ESPN wrongly ranks Phillies as 18th-best team in baseball
ESPN ranks the Phillies as the 18th-best team ahead of Opening Day 2020
July 23, 2020, was a sweet day for many in what has been a rough year. Major League Baseball opened its season Thursday evening, with the New York Yankees beating the Washington Nationals in a shortened game due to inclement weather, and the Los Angeles Dodgers overtaking the Gabe Kapler-led San Francisco Giants. ESPN promptly released their power rankings for the 2020 MLB season, which can be found here.
The Phillies came in at No. 18. This would mean they finish with a record most likely around .500. They’d be the 10th-best team in the National League behind the Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Nationals, New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, and Milwaukee Brewers.
It is hard to see the Mets in the top 10, who lost two huge arms in Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) and Zack Wheeler (free agency). Edwin Diaz was a letdown, and question marks surround Robinson Cano and Dellin Betances. Their No. 3 starter, Marcus Stroman, just landed on the 10-day IL as well. Plus, the Reds did add a lot this offseason, from Nicholas Castellanos to Mike Moustakas, but can Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer put their inconsistencies behind them? Their third-best arm, Anthony DeSclafani, also landed on the 10-day IL.
Marly Rivera of ESPN first reported on Thursday that the MLBPA agreed on terms of a 2020 expanded postseason, pending ratification from team owners, which has since happened.
Now 16 teams — over half the league — will make the playoffs in the 2020 shortened season. If ESPN’s power rankings turned out to be true, the Phillies would still miss the playoffs. To say that would be disappointment would be an understatement. There hasn’t been postseason baseball in Philadelphia for almost a decade.
However, here are three reasons why the Phillies will make the postseason and debunk ESPN’s power rankings.