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April 07, 2022

How good are the Phillies going to be this season?

The Phillies have some buzz this season. But not all of it is good.

Predictions for the 2022 Phils, the first baseball team ever to pay the luxury tax in the city's history, are all over the map — from World Series contenders to big bust potential.

With absolutely no way to predict what will happen over the next six months, baseball pundits couldn't help themselves and made predictions all across the baseball-writing world.

And so, before Opening Day comes to Philadelphia, we've decided to round up the perceived finish for the Phillies this season in an attempt to paint a portrait of just what kind of expectations are reasonable and widely held for this team.

We'll start with the sports books, who have the Phillies sporting the 14th best World Series odds (via OddsShark):

TeamWS odds
Blue Jays+1000
White Sox+1000
Red Sox+1800

If you love this Phillies team, take a swing now, with long +3000 odds. They are notably behind both the Braves and Mets in World Series odds. 

The outlets below seem to agree that the Phillies will finish with a winning record and many of them have the Phillies as playoff participants. But the expectations seem to end there.

Take a look:

Third place finish

Matt Snyder | CBS Sports

CBS had their five baseball writers pick the finish in the NL East and all five have Philly finishing in third. Two of their writers, Matt Snyder and Dayn Perry, picked them to slide in as the final Wild Card.

Also receiving votes...


ESPN predicted who would win each division, and of 38 votes, the Phillies received two to come out on top. They also predicted the playoff spots, and the Phils missed out on the last Wild Card spot — but did get the fourth most votes (19 of them) to be a WC team.

Flop team

The Ringer

The Ringer made detailed predictions for 2022. The Phillies received one vote to make the Wild Card, and Zack Wheeler was Bobby Wagner's pick to win Cy Young. But the most noteworthy inclusion of the Phillies in this entry is Ben Lindberg's proclamation that they would be this season's biggest flop:

Lindbergh: Phillies. I waffled for a while between the Giants and the Cardinals for my final NL wild-card pick before landing at last on the Phillies. I’m pretty sure I made a mistake. By adding Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber to what was already MLB’s worst defensive team, the Phillies have reached a level of defense so putrid that it’s tough to win no matter what you do well. Dave Dombrowski may have misunderstood the assignment: “Universal DH” doesn’t mean you have to have a DH at every position.

I like the rotation, I like the lineup, and I like the idea of watching the latter try to hit its way out of its defensive self-sabotage, but putting post-rebuild distance between the Phillies and .500 shouldn’t be this hard. As I wrote when I made them my flop pick in 2020, “it’s disappointing that one has to squint to see the payoff that was supposed to have happened by now. In the sense that their farm is fairly barren and they’re still struggling to assemble a playoff favorite, the Phillies have already flopped.” I wouldn’t be shocked if I end up pasting those sentences into next year’s predictions post too. [The Ringer]


There's a chance...

Edward Sutelan | The Sporting News

Another website, another third place finish. But wait, there is hope. The Sporting News projects the Phillies to make the playoffs and their advanced analytics say they have a 39% chance of doing so. They also have an 18.5% chance of winning the NL East, and 12.3% chance of getting a first round bye.

Finally, some love

USA Today

Over at USA Today, a roundup of their staff's picks has the Phillies winning the NL East (via Gabe Lacques), being a Wild Card team (via Scott Boeck and Stephen Borelli), and two writers picked Bryson Stott to win Rookie of the Year in the NL.

Mostly third place

NY Post

At the Post, their baseball writers predicted the order of finish for each division and all but one writer picked Philly to be third in the NL East, with Mike Vaccaro picking them to win the division. Several pickers have Wheeler as the Cy Young winner and Stott and the ROY.

One and done

Sports Illustrated

Seven of SI's baseball writers picked the 2022 playoff field and three picked the Phils, ranging from WC1 to WC3. All three of those experts think the Phillies lose in the first round.

Wild Card credentials 

Fox Sports

All four of their experts picked the Braves to win the NL East. All four also picked the Phils to be a Wild Card team. None expect them win a playoff series, but Jordan Shusterman did pick Bryce Harper to repeat as NL MVP.

Division crown

The Guardian

Three baseball writers at The Guardian made their picks, and two of them left the Phils entirely out of the playoff picture. Bryan Armen Graham, however, picked the Phils to win their division. His reasoning:

Philadelphia Phillies. Bryce Harper’s MVP campaign was weighed down by a Philly bullpen whose 34 blown saves equaled the 2004 Colorado Rockies’ major-league record (although the Nationals’ 35 pipped them both). Enter Corey Knebel, the 30-year-old closer who bet on himself by signing a one-year, $10m contract. The improved bullpen and offseason additions of Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos will see the Phillies end their decade-long postseason drought. BAG [The Guardian]

89 wins

Brandon Scott | Bleacher Report

BR took a different approach to predicting the season, as they assigned every team the number of wins they expect in the 2022 season. The Phillies have a Vegas over/under of 86.5 and won just 80 last year, but Scott thinks they win a lot more than many might expect:

The Phillies added two of the best hitters on the free-agent market this offseason.

Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper will remain the Phillies' primary right fielder, while Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos rotate the corner outfield and designated hitter spots.

One of the major offseason needs for Philadelphia was adding more protection in the middle of the lineup for Harper, which they have done. ranks the Phillies' rotation in the top 10 across baseball, with Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola at the top.

If that holds true, and the offseason acquisitions live up to expectations, the NL East race could turn into one of the more fascinating things to watch this season.

Prediction: 89-73 [Bleacher Report]

Single digits

The Athletic

The Athletic's staff took 30 voters and had them voice their opinions on several predictive measures regarding the 2022 baseball season, and put everything into percentage form. Here's how the Phillies and Phillies players measured up:

Win the NL East: 6.1%

Bryce Harper, NL MVP: 9.1%

Zack Wheeler, NL Cy Young: 12.1%

Most underrated team: 3%

Most overrated team: 6%

The 6-seed

Tim Kelly | Audacity

Audacity did a straight up preview for each division and the Phillies are slotted third, gaining 88 wins. They're projected as the final playoff team and a loser in the first round of the playoffs.

More likely than not


And finally, the statistics site FiveThirtyEight gives the Phillies a 51% chance of making the playoffs, a one-in-five chance of winning the NL East and a 3% chance of winning the whole damn thing. They have the Phillies finishing below the over/under with 85 wins, but interestingly it's one more win than they expect the Mets to have, and it's enough to land them as the second Wild Card. 

Phillies season preview
C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | DH | OF | SP | RP

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