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March 28, 2023

Predicting the 2023 Phillies: All-Stars, World Series chances and more

The Phillies' run back to the World Series begins Thursday. Will they make it there?

Even the most optimistic, diehard Phillies fan could not have predicted what happened in 2022. A team that had not even made it to a playoff series in over a decade had a red-hot run to the World Series. 

Two wins away from a championship, and in the wake of the Eagles' Super Bowl setback, the city and its fans are hungry for a title.

Could the defending NL champs get back to the promised land this season?

Our staff tackled eight burning questions about the 2023 Phillies, days away from the season kicking off in Texas on Thursday. 

Here's a look at our bold predictions, expectations, and World Series optimism:

1. Will the Phillies make the playoffs?

Evan Macy (managing sports editor): Even without Rhys Hoskins and half a season of Bryce Harper, this is a definite playoff team.

Shamus Clancy (deputy sports editor): Yes. They will win 90 games and grab the second Wild Card spot in the National League.

Nick Tricome (staff writer): Yes.

Eytan Shander (PhillyVoice columnist): Yes, the Phillies will make the playoffs. It’s not going to be easy weathering injuries to both Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins, but they have one of the top-end rotations in baseball. The addition of Taijuan Walker only helps stabilize the rotation and did anyone see what Trae Turner did to the rest of the world at the WBC? Even if it’s a Wild Card, the team is back in the playoffs.

2. Will the Phillies win the NL East?

Evan: The Braves and Mets are being picked to finish ahead of the Phillies but I have a suspicion it might be a tight race. Ultimately, they will probably finish in second.

Shamus: No. Atlanta will capture the division title.

Nick: No. They'll be in a chase with the Braves for it, but Atlanta will just win that one out.

EytanThis one is a little tougher mainly because of the youth movement in Miami and the consistent development of talent in Atlanta. The Mets are going to be a problem as the Phillies will also have to fight the wear of a long season ending in the World Series. The division is too wide open to confidently say they will win it, so I’ll err on the side of caution and say no.

3. How many All-Stars will the Phillies have (and whom will they be)?

Evan: The Phillies have not had more than two All-Stars in over a decade, which is why I will conservatively say three — Trea Turner, J.T. Realmuto and then either Aaron Nola or Zack Wheeler.

ShamusThree All-Stars: Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber and J.T. Realmuto

Nick: Six (Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, J.T. Realmuto, Alec Bohm, Zack Wheeler, and Aaron Nola).

EytanTrea Turner, Zach Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Seranthony Domínguez and a surprise (maybe Alec Bohm?).

4. Which player are you most excited to watch in 2023?

Evan: Trea Turner is the most obvious choice here, but for me, it's Bryce Harper. What will he look like when he's back? And when will that be? Having a healthy Harper in the middle of the lineup come the summer is being extremely underrated. They'll be adding an MVP to the roster before the trade deadline.

ShamusTrea Turner giving the Phillies a true leadoff hitter and their best shortstop since franchise great Jimmy Rollins is adding even more juice to the Phillies' National League pennant defense.

Nick: Trea Turner because after this spring and the WBC, he looks ready for a massive season. Alec Bohm because he seems ready to break out now that third base is clearly his. Bryson Stott for similar reasoning as Bohm. He got better as last season went on, and I want to see where he goes now that he's fully settled in as an everyday major leaguer.

Eytan: Trea Turner. Anyone telling you anything else is lying.

5. Make one bold prediction for the 2023 season.

Evan: The Phillies' bullpen will be one of the three or four best in baseball this season.

ShamusJ.T. Realmuto has the highest MVP finish of any Phillie.

Nick: Trea Turner wins NL MVP. Kyle Schwarber hits around .270 for the season with the new shift rules and also reaches 50 home runs.

Eytan: Darick Hall hits 20 HR this year. I’d even bet 25+.

6. Will Rhys Hoskins or Aaron Nola return next season?

Evan: I think the Phillies will go star hunting again at first base, looking to make good on the other massive contracts they've given to players in their primes. So I think Hoskins walks. I also think it's possible Nola gets way overpaid elsewhere. His future in Philly will depend, in my opinion, on how the Andrew Painter/Mick Abel situations play out.

Shamus: Neither will.

Nick: Yes. I think the fallout from the injury will make it easier to retain Hoskins now, but even so, I really can't imagine either in any other uniform but a Phillies one.

EytanNola will be back but this is it for Hoskins. I wrote about it last week. Sucks to see a guy like that go but there’s no way they bring him back at a fair price to either side. The Hoskins era is over.

7. Will the Phillies make it back to the World Series?

Evan: So many ridiculously unlikely things had to go right last season. I think they win a series or two but I don't think it's reasonable to expect magic a second October in a row. 

Shamus: They will repeat as NL champs!

Nick: Yes. This group came into camp on a mission and I think they're going to see it through.

EytanFrom a betting standpoint there is a ton of value on the Phillies to return to the World Series and even win it. The team is getting shorted because of two major injuries and how much baseball they played last year. The reality is they have a super strong rotation and a lineup that is still deadly and can provide a ton of pop deeper into games. The team returns a lot of core players who went through major comebacks and improbable playoff victories, hard to think they won't respond in a similar fashion when faced with a similar situation. Their manager is entrenched in this team and culture, and they will respond to the return of Harper – possibly at first base. 

8. Will they win it?

Evan: Let me say this. I think it would be astonishing — and unlikely — to see them in the World Series again. But if they get there, they won't fall short again.

Shamus: 30 years later, they will once again lose to the Toronto Blue Jays in the Fall Classic.

Nick: Yes.

EytanThe team was much better in the playoffs than the regular season and got better this year – injuries aside. The loss of Hoskins will prove to be a deeper personal one than anything impacted on the field. Get Harper back, then get back into the playoffs, and then win the damn thing.

Follow Evan on Twitter:@evan_macy

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