Every year baseball pundits try their darndest to predict the coming season. With the chaos of a 162-game season, this becomes extremely difficult to do. We here at Philly Sports Network also have a tradition of predicting the Phillies’ coming season and some of MLB’s future.
So, sit back and relax as we go through our predictions for the 2023 season.
Your reigning and defending National League champions are back again. After a refreshing playoff run, the Phillies have gotten even better heading into the 2023 season. With additions like Trea Turner, Taijuan Walker, Gregory Soto, and Craig Kimbrel, the Phillies should easily improve on their 87-win 2022.
My prediction is the Phillies win 94 games in 2023, finishing with the top Wild Card in the National League. That’s right. I don’t think the Phillies will win the division. The loss of Rhys Hoskins hurt the chances of that. I believe the Atlanta Braves will take the division, although they’ll have another slow start to the season. I’m thinking they win 96 games. The Mets will suffer from bullpen issues but will still secure the 3rd Wild Card with 89 wins.
Imagine how Phillies fans reacted to the 2021 bullpen. Now replace Phillies fans with Mets fans. Queens might explode.
The Phillies will host the 92-win Dodgers in the Wild Card Series. The 103-win Padres will once again fall to the Phillies in the NLDS. The Braves will get their revenge in a 7-game NLCS classic.
Blue Jays take the World Series in 6 games.
Aaron Nola will be the Phillies’ Cy Young this season. He’s playing for a big payday in the offseason. He’ll be top-5 in NL Cy Young voting with a 2.57 ERA. Hot take: Nola has a no-hitter in 2023.
Trea Turner will easily be the Phillies’ MVP. Turner will hit .330 on the season with 30 homers and 50 stolen bases. He’ll be a top-3 MVP candidate.
Bold prediction: Rhys Hoskins will return in the NLDS. Hoskins’ Phillies career can’t end with an injury. He’s going to pull a Kyle Schwarber from 2016. He’ll have 2 homers against the Padres.
Bonus Bold: Bryce Harper returns on June 9th to face the Dodgers at home.
Phillies record: 93-69
Even with the recent loss of Rhys Hoskins and only having Bryce Harper for approximately half of the season, there is no doubt that the Phillies have improved over the offseason. A once laughable bullpen is now one of the top 10 in baseball, the rotation will be better once Ranger Suarez and Andrew Painter rejoin the roster, Trea Turner.
NL East standings:
Despite the improvements the Phillies have made, the NL East continues to be the gauntlet of the National League. The Mets will likely out-pace the Phillies, but the race for the NL East title could very well go to October 1st this year.
World Series winner: Phillies
Call me a homer but when a team makes it to the World Series and then gets better over the offseason, it’s hard not to say that they are likely to get back there again. And this time, the young guys will be ready to dance, and not just on their own.
Phillies MVP: Trea Turner
He very well could be the NL MVP this year. Trea Turner will lead off an incredibly potent line-up that will only get better when his friend Bryce Harper returns. His power will be put on full display this year at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park and some of the recent rule changes will bring the stolen base back into the limelight. Expect Turner to get the green light early and often at first base this year.
Phillies Cy Young: Aaron Nola
Aaron Nola silenced a lot of his critics with his top performance in 2022. Combine that momentum with him entering a contract year and Nola is set to have a year for the record books.
Bold Take: I’ll give you two. First: Darick Hall is not eligible for Rookie of the Year consideration, having just eclipsed the requirements in 2022. But if he were eligible, he would be a shoo-in for the NL Rookie of the Year in 2023. Second: Trea Turner hits 30 home runs and steals 40 bases on the year.
Tommy Orme, Betting Lead
Phillies record: 90-72 – potentially surprising but the eventual return of Bryce Harper and a solid second half clinch the Phillies their second Wildcard spot in a row.
NL East Result: the Atlanta Braves remain the most talented team in the NL East, and with their offensive lineup relatively untouched from a season ago, another 100+ wins aren’t out of the question. The Phillies finish second, followed by the New York Mets and a spunky Miami Marlins team that should play spoiler in 2023. Prayers out for the Washington Nationals, who’ll need a couple more years to find their footing and return as a perennial winner.
World Series Winner: going with the young Seattle Mariners, who you can get on FanDuel Sportsbook at +2000 odds to win it all.
Phillies MVP: Nick Castellanos – entering his second year in Philadelphia, Castellanos can’t get much worse than 2022. With Harper’s extended absence imminent, the Phillies will need some help from their oft-forgotten $20MM/year outfielder, and he’ll rebound from a career-worst .389 slugging in his second year in Citizens Bank Park.
Phillies Cy Young: Zack Wheeler – I flirted with Taijuan Walker or Craig Kimbrel but decided not to overthink this. Since Wheeler joined the Phillies, his ERA hasn’t eclipsed 3.00 in three seasons; expect more of that as he inches closer and closer to age 33.
Bold Take: Darick Hall hits 30 homeruns. Not quite as bold with Rhys Hoskins now absent for the ’23 season, but Hall’s raw power should fit in nicely. Over 25% of Hall’s total hits in 2022 left the yard, and he’s already knocked five long balls in Spring Training.
It’s time to be real with Phillies fans, we’re in a good place and that is okay. Yes, losing Bryce Harper to Tommy John surgery until the All-Star Break isn’t ideal but we have Trea “Treat” Turner. Losing Rhys Hoskins to an ACL injury for the season is a rough break but it’s not quite a time to despair. Every team is dealing with ailments so their journey through NL East teams will be a bit more even strength.
There is talent in this roster, just look at it. Turner, Taijuan Walker, Gregory Soto, and Craig Kimbrel to name a few. Now, staying healthy will be the name of the game and that will be the issue. Finding out Andrew Painter is already dealing with UCL injuries will thin the bullpen. Ranger Suarez, the left-handed starter, did not pitch in any spring games due to an injury. Arms are in short supply for the Phillies and that might be the area of concern.
With Hoskins out, are we ready to see Darick Hall? Might not have much of a choice. He hit .250 with nine home runs, 16 RBIs, an .804 OPS and was the DH for Harper.
The NL East is going to have a three-way race, sorry Miami and Washington. The season will come down to the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, and Phillies.
New York might be the toughest competition for the Phillies as the Braves lost some key guys in the offseason. The Mets lost Edwin Diaz and that huge blow might shake their confidence. Can the Phillies make it to the World Series? Maybe. But will they have to battle against Mr. Met (ew) and Atlanta? Absolutely.
Bold Take: Hall will shine at first base
Make no mistake, first base is not a position you typically want someone with limited experience. He has 142 plate appearances last season and it’s not like he’s wet behind the ears. But Harper’s thumb injury isn’t as prolonged as losing Hoskins for the season. Hall will need to step up to the plate (told you we have puns!) and work on the strike zone. He’s looked sharper on it during spring training but it’s going to take that first regular season at-bat to really see if he can fill some big shoes.
CY Young Winner: Zack Wheeler
Wheeler is healthy and while the rest of the team is looking like a frat house after a weekend, Wheeler is ready to go. He’s one of the best pitchers in baseball, even with his weird right shoulder injury issues. He learned from pitching coach Caleb Cotham and there will be a new pitch that fans will see when he takes the mound. Easily going to be fun to watch and a much-needed anchor in the injury-depleted bullpen.
Team MVP: Trea Turner
This is a common one but it is also a correct one. If you had anything else, consider yourself wrong. At the World Baseball Classic, Turner put on a masterclass of what he’s bringing to Philadelphia. The game-winning grand slam against Venezuela? Amazing! As the leadoff guy, he’s going to put up big numbers. And in Philly, we like big numbers and we cannot lie.
Phillies Record Prediction for 2023: 92-70
NL East Division Standings: 1. Braves 2. Phillies 3. Mets 4. Marlins 5. Nationals
World Series Winner: Blue Jays over Phils
Phillies MVP: Trea Turner
Phillies Cy Young: Zach Wheeler
Bold Take: Alec Bohm will hit 25 or more HRs this season
NL MVP: Trea Turner
Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire