The Phillies are rising in most MLB power rankings, but ESPN isn’t sold on the team quite yet. Time to bust out the dog masks?
Prior to Monday night’s disappointing loss to the Diamondbacks, the Phillies rattled off five straight wins, including a four-game sweep of the Miami Marlins. They maintain a 1.5 game lead in the National League East and their odds of making the playoffs are growing by the day.
At 63-49 heading into Tuesday’s game, Philadelphia currently holds the eighth-best record in MLB with the second best record in the NL. Only the Red Sox and Yankees have better home records, while only the Athletics and Mariners have better records in one-run games.
Major media outlets released their latest MLB power rankings at the beginning of the week. They are on the rise according to most, but a few remain rather low on the Phils:
- USA Today: 10 (-1)
- Sporting News: 6 (+3)
- Bleacher Report: 6 (+2))
- CBS Sports: 7 (+5)
- ESPN: 11 (-1)
- MLB.com: 5 (+3)
USA Today and ESPN both dropped Philadelphia in their rankings despite their success in the last week. ESPN even had the Braves still ahead of the Phils.
Neither explained the drop, but that didn’t stop Rhys Hoskins from calling ESPN out:
— Rhys Hoskins (@rhyshoskins) August 6, 2018
More from That Balls Outta Here
While ESPN may not be sold yet, others certainly are. The Phils were the biggest jumpers in CBS Sports’ rankings and also saw significant jumps from the Sporting News, MLB.com, and Bleacher Report. They even climbed into the top five according to MLB.com, ahead of the Dodgers, Yankees, and Athletics.
Aaron Nola was credited as a huge part of the team’s success across the board. He was called a Cy Young candidate, and for good reason. In 23 starts this year, he has a 12-3 record, 2.37 ERA, 2.78 FIP, 0.993 WHIP, and 3.60 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His 6.7 wins above replacement are tied with Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom for most among all players in the National League.
The Phils still have a tough series to finish with the Diamondbacks before a five-game series with the Mets over the weekend at Citizens Bank Park. If they keep playing like they have, there should be no reason to keep them as low as they are in some rankings.