Phillies move up in MLB's final preseason power rankings before Opening Day

The Phillies are entering the 2024 campaign in the top five of the MLB.com Power Rankings as Opening Day draws near.
Philadelphia Phillies and first baseman Bryce Harper enter the 2024 season ranked No. 4 in MLB.com's Power Rankings
Philadelphia Phillies and first baseman Bryce Harper enter the 2024 season ranked No. 4 in MLB.com's Power Rankings / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Opening Day is just over a week away. As spring training winds down, MLB.com released its final Power Rankings before the start of the regular season. The Philadelphia Phillies enter the 2024 season ranked at No. 4 on the site's list.

The three teams ahead of the Phillies in the Power Rankings are the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Baltimore Orioles. It's not necessarily surprising to see these teams ahead of the Phillies. Each was a playoff team in 2023 and made significant upgrades over the offseason.

The move to fourth place in the Power Rankings is an improvement from the original list that was released in January. The Phillies were fifth prior to making some key moves that convinced some experts that they should be higher in the rankings. The biggest reason for the modest jump was the extension of Zack Wheeler, which, as Will Leitch writes, "That solidified the overall vibe in Philadelphia right now, which is: This is the team that’s going to win it all, let’s all go out now and win it all."

Can the Phillies be a top five team in baseball?

The Phillies have now made two deep postseason runs in as many years. It is arguable that they probably should have made it to two consecutive World Series had they not choked in Games 6 and 7 last fall.

The club didn't need to make many big-time moves to prove to people around the game that this team is the real deal. The lineup has the pieces to put up runs and the pitching staff is widely considered one of the best in the major leagues.

In fact, FanGraphs projects the Phillies pitchers to combine for an fWAR of 21.3 in 2024, which is the highest projected total in the league. Last season, the club's starting staff — which was very similar to the starters heading into 2024 — posted a league-high 17.7 fWAR. They also recorded the fifth-best 4.07 FIP and amassed the third-most innings in baseball, completing 899 in total.

While the offense is not ranked as highly as the pitching staff, with a potential full season of vintage Trea Turner, a healthy Bryce Harper, and a more rested Kyle Schwarber, the lineup could put up some big numbers.

Ultimately, the Phillies' win total and where they finish the season in the Power Rankings will depend upon club health and production from auxiliary pieces. Preseason rankings can mean very little, but they can be a good measuring stick to see where a team stacks up in the eyes of some experts.

The only rankings that will officially matter are the standings at season's end. The Phillies will look to dethrone the Braves as NL East champions but will also take making their third consecutive postseason as a Wild Card team. The club is in "win now" mode, and entering the season as an expected top contender can make for an exciting summer and, hopefully, fall.

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