Going into this season, I expected the division race to come down to two teams, the Braves, and the Mets. However, it’s looking like the race for the division will most likely be between the Mets and the Phillies.
I expected the Phillies to finish fourth in the division because of their pitching as you can see in this article here. I expected the back half of the rotation to be a problem and I expected the bullpen to be a problem. I was right on both parts.
The Phillies can score runs and have two very capable front-line starters in Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola when they’re right. Their team defense is horrible and their bullpen is historically bad.
As the roster is presently constructed, I don’t see the Phillies winning the division, even with them playing good baseball currently. However, they have huge glaring holes that can be fixed. If they can acquire a closer like Craig Kimbrel or even a guy like Richard Rodriguez, they will be a much bigger threat to me. Their biggest problem has been closing games, and guys like Hector Neris, Jose Alvarado, and Archie Bradley are just not trustworthy in those spots.
There have also been some rumors of a possible Starling Marte trade, and he would be a good fit. Marte can slide in at the top of that Phillies order and get on base as he has posted a .387 OBP this year. He has also improved defensively, putting up a 3 DRS, after being in the negatives each of the last two years.
The Phillies have been cycling through a ton of different center fielders this year, using guys like Odubel Herrera, Adam Haseley, and Roman Quinn, just to name a few so Marte is definitely a major upgrade.
The Phillies have a shot at the division but would need a lot to go right and would have to make moves to actually win it. They’re easily the biggest threat in my eyes.