August 05, 2018
By the numbers the Phillies — even though they boast a narrow lead in the NL East and are currently in the playoff bracket — are not exactly a dominating team.
Their run differential barely moves the needle for a club double-digit wins over .500 and their putrid team batting average of .238 is the fourth worst of all 30 Major League Baseball teams. Many, understandably, do not have high hopes for the Phillies this season after they failed to land a premier bat (though Astrubal Cabrera should help).
But behind the obvious are some very interesting trends and achievements that perhaps make the second youngest team in baseball more likely to make the playoffs, and perhaps make a run into October than many might think.
|Team||1-run game record|
The Phils also, if one looks further into things than their relatively mundane 72.7 save percentage (around the MLB average), have actually done a way better than average job protecting late leads. In games they've led in after seven innings they are 52-5. When leading after eight innings they are 56-2.
However, even after Maikel Franco's recent heroics against the Marlins, Philly is still 6-7 in walk-off decisions — explaining their lackluster 6-8 record when tied after eight frames.
Philadelphia is also 7-4 in extra inning games, the sixth best mark in MLB.
|Team||Record vs winning teams|
By comparison, the team that most closely trails the Phillies in the NL East, the Braves, are 30-30 against winning teams.
Contrary to what most winning teams do, though, Philly hasn't exactly feasted against lowly teams on the totem pole. When playing clubs under the .500 mark the Phillies are just 22-16, which is the 11th worst record in those games.
The Phils are the third best team in baseball at home, the best in the entire National League, and have won 11 of their last 13 games at Citizens Bank Park.
The other side of the coin is fairly obvious, though, as the club is the only current division leader with a losing record away from home at 25-30.
|Team||Record at home|
Interestingly, the Phillies are the fourth best team in interleague play at 10-5, behind the Red Sox, Pirates and Rockies.
Monday they'll attempt to improve their road play as they head to Arizona for three games against the Diamondbacks — a team with a winning record. Two days off, one on Thursday and one Monday after a weekend series in San Diego will help Philly prepare for a pair of games against the best team in the bigs — the Red Sox — traveling to CBP on August 14 and 15.
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