbacks certainly now are the big favorite. It would take three straight wins from the Dodgers to eliminate Arizona. The Dodgers are +450 to win this round, while Arizona is listed at -600.
With eight teams remaining in the 2023 postseason, the Diamondbacks have moved to fifth-best odds in Major League Baseball.
The Diamondbacks are +650 to win it all, behind the Braves, Rangers, Astros, and Phillies. After Arizona, the Twins are at +800, the Dodgers are at +1700, and the Orioles are at +2800.
The What If’s
The “What Ifs” are certainly out for the Diamondback faithful. What if Arizona does not win Game 3? Well, they would get another meeting with Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw only recorded three outs in the Game 1 loss to the Diamondbacks. Kershaw certainly has struggled at times in the postseason in his past. It is assumed Merrill Kelly will go on Thursday. Kelly started Game 1 and picked up the win.
Game 5 will be back in Los Angeles on Saturday, and Zac Gallen should be ready to go in this game, which bodes well for the Diamondbacks.
Carroll is Leading the Charge on Offense
The National League Rookie of the Year, Corbin Carroll, has led the charge on the offensive side.
Caroll has seven hits in four games in the MLB postseason so far. Carroll is 7-14, with a double and two home runs, while driving four batters in.
Christian Walker, who has three hits in the opening win over the Brewers, has just 1 hit in his last ten at-bats. Ketel Marte has picked up the slack of Walker, with hits in the first four games in the postseason. Marte had two hits in the win on Monday.
The National League Championship Series will start on Monday, October 16th. Suppose the Diamondbacks can wrap up the series on Wednesday.
In that case, they can set up whatever rotation they want before going on the road to either Philadelphia or Atlanta. That series is tied at one game each as the two teams head to Philadelphia.
The first home game for the Diamondbacks in the NLCS would be Thursday, October 19th, with games on Friday, October 20th and Saturday, October 21st.
A potential World Series would start Friday, October 27th, with Arizona potentially hosting games Monday, October 30th, Tuesday, October 31st, and Wednesday, November 1st.
It should be a great couple of days for the Diamondbacks and their team. This young, fun team has captured fans all over, and they are looking to do more as they close in on a National League Divisional Series win.
The Diamondbacks have two of the best pitchers remaining, so look for them to wreak a lot of havoc the rest of the month. Go Diamondbacks!