3 Reasons for optimism about Phillies postseason chances

Philadelphia Phillies fans wave rally towels (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies fans wave rally towels (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

The Phillies postseason chances are looking good with 50 games remaining.

If the Philadelphia Phillies keep their same .672 winning  percentage pace since Rob Thomson was appointed interim manager in early June, the club would finish the season with a 34-16 record over its final 50 games — and therefore a staggering 97-65 overall 2022 record.

In years past, the Phillies needed a miracle stretch like that to barely even secure a postseason spot, but that is far from the case this season. The expanded postseason with a third Wild Card team — as well as other teams’ shortcomings — are what could clinch a “Red October” for the first time since 2011.

The Phillies are competing with four other teams for one of three National League Wild Card spots — the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, and San Diego Padres. Either the Cardinals or Brewers will clinch the National League Central title — meaning one team will be the odd one out and packing their bags for the offseason after Game 162.

There are three reasons to be optimistic about the Phillies’ postseason chances — all are tied to the National League Central’s Brewers: Among the five teams remaining in Wild Card contention, the Brewers have the:

  1. most games left (51),
  2. fewest off days left (4), and
  3. toughest remaining schedule (with their opponents having a combined .506 average winning percentage.

Entering Saturday, the Phillies lead the Padres by a half-game for the second Wild Card spot, and the Brewers by 2 1/2 games for the third and final spot (they also trail the Braves by 3 1/2 games for the top Wild Card).

Since the Phillies hold the tiebreaker against the Brewers — going 4-2 head-to-head against them in 2022 — Thomson’s squad essentially holds a somewhat comfortable 3 1/2-game lead heading into mid-August. The Phils also notably hold tiebreakers against the Padres and Cardinals — winning four of their seven meetings against both teams. The Phillies and Braves, meanwhile, are 6-6 against each other with seven critical September matchups remaining.

In other words, with just 50 games to go, the chances of rally towels being waved at Citizens Bank Park this fall are looking more and more favorable.

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