2011 was the last time the Phillies posted a winning record or made baseball’s post-season. I was living in Washington, DC, Barack Obama’s hair wasn’t grey yet, and Bill Cosby wasn’t disgraced yet. Ryan Howard was still a perennial MVP candidate, the Phillies had the best pitching staff in baseball, and JP Crawford was still unheard of. A lot has changed since. Six seasons have passed. None of the 2008 Phillies are still on the roster. Washington has now become the place through which the NL East is won.
The 2017 Phillies won 66 games. The 2018 Phillies will be expected to win no less than 15 games more. After spending big money on free agents, calling up many of the top prospects in the system, and turning over the coaching staff, another losing season is not acceptable. The 2018 Phillies are no one’s pick to win anything, but there is an expectation of meaningful games coming ahead.
With that in mind, it’s time to make some predictions for 2018. Here are my 2018 predictions:
- Record- 84-78. An improved offense will join a good top end of the rotation to push the Phillies to a winning season.
- Home Run leader- Rhys Hoskins at 41. Maikel Franco at 32 and Carlos Santana at 30 homers will top the 30 barrier, while Aaron Altherr, Nick Williams, and Jorge Alfaro will hit over 20 homers.
- Place in the NL East- Second. 10 games back.
- Innings Leader- Aaron Nola with 202.
- Kingery Starts- 122, split up among seven positions.
- Batting Average Leader- Cesar Hernandez at .294.
- All-Stars- Jake Arrieta and Rhys Hoskins
- ERA Leader- Arrieta 2.79.
- Next Contract Extension- Rhys Hoskins checks in around $100 million.
- WAR Leader- Odubel Herrera.
- Kapler Ejections- Three.
- RBI Leader- Hoskins 112.
- Wins Leader- Arrieta 16.
- Playoff Status- Three games out of the second WildCard.
Let’s play ball!