Phillies vs Marlins: Staff bold predictions ahead of Wild Card series

Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryson Stott, center, celebrates with J.T. Realmuto, left, after hitting a home run against Minnesota Twins pitcher Brent Headrick during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Friday, Aug. 11, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Well, here we are. The Philadelphia Phillies are now just moments away from opening up their 2023 MLB Playoff campaign with a series against the Miami Marlins. Our writers decided to look into our crystal ball and try to predict the outcome of this anticipated series.

Matt Watson

Red October is back and this will not be a cheap remake of the original.

Player to Watch: Bryce Harper

Really bold choice to take the best player on the Phillies as the player to watch right?

Bryce Harper put the Phillies on his back in the 2022 playoffs and the moments he delivered will never be forgotten. The magic at Citizens Bank Park in Game 5 of the NLCS as Harper went deep in the 8th will never cease to amaze me. The goosebumps I still get when thinking back to that moment will live with me for a lifetime.

The Phillies will need Bryce to do that again and carry this team. While he should have more help, this team follows their leader. Playing first base for the entire playoffs gives Kyle Schwarber the chance to DH and improves the teams’ offense and defense. 

If Bryce can get hot in October, the Phillies will be playing for a championship at the end of the month.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper (3) high fives Trea Turner, right, after scoring on an RBI-single hit by Bryson Stott during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, June 11, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

Series Prediction: Phillies in 3

The Philadelphia Phillies are poised to go on another magical run with an even better squad than they had back in 2022.

A better bullpen, deeper starting pitching, and Trea Turner are three main upgrades that come to mind over last season’s team.

The path to the World Series is never an easy one and as the Phillies proved last season, anything can happen in the playoffs.

They start off with the Miami Marlins, a divisonal rival who has given them fits for what feels like forever. The talent level between the two teams is not comparable in my opinion and it would be a massive upset for the Phillies to lose the NL Wild Card series. 

That being said, the same could have been said about the Phillies when they took on the Cardinals last season. 

The path to the NLDS is simple. Play mistake free baseball and a rematch with the Braves will happen.

It will take 3 games, but I have the Phillies moving past the Marlins.

Alec Kostival

Let’s not overthink this. The Marlins are not the 2022 Phillies. They won just 84 games. The Marlins are missing their 2 best starters in Perez and Alcantara. The only thing Phillies fans seem to worry about is the lefthandedness of the Marlins. While the Phillies did struggle a bit against southpaws, there is no need to panic. Jesus Luzardo will be the toughest test but he’s opposed by Zack Wheeler. Wheeler averaged 2 ER over 6 IP in 3 starts against the Marlins this year. If the Phils somehow drop game 1, we can panic. For now, Phillies advance in 2 games.

Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Regina Ham

It’s going to be an uphill battle from the start for the Marlins. They’re coming in with injuries in their starting pitching rotation against the 1-2 punch of Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola. Of course there’s no shock that having Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner, and Bryce Harper means we’ll see a homer or two against an injured rotation.

Brandon Marsh might need to be shuffled around in the lineup and on the field. Having a bullpen with Matt Strahm and a healthy Jose Alvarado will help to rest any tired arms that they might have. Yet Miami has a new manager and they’re also going to take advantage of their record against the Phillies. They’ll take Game 1 but 2 and 3 will be shutout wins for the Phillies.

Liam Jenkins

The Phillies find themselves facing a very familiar opponent in the first step on the road to a second consecutive World Series berth in the Miami Marlins. Despite finishing below Philadelphia in the standings, the Marlins actually won 7 of the 13 games played against Philadelphia in 2023. The Marlins have felt like a bogey team forever, but this time it’s different.

Miami is limping. Both Sandy Alcantara and Eury Pére will miss the series due to injury and that should give the green light to the Phils to swing for the fences throughout this series.

I think Philly wins the opener and ultimately, the lack of Alcantara could be the difference. Philadelphia convincingly wins the game he misses, doing enough to complete the sweep in the process.

Shaun Nestor

This Phillies team is better than the 2022 version. Record, experience, depth, you name it, this team has improved as a unit. Now, it’s time for the Phillies to prove it to the world, first by needing to take down the pesky fish from Miami. It might get a little messy, but expect the Phillies to take down the Marlins in two games.

Miami Marlins’ Jorge Soler scores on a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Saturday, July 8, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Kyle Fisher

Hey Liam, if the staff prediction piece didn’t go out yet, here is mine:

“It is not an easy feat, returning to the Fall Classic two years in a row, but as Phillies manager Rob Thomson said “we’re built for where we are going”. Roster decisions are key, and some key decisions were already made – like carrying an extra right handed hitter and one less pitcher in the wild card round to combat the left-handed heavy pitching staff of the Miami Marlins. Expect a return from Lorenzen when the Phillies advance for a tough matchup against MLBs best in the Atlanta Braves.

he league may look at them as the biggest threat, but this Philadelphia squad is not scared of their NL East rival. There is a good chance they sneak past the Braves and end up in the NLCS once again. From there, it is tough to predict. I am confident they can return to the World Series, but will they – time will tell. I predict a return trip at least to the Championship Series for the 2023 Phillies.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum