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Early Season Check Up: 2013 Philadelphia Phillies Odds

Charlie ManuelThe Phillies’ odds to win the World Series and NL Pennant have not changed much since the last the couple of weeks, but the oddsmakers have tinkered with them slightly.

Two weeks ago, the Phillies’ odds of winning the NL Pennant were at +2000 and those have not changed. However, the Phillies to Win World Series odds have. Previously, +3500, the Phillies are +3300 at So, they have impressed the sportsbooks – at least a little bit – with their play over the past few weeks. During the playoffs the MLB betting markets become far more liquid due to increases in betting volumes. While one is tempted to back the Phillies for World Series glory should they make the playoffs – it becomes a trade off on how much their price will potentially shorten if they do make it through to the play-offs.

National League East

Though, the Phillies are in a tough division, but their certainly not out of the race by any means. The Colorado Rockies share the same odds at +3300 to win the World Series, but then again they are in a much easier NL West.

The Phillies have many question marks surrounding them, but so do the top teams in the NL East. While the Nationals’ bats finally seem to be waking up, they still do not look like the preseason NL Pennant favorites. Atlanta’s young core has been inconsistent at the plate, (other than Justin Upton) and their starting pitching staff has plenty of question marks. The New York Mets have little chance of competing despite the emergence of Matt Harvey, one of the best starters so far this year. Finally, the Miami Marlins are an albatross of a professional baseball team.

Brown’s Emergence

Interestingly Domonic Brown’s emergence is one reason the Phillies are close to .500 and back in the Wild Card and Pennant race. While his .298 on-base percentage isn’t anything to write home about, Brown is hitting for power and has been scorching the ball over the past few weeks.

In a three game span from May 27th to May 29th, Brown has hit four homers. He has risen his average almost 20 points from .243 to .262 in the past 10 days. His defense has been impressive, and he has utilized some of his speed to steal three bases and has yet to have been thrown stealing.

Brown certainly has the prospect pedigree and minor league track record to make it in the majors. It is almost impossible to judge him too harshly for his past few years of play; especially because he has never had more than 200 at-bats in a season.

He has just recently eclipsed 600 career major league at-bats, which equates to a little over a full season of at-bats for an everyday player. Also, consider that he’s never been guaranteed full playing time until this year.
As we mentioned in our previous odds article, Brown is only 25 and under team control for a number of years. His maturation will be enormous for Philadelphia not only this season but going forward. He will be under team control until the end of the 2018 season and is not eligible for arbitration until 2015.

Utley’s Stint on the Disabled List

Chase Utley had a terrific start to the season, but to no one’s surprise has hit the disabled list. Charlie Manuel stated that, “He’ll be out another three weeks…” but we’re sure fans are bracing themselves for more injury woes from the veteran second basemen.

His mild oblique strain was described by Utley, himself five days ago as “the best casino scenario” for an injury – forgive us for being pessimistic, Chase. It turns out, that he’ll miss three around three more weeks. We’re not surprised. This especially hurts the Phillies, who need to have a nice June to stay in the thick of things.

Will the real Cole Hamels please stand up?

The loss of Roy Halladay was a massive blow to the rotation and other than Cliff Lee – there are not many season long proven options in the rotation.

Cole Hamels has been especially tough to figure out. Though he has no known health issues, his shoulder could be a concern. However, he has not mentioned anything regarding it since January. He has not had a noticeable drop in velocity and his mechanics seem fine, perhaps he just isn’t locating well, along with some rotten luck mixed in.
Hamels will need to get back to his normal self for the Phillies to have any chance of making the postseason. We are betting this happens, and he and Lee become a potent one-two punch. Still, his previous shoulder concerns do have us a slightly worried.

Are the Phillies worth a 33/1 shot to win the World Series?

It all depends on how you feel about their core players and if their rotation can get better. The Phillies do not have much depth as far as positional players go, and that is not a good problem to have, especially with an older team.
One team figures to break away from the pack in the NL East, but may be closer than many think. With a little luck and hopefully a limited number of health concerns, the Phillies do have the roster to at least contend for a playoff spot.

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