August 06, 2019
With 50 games remaining in the 2019 MLB season, the Phillies — despite all their injuries and other issues — are in the driver's seat in the National League wild card race.
After dropping two of three to the lowly White Sox over the weekend, the Phillies (59-53) bounced back with a 7-3 win in Arizona on Monday night, where they'll play two more games before heading to San Francisco for a four-game set with the Giants.
With those two teams each sitting 3.5 games back of the Phillies in the wild card standings, winning these two series will be critical for Gabe Kapler and his team. They'll also go a long way toward helping the Phillies hold off the Cardinals (half game back), Brewers (2 games) and Mets (2.5 games) now that the calendar has flipped to August.
Speaking of their division rivals, the Phillies will have to be careful of the Mets, who have been red-hot of late and have already passed the Phillies in two of the power rankings below: CBS and Bleacher Report. While the Phillies still have the better record, the Mets are gaining fast, who have won 11 of their last 12 games and are 17-6 since the All-Star break. Over that same span, the Phillies are just 12-10.
More recently — as in, the week since we last checked in on the power rankings — the Phillies have gone 3-3 on the field but didn't do much to improve their squad at the trade deadline, aside from adding Jason Vargas and Corey Dickerson. Still, that's been enough to see them rise in most power rankings.
Let's take a look at where they stand...
|WHAT THEY'RE SAYING...|
|14 (+2)||Jason Vargas was the big Phillies trade acquisition. The Mets must have known something to send Vargas to a team in front of them in the standings, right?|
|14 (+1)||Didn't make a sexy move, but Jason Vargas will help stabilize rotation.|
|16 (+3)||The acquisition of veteran outfielder Corey Dickerson might seem minor, but the offense continues to struggle against right-handed pitching, and Dickerson hit .330 with a .982 OPS against right-handers for the Pirates this season. An All-Star for the 2017 Rays and Gold Glove winner for the Pirates last year, a once-healthy Dickerson figures to push Jay Bruce to a bench role. In addition, look for rookie Adam Haseley to handle center field, with Scott Kingery pushing third baseman Maikel Franco to the bench role he has earned.|
|14 (-2)||Losing a series to the White Sox at home isn't the look of a contender, but at least we got to see Vince Velasquez hosing a runner at home from left field on Friday night. |
[NOTE: Some of these rankings may have come out a day or two ago, and may not be taking the most recent game(s) into account.]