The Philadelphia Phillies’ only path to the postseason is a wild card berth
If the Philadelphia Phillies want to end their postseason drought in 2022, they’re going to need to do something they’ve never done before:
Clinch a wild card berth.
Now in their 140th season, the Phillies have been to the postseason 11 times, all by way of winning their division, which they haven’t done since 2011. MLB implemented the original wild card in 1994, giving one team in each league a chance to advance, but the Phillies never earned a berth. The drought continued when the league expanded the wild card to the two-team play-in game format in 2012.
But with the expanded wild card this year, which gives three teams in each league a shot, the Phillies have a better chance – and less of an excuse – than ever.
Actually, it looks like clinching a wild card berth is their only chance, as they’re stuck under the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves. Barring catastrophic collapses by both, the Phillies don’t have a chance of winning the NL East. Even with their nine-game win streak last week, the Phillies are 9 1/2 games out of first. The Braves are on a 13-game winning streak, and the Mets are the only team in the National League with 40+ wins, the second-most in MLB behind the New York Yankees.
According to WynnBet, the Mets are +350 to win the pennant, with the Braves (+750) and Phillies (+1500) trailing behind.
It’s already a season of firsts for the Phillies, who finally exceeded the luxury tax threshold in hopes of ending the longest postseason drought in the NL. Despite years of high payrolls, they’d never actually stepped into the overspending category. Unfortunately, even with several pricy additions, the Phillies look like their old selves, just one game over .500, the same way they finished last season.
In their 140th season, can this old dog pull off a new trick?