We’ve had a little bit of everything in the first three games of this World Series: an extra-innings walk-off, a blowout and a defensively sound pitching showcase.
Tuesday’s Game 4 in Arizona is expected to feature a lengthier series of arms out of the bullpen for both sides.
Joe Mantiply (1-0, 4.26 ERA) and Andrew Heaney (0-0, 6.00 ERA) will play the Johnny Wholestaff roles.
This is Mantiply’s second start of the postseason; his other resulted in one inning pitched after having allowed one hit against Philadelphia in the NLCS. Arizona deployed seven pitchers from the bullpen in that game.
Heaney has had extremely limited usage as he’s pitched for six total innings through four games, two of which he started.
It’s difficult to approach lines in these situations because it’s going to be a game of mound chess between Torey Luvollo and Bruce Bochy.
They each used four relievers in Game 3 and Bochy had to use Jon Gray after Max Scherzer’s exit due to back spasms after three innings. Gray was — and could still be — likely to play a hand in Game 4.
All this means is that it’s up in the air after the first inning. Even so, I still like how the Diamondbacks stack up against Heaney from the get-go — especially Tommy Pham.
Pham is leading the series with seven hits, which include a home run and three doubles. He’s posted a .291 average at the plate in the playoffs.
The veteran journeyman has been ruthless against left-handed pitching this fall, hitting .455 with a home run and a 1.364 on-base plus slugging.
Pham quietly resided in the top-40 hitters in quality of contact this season. He was also Arizona’s most effective player in xSLG at .472.
Pham has adopted the designated-hitting role for Arizona with poise as he’s provided a boost to the middle of the lineup batting fifth.
The D-backs have hit lefties consistently all postseason at .300.
Heaney loves the four-seam fastball, which he delivers in more than half of his pitches.
Pham has hit those exceptionally well this year with an average exit velocity of 94 mph and a .413 xwOBA.
Pham has also had a career revival in barrel rate this season, kicking his sweet-spot contact up to 10.7% — his highest since 2016.
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Heaney has allowed hits in the first inning of both his starts against the Orioles and Astros.
I also like Corbin Carroll at the top of the order in this matchup (and to exceed his total bases prop) as the lefty-lefty matchup gives him the edge.
But whether the Diamondbacks can get to Pham in the first inning or not, it’s worth the value to grab someone that has two four-hit games in the postseason in a pitching-carousel game.
The play: Tommy Pham Over 1.5 Bases Recorded (+120 at FanDuel)
This story originally appeared on NYPost