Buy or Sell: Do the Phillies Have Value to Make Playoffs?
At the All-Star break, the Philadelphia Phillies are still afloat in the National League playoff picture, but is there value in them ultimately getting in?
It’s hard to like their chances in the NL East, with an 8.5-game deficit over the first-place New York Mets. That’s reflected in their odds, currently at +3000.
Through 92 games, the Phillies own a half-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants for the final Wild Card position in the NL. Even with the Phillies being in the dance if the playoffs kicked off tonight, it’s still somewhat surprising seeing them own odds of -120 to make the playoffs vs. -102 to miss. There have been many inconsistencies with the Phillies, but they’ve still put themselves in a position to have an excellent second half.
Reports suggest Bryce Harper could return towards the end of August, meaning the team will need contributions from other members in the lineup. With Harper sidelined, Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins are tasked with carrying the offense. Despite his lackluster performance in the Home Run Derby, Schwarber has crushed an NL-leading 29 home runs, while Hoskins has added 19 with a .816 OPS. Nick Castellanos hasn’t had the season many expected, and his .673 OPS through 91 games is a disappointment. If Philadelphia has playoff aspirations, they’ll need the Florida native to pick up his play in the second half.
The Phillies pitching staff has come as advertised in 2022, with Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler leading the charge at the top of the rotation. Wheeler has hung around in the NL Cy Young conversation but was snubbed from making an appearance in the All-Star Game. Wheeler has an 8-5 record with a 2.89 ERA, while Nola is 6-7 with a 3.13 ERA. Nola ranks near the top in MLB in strikeouts with 137, whereas Wheeler has 108. If the Phillies can get into the postseason, this is an excellent one-two punch at the top of their rotation. Kyle Gibson, Ranger Suarez, and Zach Eflin have ERAs under 4.5, with the Phillies sitting eighth overall with a 3.69 team ERA. If the rotation can continue this consistency, it’s not difficult imagining the Phillies playing into October.
Philadelphia is hard to get a read on this year, and the injury to Harper didn’t help. Harper’s return for the stretch run will bolster their lineup, but it’s hard to say what impact he’ll have after coming back from a broken left thumb. This Phillies team has the makings of one that should be around until the season’s final weeks. Targeting a bat to add to their lineup is one thing management will look at with the trade deadline approaching.
The Cardinals, Giants, and potentially even the Milwaukee Brewers will be tough to outlast the rest of the way, but there are a lot of signs with this Phillies squad that things are looking up. You should likely buy into them making the playoffs at -120 in the National League.
Below are the odds to win the NL East from the FanDuel Sportsbook.
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