2 MLB teams the Mets should fear, 1 team that is a fraud
The Philadelphia Phillies are much improved and should be taken seriously
The Mets had their way with the Phillies last season, going 14-5 against them. They threw a no-hitter against them, came back from 7-1 down in the ninth to win, had the Mark Canha game that they somehow won. The Phillies weren't a dominant regular season team, but the Mets absolutely owned them.
The Phillies are without Bryce Harper for a large chunk of the season, but that blow is softened dramatically by the signing of Trea Turner. Turner will be the new shortstop for the Phillies and is essentially replacing Jean Segura. They were already loaded offensively, and just got that much better.
The Phillies also added Taijuan Walker, a pitcher who Mets fans had a love/hate relationship with, but was mostly solid. He's certainly an upgrade over Kyle Gibson in the back end of their rotation. Walker joins Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Ranger Suarez in a rotation that is certainly above average.
Their achillies heal for the last number of years has been their bullpen, and Philadelphia finally has one fans can (sort of) get behind. Jose Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez are still there, and the Phillies added Gregory Soto, Craig Kimbrel, and Matt Strahm. Their bullpen isn't elite, but it's better than it has been in recent memory.
The Phillies won just 87 games last season but snuck into the playoffs and went on a run all the way to the World Series. They're most definitely better heading into 2023 than they were in 2022. As much as I don't want to admit it, the Phillies are a team, especially when Harper returns, that the Mets should be worried about.