Philadelphia Phillies Shortened MLB Season Pick, Odds and Prediction
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Philadelphia Phillies 2020 Shortened Season Preview
2020 MLB Season
Over/Under: 31.5 Wins -- Odds to win the World Series: +2000 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Philadelphia Phillies will look to take a step forward in an attempt to live up to lofty expectations in the shortened 2020
It’s not often that a .500 season would be considered a disappointment for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2011 and hasn’t finished above .500 since then either. However, that’s the boat the Phillies were in as Philadelphia entered the season as a World Series contender after signing Bryce Harper and spending nearly $400 million in the offseason. The Phillies had just one winning month more than one game above .500 over the course of the season, leading to an 81-81 record and 4th place finish in the NL East last year.
Roster-wise, it’s worth noting that the Phillies are one of the teams with the most Coronavirus cases on the roster, reporting seven players as well as five staff members with positive COVID-19 tests, including second baseman Scott Kingery and closer Hector Neris. As far as the lineup goes, the batting order is solid, with Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura at the top and Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto providing a strong core middle part of the batting order. Newly-acquired shortstop Didi Gregorius is also expected in to bring a winning mentality and some pop in his bat as well, not like the Phillies really needed it. For the pitching rotation, the Phils’ added Zack Wheeler to a decent rotation that already featured staff ace Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Vince Velasquez and Zach Eflin. The issue is that the Phillies’ pitching staff finished with a 4.53 ERA, the 5th-highest in the NL, only ahead of the Padres, Pirates, Rockies and Marlins, with San Diego, Pittsburgh and Miami all finishing at the bottom of their respective divisions.
As far as a schedule goes, the Phillies play their usual opposition in the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins, but Philadelphia also has interleague dates against teams from the AL East. Games against the Yankees, Rays, Red Sox and Blue Jays will be tough, maybe not so much with Baltimore. In their own division, Atlanta and Washington are still as good as they were last year, New York isn’t a push over and while Miami is still rebuilding, Philadelphia still went just 9-10 against the Fish last season, so it’ll be interesting to see where the wins for Philly come from this season.
Odds/Prediction: The Phillies come into the 2020 season priced at +2000 to win the World Series and at +1100 to win the National League pennant, and to me for a team as talented as the Phillies, that feels overpriced. This is the majority of the same team from last season with the addition of Wheeler and Gregorius and still sat at .500 at the end of the year. Wheeler and Nola will do their part, but the rest of the rotation is questionable, including Jake Arrieta who isn’t getting any younger and Velasquez and Eflin who couldn’t keep runs off of the board last season. I just think that when you combine the tough schedule that the Phils have, another .500 season could be on tap. The win total is set at 31.5 for Philadelphia this season and I can see it coming in under the number at the end of the season.