The most surprising thing about the MLB postseason is that we have the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres in the NLCS.
These teams entered the playoffs as the final two wild-card teams in the National League.
Now they are the last two standing.
This should be a highly competitive series, as both teams had to pull off upsets to get to this point.
Here are three players to watch for in the NLCS.
The Padres made the bold move of acquiring Soto at the trade deadline for a series like this.
The 23-year-old star has struggled since joining San Diego back at the beginning of August.
In 52 regular season games with his new team, Soto batted .236 with six home runs and 16 RBIs.
He will need to be much better against the Phillies if the Padres hope to advance.
The young outfielder has already won a World Series with the Nationals so the NLCS should not be too big for him.
Plus, he has seen the Phillies plenty of times before during his tenure in Washington.
Soto will need to make a big impact and show why he is one of the best players in baseball.
Another former National takes the stage as a huge part of the Phillies.
Bryce Harper was sensational in the NLDS and a big reason why the Phillies upset the Braves.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) October 15, 2022
Now, Harper needs to do it again in the NLCS.
The lefty is the best hitter on the Phillies and will need to provide a spark for this lineup.
Plus, he has some added motivation in this series.
An errant pitch from Padres starter Blake Snell was the reason Harper broke his thumb and missed two months.
Expect a big series from the former MVP as he chases the first World Series berth of his career.
Another huge trade deadline acquisition the Padres made was acquiring Josh Hader from the Brewers.
He came to San Diego with the resume of being the best closer in baseball.
But, he failed to reach those heights early on in his Padres career.
In 19 games with San Diego, Hader threw 16.0 innings and gave up 13 earned runs.
He was even removed from the closers in September.
But, in the playoffs, Hader has looked like his old self.
Josh Hader since September 7th:
14 G, 13.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 20 SO, 2 BB pic.twitter.com/KINRWbBxRC
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) October 16, 2022
The lefty has thrown 4.1 innings with seven strikeouts and converted all three saves in the NLDS.
Hader closing the door in the ninth inning will be key for the Padres’ chances of getting to the World Series.