The Phillies have a chance to make the postseason for the first time since 2011.
The Bryce Harper era has not gone according to plan in the first two seasons. After third- and fourth-place finishes in the National League East, the Philadelphia Phillies are yet again looking to end their decade-long postseason drought.
It’s easy to see a lot of national media and projections counting the Phillies out, including the PECOTA projections, which give the Phillies a mere 7 percent chance to win the division. The team’s pitching has struggled over the past few seasons, mainly the bullpen, along with a weak backend of the rotation.
What has been most disappointing is two awful September collapses — one in 2019 where the Phillies were 70-65 at the beginning of the month, to only go 11-16 in their final 27 games. In 2020, even with an expanded postseason, the Phillies finished one game out and lost seven of their last eight games.
This coming season will not be any easier. The Phillies’ division is arguably the best in baseball. The Marlins, the “worst” team in the division, made the postseason last year and has notably dominated the Phillies over the past two seasons. The defending-champion Braves added Charlie Morton. The Nationals, World Series champions just over a season ago, acquired two power bats in Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber. All the while, the Mets traded for Francisco Lindor and signed James McCann, among other impressive additions.
Nonetheless, it’s a fresh season and anything can happen. Here is why the Phillies make the postseason, and maybe even win the National League East, in 2021.