2016 Phillies – Over/Under 66.5 Wins? – Phillies Nation
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2016 Phillies – Over/Under 66.5 Wins?

SportsGeekThis post was written by Chris from The Sports Geek.

It was a long, long 2015.  But as many a baseball purist has opined over the years, it is Spring and hope blooms eternal.  Die-hard Phillies fans may be hard pressed to see the bliss in such optimism after one of the worst seasons in franchise history, but is there reason to believe this season can be competitive?  Or at least better than the last?

Well, let’s start with the good.  The Phils are 12-5 in Spring Training heading into Monday, good for sixth best in all of baseball.  Granted, it is just Spring Training, but for a team fresh off a MLB-worst 63-99 campaign, you have to start somewhere.  Wins are wins, even when they wins don’t count.  Much of the success in the Spring has been predicated upon some promising signs from the young heart of their (projected order).  Maikel Franco is hitting .367 with 6 HR and 14 RBI – simply torching Spring Training pitching, and Cesar Hernandez is looking good for second base, hitting .353 with 4 stolen bases.  Ryan Howard is still ‘hope and see’ though his .143 BA in 21 plate appearances isn’t exciting.  But the rest of their young hopefuls came to Spring swinging some lumber. Odubel Herrera (CF) is hitting .391 and veteran Darrin Ruf is clocking in at an even .300 with 3 HR and 10 RBI.

In this post I’m going to give a season outlook on the Phillies and then my recommendation for one of my favorite MLB wagers that the sports betting sites offer – Team Over or Under Win Totals.

SEASON OUTLOOK:

The point is, it is a young offense, and Spring Training pitching isn’t Opening Day big league pitching, but these guys are hitting well early – which is a cause for some optimism.

The big question is whether the young pitching, especially Aaron Nola, are ready to anchor a big league staff.  Aaron Nola hasn’t been great this spring in nine brief innings, but certainly has the stuff to be a top of the rotation guy, and Jeremy Hellickson was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2011 and a stud in 2012 before three injury-plagued years of mediocrity.  Can he regain his early career promise?  If so, not a bad #2.  If not… well… that’s how teams lose 90+ games.  From there, there are some big question marks as Charlie Morton, Brett Oberholtzer, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vincent Velazquez battle for rotation spots on a rotation that was the second-worst (5.27 ERA) in all of baseball, beating only the thin-air Rockies.

So it wasn’t  just “not good”-  it was downright awful.  It is fair to expect a little more this season, but perhaps overly optimistic to expect MUCH more.  Then again, we aren’t aiming for the pennant here, just a winning wager on 67 wins…

Baseball Prospectus has this team listed at 64 wins and FanGraphs predicts they will be the worst team in all of baseball yet again.  But I think that pessimism leads to some nice opportunity as I think the youth movement actually picks up a few extra wins this season.  Will the complete for a playoff berth?  Most certainly not.  Can they win 68-72 games?  Sure.  A big reason is the absolute rebuild of Atlanta, once a constant nemesis, now an opportunity to pick up a few wins.

This team isn’t far away, and 2016 should be the nadir in the graph; better days are coming soon.  But not in 2016.  I don’t see any way they win more than 70-72 games, but I do think they see a small improvement with Frankel leading a young, energetic lineup.   As far as any future wagers, I’d save my coins on a +3300 AL East crown; not with the Mets and Nats around.  I’d also not waste any money on anything even more ambitious.

But for an OVER/UNDER pick, I am going to be rosier than my (winning) projection from last year and take the OVER 66.5.  I’m basing this pick largely on the fact that Atlanta could very well supplant the Phillies as the worst team in baseball – that’s 19 opportunities for some wins.  Hey, it ain’t much, but coming off a 63-99 campaign and still in the midst of a massive youth movement, take the gains where you can find them…

My Pick:  Philadelphia Phillies OVER 66.5 WINS

Make sure you visit The Sports Geek daily during the season for MLB picks.  Enjoy the season!

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. schmenkman

    March 22, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Agree, on the Over, I’d say low to mid 70s.

  2. Ken Bland

    March 22, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    I don’t know who your source is on the 66.5, and I can’t call you on it, because it’s a good 2 weeks ago now that I clicked a third party link that had a Vegas casino, name of which I don’t recall that had an O/U on the Phils at 64.5. So shopping around might or might not lead to a better price if one wants to make an actual bet.

    I’m not too sure the Braves are the mentioned worst team in baseball. Not that they are so good that the Phils won’t have a likely rare chance to “pile on.” But I think that dubious distinction might fall the way of the Reds. Even if the Reds wind up “better” than the Phils, I can see the Phils having a better record from the perspective of 35 some games against the Cards and Cubs oughta give the Phils some margin of error to pad off of. Not that an equivalent against the Mets and Nats is more than at best a slight advantage, but I’m guessing it is one.

  3. George

    March 23, 2016 at 7:48 am

    I have to go with the “over.” This team, I think, will surprise a few people, unless there are too many injuries.

  4. bruce

    March 24, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    I’m optimistic as always and can see the young Phillies players making improvements over the course of the season. Sure, there will be growing pains and struggles especially with pitching. There are weaknesses in my opinion at certain positions like shortstop with light hitting Galvis there. Question marks for first base, catcher and outfield. We will have a better picture of what the season will bring for the team after a few months. I certainly think they can do better than the 63 wins they had last season. The key word for the fans is PATIENCE (and plenty of it).

    By the way, what is going here with PN writers? Are they so absorbed with other interests such as podcasts, etc. that they neglect to give us some late breaking news such as the Phillies manager making a official announcement with the choosing of Jeremy Hellickson as the opening day starter instead of Aaron Nola. Apparently experience over youth is the factor for the decision. Also, I read elsewhere of reports that Franco has a big offer on the table. The Phillies reportedly have offered a long term contract to the 23 year old player. The deal is for 6 years and $39 million. If a potential 6 year contract were to go into place immediately, the deal could potentially cover all of Franco’s arbitration eligible years and the first season of his free agency. For a young player, the temptation is to get rich quick as a multi-millionaire with this deal. However, his agent may caution him on the deal if Franco has great success in the next few years and his potential value in the free agency market would be enormous.

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