Philadelphia Phillies Season 2017: Five Storylines to Watch

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Apr 18, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General view as the New York Mets take batting practice before the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 18, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General view as the New York Mets take batting practice before the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 16, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) celebrates with third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) after his home run against the New York Mets during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) celebrates with third baseman Anthony Rendon (6) after his home run against the New York Mets during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

How Will The Phillies Fare In A Top Heavy NL East?

ESPN recently released their first MLB power rankings as we head into the season. The Phillies landed in the 24th spot to open the season with a projected record of 67-95. The Atlanta Braves are projected to finish just ahead of the Phillies at 68-94. This is surprising.

The Phillies are coming off a season in which they finished fourth in the NL East with a record of 71-91. Although unlikely to compete with the likes of the Washington Nationals and New York Mets, the Phillies should still improve their record from last season.

The bullpen should more secure, the rotation should be more potent and the corner outfielders should be much more productive in 2017.

You can fully expect the Phillies to finish either third or fourth this season, which will be highly contingent on how Miami recovers after losing their heart and soul in Jose Fernandez last season.

This is no 100 win team but look for the Phils to finish the year with a win total somewhere in the mid to upper 70s as they move one step closer to the end of their rebuild.

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