Experts pick NLCS winner, MVP
The Phillies and Padres kick off the National League Championship Series Tuesday night in San Diego. Both teams pulled off major upsets to make it to the NLCS, and now they’re competing for a shot in the Fall Classic. Here's how the experts think it will go down.
MLB.com polled its reporters and analysts for their NLCS predictions, asking three questions:
- Which team will win the series?
- Who will be the NLCS MVP?
- How many games will the series last?
Here are the results.
Which team will win the NLCS?
MLB.com experts are torn on which team will represent the National League in the World Series, but one team has a slight edge.
The Padres, who have home-field advantage in the first two games of the series (and the last two, if necessary), are the favorites heading into Tuesday’s action, beating out the Phillies 46-30 among 76 voters.
Who will win the NLCS MVP?
One clear NLCS MVP candidate stuck out for our MLB.com panel: Manny Machado. The Padres' third baseman was picked by 18 writers and analysts to be the series MVP.
For the Phillies, it probably isn’t a surprise that Bryce Harper came out on top with 12 votes. Rounding out the top of the ballot, Juan Soto and Jake Cronenworth earned 10 votes each.
In total, 17 different players received votes.
Here are the players who received votes, in order:
Manny Machado (SDP): 18
Bryce Harper (PHI): 12
Juan Soto (SDP): 10
Jake Cronenworth (SDP): 10
Rhys Hoskins (PHI): 4
J.T. Realmuto (PHI): 4
Kyle Schwarber (PHI): 3
Yu Darvish (SDP): 3
Aaron Nola (PHI): 3
Trent Grisham (SDP): 2
Joe Musgrove (SDP): 1
Jean Segura (PHI): 1
Jorge Alfaro (SDP): 1
Nick Castellanos (PHI): 1
Josh Hader (SDP): 1
Alec Bohm (PHI): 1
Brandon Drury (SDP): 1
How many games will the series last?
Our panel expects this series to be a long one. Nearly 90 percent of voters (66 of 76) predicted that the series would go 6 or 7 games.
More than a third of voters (27) said the Padres would take the series in six games, which was the most expected outcome.
No voter predicted a sweep, and just 10 predicted the series would end in five games.
Here's how all the predictions broke down:
Padres in 7 games: 12
Padres in 6 games: 27
Padres in 5 games: 7
Phillies in 7 games: 11
Phillies in 6 games: 16
Phillies in 5 games: 3