Say what you like about the underachieving Philadelphia Phillies, but when it comes to defining mediocrity, they’ve virtually cornered the market the last two seasons. After going 80-82 in 2018, Philly landed right on the .500 mark by going 81-81 last season to finish a disappointing fourth in the NL East. Now, after missing out on reaching the postseason for the eighth straight season following a five-year run that resulted in being named World Series champs in 2008, the Phils want to get back to playing winning baseball in a big way in 2020. Whether that happens or not, change is in the air in Philadelphia as they kick off a new era under manager Joe Girardi. Now, let’s find out what lies in store for the the NL Pennant long shot hopefuls. Let’s check the MLB Odds and World Series Odds for the Philadelphia Phillies 2020 Season.
Philadelphia Phillies Analysis Before 2020 Season Start
Philadelphia Phillies 2020 MLB Season Odds
Philadelphia Phillies Offensive Analysis
You might not have known it, but Phillies ownership has spent over $700 million on free agents the last three off seasons in order to get the NL East residents back to being a competitive team, but it hasn’t worked so far. To that end, the Phils fired former manager Gabe Kapler and replaced him with former Yankees manager Joe Girardi. Philadelphia closed out the 2019 regular season ranked 14th in scoring (4.78), 22nd in team batting average (.246), 17th in OPS (.746) and 22nd in home runs (215). After signing free agent right fielder Bryce Harper to a 10-year mega-deal prior to last season, Philadelphia got a good, but not great campaign out of the six-time all-star and 2015 NL MVP winner. Harper smacked 35 home runs and drove in 114 runs, but hit just .260 to finish 17 percentage points under his career average.
More importantly, no other everyday starter reached the 30-homer plateau although first baseman Rhys Hoskins did hit 29 while catcher J.T. Realmuto added 25 long balls. The bad news is that the pair hit just .226 and .275 respectively. The Phillies are also hoping that veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen makes a complete return to full health after suffering an ACL tear. At the time of his injury, McCutchen had a .378 on-base percentage which was second best in the majors among leadoff men. The Phils did add veteran shortstop Didi Gregorious in free agency after the Yankees decided to let him walk, but they’ll also be counting on the untested Adam Haseley and Scott Kingery to become contributing everyday players.
Philadelphia Phillies Defensive Analysis
The Phillies were also mediocre defensively a year ago in ranking 17th in team ERA (4.53), 19th in WHIP (1.37), 15th in quality starts (58) and 17th in errors (97). To address their lack of quality pitching, Philadelphia signed veteran right-hander Zack Wheeler (11-8, 3.96 ERA), to a five-year, $118 million contract that has him pegged as the team’s No. 2 starter behind fellow right-hander Aaron Nola (12-7, 3.87 ERA). However, after those two, Philly’s starting pitching looks like it takes a steep decline with aging Jake Arrieta and youngsters Zach Eflin (10-13, 4.13 ERA) and Vince Velasquez (7-8, 4.91 ERA) rounding out the starting rotation. When it comes to the bullpen, there is also what looks like a bunch of mediocrity just waiting to happen with closer Hector Neris being, by far, the team’s best reliever.
Philadelphia Phillies Offseason Movements
Traded LHP Tyler Gilbert to the L.A. Dodgers for OF Kyle Garlick. Signed RHP Hector Neris to one-year deal with an option for 2021. Signed RHP Tommy Hunter to one-year deal. Signed RHP Vince Velasquez. Signed RHP Jose Alvarez. Signed SS Didi Gregorious to one-year contract. Signed RHP Zack Wheeler to 5-year contract. Signed catcher Andrew Knapp.
Philadelphia Phillies Prediction
Philadelphia is looking at another uphill battle in trying to get past Washington and Atlanta in the NL East and no matter how hard I try to envision everything going right for Philly, I just don’t see it happening enough to even remotely pick them for a playoff berth.
With a relatively weak pitching staff, it won’t matter how well the Phils’ position players perform this coming campaign. Joe Girardi can scream and yell or try to coax his younger players with words of encouragement. In the end, this is a team that just doesn’t have the arms – or bats – to really challenge for much of anything in 2020.