Reason #1 why they will win the NL East
Let’s first dissect the schedule. The Phillies have 18 games remaining against teams that are currently in a playoff spot (seven against the Braves, three against the Orioles, three against the Giants, two against the Blue Jays and three against the Brewers). The Braves have 23 against current playoff teams (seven against the Phillies, four against the Dodgers, six against the Giants and six against the Brewers). The Phillies are currently 26-18 at home which is a .604 winning percentage. They have 38 games remaining at Citizens Bank Park as opposed to the Braves who have 32 games remaining at home. The Phillies have feasted off teams they have played under .500 going 26-12 and will have to continue to do so while playing the teams above .500 a bit more competitively. Looking at the schedule is never a fool-proof way to determine future performance because teams go on hot and cold steaks all season but the schedule would seem to favor the Phillies
Reason #2 why they will win the NL East
As the trade deadline approaches, the Phillies will likely add a piece or two to their current roster. Dombrowski is not one to sit a trade deadline out and with the Phillies square in the middle of a playoff push, he will surely look to add. While the Braves, too, have the ability to add pieces, the Phillies are more likely to add a bonafide difference maker like a top-end starter, a power hitting left fielder, or a first basemen. The Braves simply have a built-out roster with not many major holes to fill. Sure, there is room for them to upgrade, but Braves have historically added on the edges. The Phillies are also still getting healthy and will be getting key players back in the next coming weeks to add to a team that, despite their absence, have been playing good baseball. At the end of the day, the teams that have the most talent and players that perform at a high-level, come out on top.
Reason #3 why they will win the NL East
The Phillies and the Braves still play seven more times head-to-head before the season concludes. There is only so much scoreboard watching and hoping you can do for other teams to beat the teams that are ahead of you in the standings. Seven games gives a lot of opportunities gain ground in the standings and the Phils will need to capitalize on those opportunities. Yes, the Braves have been the best team in the league, but since June 2nd, the Phillies have been the second best team. As noted intro, the Braves have been on a 130-win pace since June 2nd. That is unsustainable and will likely come back down to earth in the coming weeks. The Phillies, while also on a high win pace, is a more reasonable pace and could be more sustainable. Simply having “water find it’s level” is reason enough that the Braves will cool off. Slumps happen and the Braves really haven’t had any yet. It’s hard to not also mention that in last years playoffs, the Braves were seen as the run away favorite in the NLDS against the Phillies but we all know how that turned out. The Phillies have the experience and the confidence to stand up to this Braves powerhouse team. They won’t be a team that backs down and is satisfied with just a Wild Card spot. Their eyes are on the division and the Phillies won’t go quietly.