2018 Record: 80-82
Projected 2019 Record: 88-74
2018 Recap & 2019 Team Outlook
Philadelphia had high expectations in 2018, but things fell short with Atlanta being the team that took down the division. This division is much improved from prior years, and Philadelphia has bulked up their starting lineup. They finally got Bryce Harper, but the additions of Jean Segura, Andrew McCutchen, and J.T. Realmuto put their offense on another level. Philadelphia certainly has the offense to make a run, but is the rotation enough after Aaron Nola? They will need a few guys to step up in the rotation if they want to go farther. After some inconsistent runs in 2018, they will look to sure things up by bringing in some veteran players.
The biggest storyline of the offseason was Bryce Harper. It took some time but they got the deal done and he is now officially a part of Philadelphia. This overshadowed their other acquisitions, like McCutchen, Segura, and Realmuto. We have seen teams line up a strong roster and fail due to focusing on one of aspect of the roster. Is that what will happen to Philly? With the NL East getting stronger, the Phillies have a lot of competition now. Washington bolstered their roster, and have had top prospects come up and thrive. New York retooled, and the Braves are still in contention. Philadelphia is going to have a competitive group to compete with.
Phillies Starting Pitching
Aaron Nola topped 200 strikeouts last season, and 200 innings. He also sported a 2.37 ERA. Jake Arrieta was the only other to have under a four ERA, as the other arms had strikeout stuff but were more rocky. Arrieta did not look right, as he moved to a heavy sinker approach. This worked at times, but he wasn’t quite the guy you saw in Chicago. Those days might be behind him, but health might have also tied into why he struggled a bit. Both Nola and Arrieta will look to lead this staff, and anchor the group that they will need a lot out of.
We have seen flashes of above average stuff from Vincent Velasquez and Nick Pivetta, but consistency and injuries have occurred. Velasquez had a 1.35 WHIP, and Pivetta wasn’t far behind. Both have plus fastballs, and good offspeed stuff. Making it all work is now the next step. Zach Eflin found a new slider that worked for him in 2018, but he started to fizzle out down the stretch looking more like his old self.
The Philadelphia bullpen looks rather good coming into the year. David Robertson and Seranthony Dominguez are going to be in line to rack up some saves between the two of them, although it seems Robertson will have the upper hand. Both Jose Alvarez and Hector Neris are strong setup men, but after that they are a bit lackluster. If the starters can limit damage, this bullpen can have the same effect as some of the other more bullpen friendly teams. They aren’t Milwaukee, but they have a strong plan to get to the end of games.
After all of the offseason signings and trades, the Phillies have a loaded front five. Andrew McCutchen has been playing in bad ballparks for his entire career, and now will get a major home ballpark jump in Philadelphia. He is also projected to lead off. We should get closer to early McCutchen numbers, rather than late ones. Segura is going to bring some speed, and a strong OBP in the front half of the order. He is a major threat to bring in a ton of runs. Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins are both 30+ HR guys if they stay healthy, and the back-to-back power threat is huge. The Phillies also went out and landed currently one of the better offensive catchers. Realmuto hitting behind these names is going to be in some good spots.
The back half of the lineup is still solid. Maikel Franco is a power threat deep in the lineup, but the OBP has never set in, and likely won’t. Odubel Herrera and Cesar Hernandez both are decent on-base guys in the back half of the order. This could potentially set up some of the top guys with RBI chances.
Phillies Projected Lineup
- Andrew McCutchen
- Jean Segura
- Bryce Harper
- Rhys Hoskins
- J.T. Realmuto
- Maikel Franco
- Odubel Herrera
- Cesar Hernandez
2019 Noteworthy Fantasy Pitchers
Aaron Nola – Aaron Nola is coming off a 200+ strikeout season, and was one of few who topped 200 innings. Getting those types of innings is rare these days, and it is hard to see him reproducing just due to the chances of it happening back-to-back. However, Nola is an innings eater and very efficient. He has set a high bar for himself, which has heightened his ADP, but he is still one of the top fantasy arms in the game, despite not having that overpowering fastball like others around him. Nola has established himself as a fringe tier one arm.
Nick Pivetta – In terms of strikeouts, Nick Pivetta projects well with over 180. He has big strikeout stuff, but the blowups have killed his other stats. 2019 is going to be interesting because he might lean towards being a situational arm, meaning you rely on the matchup, or he settles down and brings you a solid line most nights out. Pivetta has a strong fastball sitting at 94-95, and a higher offspeed usage would help him greatly.
2019 Noteworthy Fantasy Hitters
Rhys Hoskins – You know Bryce Harper and what he brings, but Rhys Hoskins is another 30+ HR guy with potential to hit 100+ RBI. Hoskins struggled at times due to pitchers seeing more of him and not giving him that fastball, so more adjustments are needed if he wants to get that average up. He won’t crush you there, but that is his one downside to being a big time power bat. The outfielders on this team are all fantasy viable, and you can get them in a wide range of ADPs.
Jean Segura – Jean Segura came over from Seattle last season, where he posted a .304/.341/.756 slashing line. He had ten homers and 20 stolen bases. He is going to bring a little bit of everything, and at a position where it is very top heavy. Segura is a bit under the radar if you are just looking to skip out on the Lindors and Correas this year. He projects for an upgrade in home runs with his new park, and a small jump in runs and stolen bases.