2020 Philadelphia Phillies Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
Heading into the 2019 season, Philadelphia was the team with the biggest bandwagon in the league. Their stunning signing of Bryce Harper had vaulted them to the top of everyone's Hot List, and the Phillies were installed as one of the favorites to win the National League and take the World Series.
Not so much.
Nothing clicked for Harper and the Phillies. The lineup was erratic, the chemistry was nonexistent, the pitching took a nosedive, and this team never found a groove. By June they were an afterthought in the National League, and they finished a disappointing 81-81.
Philadelphia's slump season was made all the worse by the fact that Harper's old team, Washington, won the World Series in spite of the loss of their former star. The entire dichotomy once again begged the question about Harper's ability to truly lead a franchise.
The Phillies enter this summer as an under-the-radar sleeper in the National League. They made some major lineup and locker room adjustments in the offseason, not the least of which was jettisoning kooky and unreliable manager Gabe Kapler in favor of a steady, proven champion in Joe Girardi.
Add it all up, and Philadelphia is a definite X-Factor in the National League race this year.
Philadelphia Phillies 2020 Projected Lineup (updated expert MLB picks daily)
1. Andrew McCutchen - OF
2. J.T. Realmuto - C
3. Bryce Harper - OF
4. Rhys Hoskins - 1B
5. Didi Gregorius - SS
6. Jean Segura - 2B
7. Scott Kingery - 3B
8. Adam Haseley - OF
Last year was a frustrating one for the Philadelphia lineup. They hit just .246 as a team - worse than the Orioles - and finished No. 22 in the league in team batting and home runs. However, they actually finished 14th in total runs scored.
For the second straight season, the Phillies made a major splash in free agency, inking Didi Gregorius to a one-year show-me deal. Gregorius posted three outstanding years for the Yankees while deftly handling the pressure of being The Guy That Replaced Derek Jeter. Gregorius struggled last year while coming back from Tommy John surgery. But if he bounces back, he could be a huge addition to the lineup and the locker room.
2018's major signing, Bryce Harper, finished with very Harper-ish numbers last season. He had 35 home runs and 114 RBIs while batting .260, but never seemed to have the impact they expected when signing him to a absurd $330 million deal.
Rhys Hoskins regressed last year, hitting just .226 and seeing both his home run and RBI numbers drop. J.T. Realmuto hit .275 with 25 home runs, and Jean Segura posted a .280 average and 12 dingers. Philadelphia would be thrilled if they both could do the same thing again. And Philly still has Jay Bruce on the bench and available to DH. He's a great option as a fill-in starter and coming off the bench.
The guy to watch this season is third baseman Scott Kingery. The 26-year-old showed massive improvement in his sophomore campaign. If he can top last year's .258 average, 19 homers and 55 RBIs, which he tallied in 126 games, that would be a huge boost to the attack.
Philadelphia Phillies 2020 Projected Rotation And Closer
1. Aaron Nola (R)
2. Zack Wheeler (L)
3. Jake Arrieta (R)
4. Vince Velasquez (L)
5. Zach Eflin (R)
Closer: Hector Neris
After finishing third in Cy Young voting in 2018, Aaron Nola entered last season with major expectations. Instead, he struggled through the first three months and was yet another letdown on a team full of them. Nola did rebound to post an excellent July and August, but Philly actually lost his last eight starts of the season. Nola needs to be dominant for this team to have a chance.
Foolishly, the Phillies invested big money in Zack Wheeler. Wheeler's stuff has always been appealing. However, his production has been erratic at best. In 2017 he was a disaster while posting a 5.21 ERA in 17 games. He bounced back with a great 2018, going 12-7 with a 3.31 ERA and 179 strikeouts. But last year he notched a 4.71 ERA in his first 20 starts before an excellent final two months (2.66 ERA). I think Philly fans expecting him to stabilize the No. 2 slot behind Nola are going to be sorely disappointed.
Disappointment has been kind of a running theme in the Philadelphia rotation.
Jake Arrieta is beat. His velocity continues to drop, and he is nowhere near his Cy Young-caliber seasons of 2015 and 2016. His ERA has gone up, and his win totals have gone down, every season for four straight years, and he hasn't come close to justifying his three-year, $75 million contract, which he is in the final season of.
Vince Velasquez and Zach Elfin were both touted prospects. But they've both been piñatas and both have career ERAs close to 5.00. I don't see a light switch turning on for either.
Hector Neris was thrust into the closer role last year due injuries. He thrived in the role, converting 28 saves while posting a 2.93 ERA. He had a 1.00 ERA over his last 27 appearances of the season. Philadelphia needs him to be a stable feature of the pen this year because there is a lot of uncertainty in front of him.
Philadelphia Phillies Odds To Win The World Series
Philadelphia would have been a decent value pick at their opening 40-to-1 odds to win the World Series. As of March 5, they were down to 20-to-1. Interestingly, the Phillies are just 18-to-1 to win the National League, which is pretty close to their odds to win the title. Philadelphia is 4.5-to-1 to win their division.
Philadelphia Phillies 2020 Predictions
I am basing all of my predictions on my belief in an 81-game season that starts on July 1. I have absolutely no inside information about MLB's plans for the 2020 season. However, for the sake of discussion, 81 games are what I have in mind while writing these previews.
Philadelphia is going to be a dangerous team for bettors this year, for good or ill. The Phillies don't have the same caliber of pitching that division rivals Atlanta, New York and Washington have. However, you can't underestimate the difference that going from Kapler - who was always in over his head - to Girardi. The former Yankees skipper is an excellent manager that is used to leading teams with lofty expectations, high-priced talent, and a demanding fan base.
The Phillies have a lot of high-end talents and All-Star caliber players on this roster. That lineup is nasty, and their abilities will be amplified by playing in the lone hitter-friendly park in the division.
It will come down to pitching, though. And I don't think the Phillies have near enough of it. Nola is a stud. But Wheeler is a dud. And I have no faith in the guys at the back end of their rotation. The only hope for a playoff run would be if the bullpen catches fire.
I think Philadelphia will beat out one of the other three more highly touted teams in the division. And I expect the Phillies to be a factor in what should be a frantic playoff race in the National League. However, I think they will miss out on October baseball yet again.
Robert Ferringo is a professional sports bettor and handicapper for Doc's Sports and is considered one of the top MLB betting experts in the country. He has posted three consecutive winning MLB seasons and closed the 2019 season on a +$10,000 baseball run for his followers. Robert has beaten the books for six of seven profitable seasons on the diamond and is looking forward to another winning season for his clients. If you would like some help winning more bets in MLB this season the good news is that you can try out Ferringo's MLB picks for free when you set up your complimentary $60 account here.
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