ESPN wrongly ranks Phillies as 18th-best team in baseball
2. Beneficial schedule splits
The National League East is arguably the best division in baseball, and the American League East might be the second-best division. Every single regular season game for the Phillies this season will be against teams from these divisions. However, the Phillies have the fifth-easiest schedule in baseball until August 7, based on 2019 records. A possible hot start can ride a team to the postseason with a shortened 60-game sprint.
A benefit in the Phillies in this shortened season is their home-road splits against certain teams. Out of 10 games against Atlanta, seven take place at home in Citizens Bank Park. For the 10 battles against the Mets, six are in Philadelphia. The Phillies travel to Washington, D.C., for six of the 10 vs the Nationals, which is a negative. But, they did slug 11 home runs in 10 games at Nationals Park last year, eight of them from left-handed batters.
The Marlins notably stole games from us last year, there is no reason why the Phillies shouldn’t handle them this season. Although seven games will be at Marlins Park in Miami, the Phillies scored the most runs in that stadium in 2019 following Citizens Bank Park. Again following CBP, the Phillies had the most extra-base hits and drew the most walks at Marlins Park in 2019.
They can take advantage of a young Blue Jays team. Three games vs. the Orioles at home should be a clean sweep, but they may struggle in three games at Tropicana Field against the Rays to end the season. The Left-Handed power bats in Harper, Bruce, and Gregorius can hopefully take advantage of the short right field porch in New York for two games at Yankee Stadium come July 29-30.
In a 60-game stretch, every game matters. If the Phillies can take advantage of their home games against Atlanta, winning five of seven at home, and snag a clean sweep against the Orioles while playing .500 baseball elsewhere, they will finish at 34-26 — which should be enough to make the playoffs. It is roughly equivalent to 92 wins in a full 162-game stretch.