3 Bold Philadelphia Phillies predictions for the regular season
By Matt Rappa
3. The Phillies will win their first National League East title since 2011.
Last season, the Phillies checked off many items from their list of far-too-long droughts — among them is getting back to the postseason for the first time since the 102-win 2011 season.
Then, of course, the Phillies won their first postseason series since 2010 and their first National League pennant since 2009. They were two wins shy of their first World Series championship since 2008.
There is one drought that still lingers that the club surely would like see come to an end in the 2023 campaign — winning the National League East. Assuming the Phillies can overcome their recent slew of injuries, particularly at the first base and starting pitching positions, expect the club to stay afloat until Bryce Harper returns and make a strong push for the division title this season.
Even if the Phillies were in full health, winning the division title would not be an easy task with the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets each projected to win at least 90 games. But the Phillies got a taste of meaningful baseball last season and know what it takes to be one of the best in the league. For the longest time, all the franchise knew was how to lose, rather than how to win. That is anything but the case today.
The Phillies have won the National League East just 11 times in their long history — 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. The Braves, meanwhile, have won the division 17 times, not to mention their five National League West titles. Considering the Braves have won the NL East in five straight seasons since 2018, it is time for the Phillies to take over.