3. Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies are an interesting team in the NL East due to their immense upside, but some shortcomings. First and foremost, they boast one of the best lineups in all of baseball. They already had a star-studded lineup featuring Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura, and Rhys Hoskins, entering this year. But they weren't satisfied this offseason as they went out and signed Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos to multi-year contracts, adding two more huge bats to the lineup.
However, despite the stacked lineup, the team has a bit of an issue defensively. They already had Rhys Hoskins at first base, who is not known for his defense, and the team added both Schwarber and Castellanos to long-term deals, despite the fact that neither is good in the field. The addition of the designated hitter in the National League will help them, as they can play one of the two there, however, both were expected to sign as designated hitters this year, and clearly, both can't do that on the same team.
But despite a bad defensive team, the Phillies have one of the best top of the rotations in baseball, with both Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola. While Nola was expected to be the ace last season, Wheeler impressed by finishing in the top three in Cy Young voting. Ranger Suarez, Zach Eflin, and Kyle Gibson round out the rotation, and assuming they stay healthy are a fine back end to a rotation that features two of the top arms in the sport.
Finally, the bullpen features three former closers who have been dominant and elite at certain points of their career. Corey Knebel, Jeurys Familia and Brad Hand are all past their prime, but the team is banking on at least one of the three returning to their past form. Despite a shaky bullpen and bad defensive team, the Phillies boast a strong starting rotation and a potent lineup, which should put them in the thick of the playoff race. Unfortunately, their shortcomings knock them down a peg from the top two in the division.