The Phillies are back on track after Monday’s 4-1 win against the Reds.
As each day on the calendar passes, Philadelphia Phillies games are becoming increasingly important.
The Phillies are looking to qualify for the postseason for the first time since their franchise-best 102-win season in 2011. Despite the recent disappointing series against the division-leading New York Mets, odds remain promising for “Red October” to make its long-awaited return this fall.
Entering Tuesday, just 40 games remain on the 2022 Phillies regular season schedule — 18 home and 22 away. With the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves well ahead of the Phillies in the National League East standings — and with St. Louis Cardinals also holding a commanding lead in the National League Central — manager Rob Thomson’s squad is essentially competing with two other teams for one of the two final National League Wild Card spots.
This means that one of the Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers, and San Diego Padres will be packing their bags early following the Wednesday, October 5, regular season finale.
Entering Tuesday, the Phillies are tied with the Padres for the second Wild Card spot, whereas the Brewers sit on the outside looking in — 1 1/2 games back. The Phillies hold tiebreakers over both the Padres and Brewers. So, if they end the season with an identical record, the advantage would go to the Phillies.
The San Francisco Giants are also still in the Wild Card picture; however, they trail 6 1/2 games for the third National League Wild Card spot.
The Phillies have the easiest remaining schedule in terms of opponents’ combined winning percentage, compared to the Padres and Brewers’ schedules. Seven of their final 40 games will be against the Major League Baseball-worst Washington Nationals, who have a .333 winning percentage and are projected to lose 100 or more games for the fifth time in franchise history (third time since relocating to Washington, D.C.)
And while the Padres have six off days remaining as opposed to the Phils’ five and Brewers’ four, they still have tough opponents to face such as two series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, a home series against the Cardinals, and a road series against the Seattle Mariners.
According to Baseball-Reference, Thomson’s squad has an 88.8 percent chance to make the postseason — a Major League-best 28.4 percent increase over the past 30 days.
Things are looking good, especially since Bryce Harper is expected to return to the lineup as the designated hitter in a matter of days. As long as the Phils take advantage of some of their weaker opponents — not facing a team with a .500 or better record until mid-September — they should be able to clinch a Wild Card spot with ease.