Phillies: 10 keys to winning the National League East
Aaron Nola has to match last years Cy Young campaign
Aaron Nola doesn’t have to win the Cy Young for the Phillies to contend, but he must continue to lead a largely unproven staff forward.
With so many unknowns in the rotation, Nola must be the constant all year. Even if Nick Pivetta takes the step forward everyone expects and Arrieta returns from minor knee surgery, it will be Nola’s face on the marquees and promos.
What Nola did in 2018 was absolutely historic, and most seasons he’d win the Cy Young. Nola had the seventh best WAR (10.5), seventh best WHIP (0.975), fourth best hits per nine innings pitched (6.316), and fourth best ERA adjusted (175) in Phillies history.
Nola’s 10.2 WAR is the second-best in Phillies history post-deadball era behind Steve Carlton.
While Nola might not be able to turn a season just like last years, anything other than a strong season likely puts the Phillies short of the playoffs. His 17 wins and 25 quality starts went a long way last year, and thankfully this year some of those quality starts will turn to wins with a quality offense behind Nola.
Philadelphia scored less than four runs per game last year for Nola, the fifth-fewest in baseball last year. In the 11 starts, Nola made that turned into losses, Philadelphia scored one run or less in seven of those games. In the six games where Nola was credited with a loss, the Phillies scored just five runs combined.
Adding Harper, Realmuto, Segura, and McCutchen to the lineup will hopefully churn out enough runs.
Backed by a superstar lineup and an experienced catcher behind the plate, Nola should see success yet again next season.