5 biggest National League threats to Phillies' chances of reaching the World Series

Big moves were made in the National League this offseason, making the Phillies' road back to the World Series bumpy. Which NL teams will be the biggest hurdles for the Phillies to overcome this season?

The Philadelphia Phillies will be in tough to get back to the World Series against a loaded National League
The Philadelphia Phillies will be in tough to get back to the World Series against a loaded National League / Adam Hagy/GettyImages
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Who are the biggest National League threats to the Phillies?

No. 5: St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals are coming off a very disappointing 2023 season, finishing well below .500 and coming in dead last in the NL Central. This year, they seem determined to bounce back with a productive offseason. According to MLB.com's Thomas Harrigan, the Cardinals focused on pitching, as that was their biggest problem in 2023. They signed Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson, plus reliever Kenyan Middleton. Those are intimidating additions to a pitching staff.

As bad as the Cardinals were last year, no one expects them to be that bad again. Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA standings and FanGraphs' playoff odds both predict the Cardinals will come in first in the NL Central. That's a big jump, but even if they can't win the division, they'll be competing for a Wild Card spot.

The Cardinals have added new and important pieces to their roster, but it's the veteran players who will be counted on this season, as pointed out by FanSided's Miranda Remaklus. All-Stars Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt are key pieces. They'll have to improve at the plate to get this team out of its rut — when Arenado and Goldschmidt are hot, the Cardinals are a different team. The club also signed veteran and former Cardinal Matt Carpenter to a one-year deal. Carpenter will be important in helping Arenado and Goldschmidt restore the team's winning culture.

The Phillies faced St. Louis in the 2022 Wild Card Series and could see them again if the Cardinals have their way this year. Philadelphia shouldn't be too worried if that were to happen, but the Cards will have more to prove, and we know all too well that anything can happen in the playoffs.