Philadelphia Phillies Predictions
The Philadelphia Phillies were one of the most disappointing teams in the league in 2012. A slow start thanks in part due to injuries put them in a hole that they could never quite get out of. They did make a nice run over the final few months of the season to get to .500 at 81-81. However, this is no longer Philadelphia’s division. That could prove to be the motivation the Phillies need to try and overtake the favorites in the NL East in Washington and Atlanta. “Everyone is a little angry,” sayds Jimmy Rollins, the team’s longest-tenured player. “We have that chip on our shoulder to go back out there and prove that this is still our division.” Let’s take a look at what the Phillies are working with heading into 2013.
Jimmy Rollins (SS) – Proved he still has plenty left in the tank by leading all NL shortstops in runs (102), extra-base hits (61) and fielding percentage (.978) in 2012. Rollins also hit 23 homers and stole 30 bases.
Ben Revere (CF) – His 37 infield hits were the third-most in the majors in 2012. Philadelphia traded for Revere this offseason. He adds speed (40 steals) to the top of the lineup.
Chase Utley (2B) – Hasn’t played in a spring training game since 2010 due to chronic knee issues. Utley still managed to hit 11 homers and steal 11 bases in only half a season last year.
Ryan Howard (1B) – Missed most of last season while recovering from a torn Achilles. However, Howard managed to finish the season with 46 RBIs over his final 47 games and has proven he can put up huge numbers when healthy.
Michael Young (3B) – The Phillies nabbed the lifetime .301 hitter and seven-time All-Star this offseason. He has played just 65 games at third base since 2010, but he’ll give this lineup a much-needed boost in 2013.
Domonic Brown (LF) – Had the second-most outfield assists (7) in the final two months of 2012. Brown hit .235 with five homers and 26 RBIS over 187 at-bats and could be primed for a breakout year.
Delmon Young (RF) – Hit .267 with 18 homers and 74 RBIs in Detroit last season. Went on to his .313 with three homers in the postseason as well. The Phillies could be getting a steal here in Young.
Erik Kratz (C) – Threw out 12-of-30 potential basestealers in 2012. Also, 18 of his 35 hits went for extra bases. He’ll fill in for early Carlos Ruiz, who will be suspended for the first 25 games of 2013 after testing positive for Adderall.
Roy Halladay (RHP) – Did not throw a complete game in 2012 for the first time in over a decade. Halladay was sent to the disabled list for seven weeks due to shoulder problems last year. The former Cy Young winner went 11-8 with a sub-par 4.49 ERA over 25 starts.
Cole Hamels (LHP) – Signed to a six-year, $144 million deal in July to become the face of the franchise. Hamels lived up to expectations, going 17-6 with a 3.05 ERA while striking out 216 over 215.1 innings in 2012.
Cliff Lee (LHP) – Terrible run support was the reason for Lee’s 6-9 record last year. He still posted a 3.16 ERA with 207 strikeouts in 2011 innings, and his 2.45 ERA after the All-Star break was fifth-lowest among NL starters.
John Lannan (LHP) – Quietly one of the most underrated starters in the game, Lannan has gone 39-39 with a 3.80 ERA in 115 starts against teams other than the Phillies.
Kyle Kendrick (RHP) – His durability is certainly valuable as he has never made a trip to the disabled list. Kendrick posted a 3.20 ERA in his final 12 starts last season, and his 6.6 K/9 in 2012 was a career-high.
Johnathan Papelbon (RHP) – The reliable closer has reached at least 30 saves in each of his last seven seasons. Papelbon went 5-6 with a 2.44 ERA with 38 saves while striking out 92 batters over 70 innings last year. Setting him up will be the reliable duo of Mike Adams (5-3, 3.27 ERA in 2012) and Antonio Bastardo (14.02 K/9 in 2012).
3rd Place NL East & OVER 81.5 Wins – I really think the Phillies will challenge both the Braves and Nationals for the top spot in the NL East. This race will come right down to the final month of the season with Philadelphia in it the entire way. I have no doubt they’ll go OVER 81.5 wins, but what is holding me back from picking them to win the division is their injury problems. If Halladay can return to the pitcher he was in his first two seasons in Philadelphia, and if Utley and Howard can play a full season, this team is a legitimate World Series contender. However, there is just too much that would have to go right for that to happen.
|2013 Philadelphia Phillies Odds|
|Total Regular Season Wins||O81.5 (-120)|