As they did last season, the Philadelphia Phillies were spenders this offseason, making improvements not only to their lineup but their starting rotation as well. They’ll look to be building off what was a massive disappointment in 2019, which saw this new looking Phillies club go 81-81 and finish fourth in the National League East. This team is loaded with talent, and it’s just a matter of execution in 2020.
SP Zack Wheeler
RP Trevor Kelley
SS Didi Gregorius
Manager Joe Girardi
OF Corey Dickerson
2B Cesar Hernandez
3B Maikel Franco
One of the biggest changes came in the managerial position. With Gabe Kapler’s services no longer needed, the Phillies brought in Joe Girardi to take the helm. After managing the Marlins for a single season in 2006, he went on a very impressive run with the Yankees from 2008-2017. During that span, Girardi lead the team to a 910-710 (.562) record and a 28-24 record in the postseason, which included a World Series win in 2009. He’ll look to take the Phillies to the postseason for the first time since 2011.
Their biggest addition of the offseason was SP Zach Wheeler, who was most recently with the Mets. Wheeler was a potential trade chip for the Mets throughout the season but an unexpected string of wins kept them in contention all the way until the end. Thus, Wheeler finished up his Mets career tossing 195 1⁄3 innings with a 3.96 ERA and an 8.9 K/9. Moving to a much more hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park could pose an issue for Wheeler, who struggled on the road last year. Not having the comfy confines of Citi Field behind him for half his starts could be his biggest downfall. Nonetheless, the Phillies, on paper, have a powerful 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation now with Wheeler and Aaron Nola.
Offensively, the Phillies were able to sign SS Didi Gregorius, who will be very familiar with Girardi. Gregorius was with the Yankees for the last five seasons, dating back to 2015. The move will shift the Phillies infield as Jean Segura will move to second base and Scott Kingery could move to third. Gregorius was coming off a year in which he missed half the season due to Tommy John surgery and went on to slash .238/.276/.441 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI in 82 games. With a normal offseason behind him, he’s a great bat to plant in the middle of this Phillies lineup that also includes Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Phillies preseason 2020 win total is set at 84.5. I think it’s safe to say this team underperformed last year and now brings in a new manager, a solidified number two starter and another power bat to the heart of their lineup. Is it good enough for another four wins from last to this season? I certainly think so. Much has been said about how Gabe Kapler managed this team and the addition of Girardi will make a difference and fast. I like this total where it’s at currently and would be comfortable taking the over. If it starts to creep up a bit, I would shy away and go under.
Philadelphia Phillies OVER 84.5 wins
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