Phillies baseball is back! But, just about nothing has gone right over the last year in Philadelphia. Seasonal depression isn’t supposed to last this many seasons.
On November 5th, the Philadelphia Union lost the MLS Cup. That hurt, but we still have the Philli…
Not to be outdone, only one day later, the Phillies fell in a six-game elimination in the World Series against the Houston Astros. That’s enough pain for one calendar, but God laughed.
The ‘year’ was finally punctuated with an Eagles Super Bowl loss that effectively ended on a holding penalty that won’t be forgotten shortly.
Do you hear that sound? It’s the world laughing at a city they love to hate. Maybe we all need a break from fandom – perhaps we need to gamble.
So this season, I won’t be rooting for the Phillies as a fan but as a stakeholder. Before Spring Training, here are all the future bets you can tail if you believe the Phantic is out for blood.
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES O/U 88.5 WINS: O-115/U-105 ON DRAFTKINGS
The Phillies’ 87 wins in 2022 were enough for a Wildcard spot, and I think they’ve improved this off-season. Potentially missing Bryce Harper to kick the year off will hurt, but this lineup was built to pick up the slack, and Nick Castellanos can’t be any worse.
In a vacuum, Trea Turner‘s 4.9 WAR from 2022 would be enough to hit this over as the replacement for Jean Segura‘s 1.8 WAR. A difference of 3.1 is all the convincing I need to ride the over.
VERDICT: The payout isn’t great, and the division is tough but hit the over. Dave Dombrowski isn’t done making moves.
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES TO WIN THE NL PENNANT: +850 ODDS ON DRAFTKINGS
Despite upgrades like Turner, Taijuan Walker, and Craig Kimbrel, Vegas still thinks they’re less likely National League Champions than two other teams in their division.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Phils slot into the Wildcard spot for consecutive years, given the arguably superior talent of the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves.
ZiPS predicts that the Braves will run away with 96 wins, and the Mets and Phillies trail with 84 wins a piece. If you can’t get out of your division, the road to the World Series won’t be easy.
VERDICT: Don’t touch this one. The Phillies can reach the playoffs, but it may be again via the Wildcard.
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES TO WIN THE WORLD SERIES: +1400 ODDS ON FANDUEL
The Phillies are getting the 7th best odds on FanDuel, and DraftKings thinks even less of them at +1700.
They’re returning a similar roster to last season’s playoff run, and even with the addition of Walker to the pitching staff, it remains unclear how improved this starting pitching corps will fare. Even more concerning, they’re putting a lot of trust in a 34-year-old Kimbrel and a relatively untouched bullpen.
Offensively, the Phillies essentially replaced Segura with Turner. That’s an upgrade for the ages, but they’ll still be trotting out Brandon Marsh and Castellanos in the outfield. Ultimately, the 2023 iteration of the Phillies looks built for offense again, but it worked last year.
VERDICT: This is fun with a capital PH. I’m laying $10 to win $140.
THE NL EAST TO WIN THE WORLD SERIES: +250 ON FANDUEL
The Phillies may not be getting as much respect as the National League Champions, but FanDuel Sportsbook likes the NL East as the favorite division to win the World Series.
Take that as you will, but the East will be a bloodbath at the top.
VERDICT: Why not?
FIVE MORE WILDCARDS THAT KEEP THE PHILLIES OUT OF THE WILDCARD
Here are a few more I will sprinkle some money on. If two or more of these happen, however unlikely, the Phillies should eclipse 88 wins and then some.
Zack Wheeler MLB Wins Leader – +1800 on DraftKings
Aaron Nola MLB Strikeout Leader – +1400 on DraftKings
Trea Turner MLB Hits Leader – +800 on DraftKings
Kyle Schwarber MLB Home Run Leader – +1100 on DraftKings
Alec Bohm O/150.5 Hits – -115 on DraftKings
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Scott Kane