Phillies Nuggets with Tim Kelly

PECOTA predicts Phillies will finish with losing record


Bryce Harper is entering his second season with the Phillies. (Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire)

In January, Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said he believed the team could win the National League East in 2020, despite it being expected to be one of the most competitive divisions in the sport. His reasoning? So much went wrong in a disappointing 2019 season, and the Phillies still managed to go 81-81.

PECOTA, Baseball Prospectus‘ statistical model, isn’t as optimistic. Tuesday, they released their 2020 record projections and have the Phillies finishing in fourth place in the National League East. That, in itself, isn’t especially shocking considering the Phillies finished in fourth a season ago. However, the 77-85 record that the Phillies are projected to have in Joe Girardi’s first season is:

Just on the surface, 77-85 feels overly pessimistic. Klentak is correct in his assessment that the Phillies had more go wrong in 2019 than perhaps any other season in recent memory. Odubel Herrera, the team’s Opening Day center fielder, was arrested for domestic violence on Memorial Day and ultimately suspended for the rest of the season. Andrew McCutchen suffered a season-ending ACL tear less than 10 days later. Hector Neris and Jose Alvarez were the only relievers that were on the Opening Day roster that didn’t spend any time on the injured list.

Water finding its level in 2020 doesn’t necessarily mean that the Phillies will win the National League East, but one would think that with some better luck the Phillies will win more than the 81 games they won in 2019, not less. That doesn’t even account for the fact that the Phillies signed Didi Gregorius and Zack Wheeler this offseason and expect top prospects Spencer Howard and Alec Bohm to make their major league debuts at some point in 2020.

It is worth noting that PECOTA’s projections are generally pretty conservative. Only four teams are projected by the system to win over 90 games in 2020. Last season, 10 teams won 90 or more games. Heck, there were four teams that won over 100 games last season. Even in 2011, when the Phillies ultimately won a franchise record 102 regular season games, PECOTA only projected they would win 91 games.

This isn’t simply a case of the Phillies win projection seeming very off. The Atlanta Braves, who won 96 games in 2019, are only projected to win 83 games by PECOTA. The Oakland Athletics, who have won 97 games in each of the past two seasons, are only projected to win 85 games. The San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers, two teams expected to compete for one of the two National League Wild Card spots, are only expected to win 79 games according to this system.

As pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, it’s natural to crave baseball content, especially season projections. All projections – and some more than others – should be taken with a grain of salt.

MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION

  1. 34 Numbers To Remember: Roy Halladay’s Incredible Career
  2. Joe Girardi Hopes That David Robertson Will Pitch In 2020
  3. Phillies Nuggets: Opening Day Lineup Projection 2.0
  4. First Look: Phillies Road And Cream Jerseys With Nike Swoosh
  5. Phillies Nation Roundtable: Bold Predictions For 2020
  6. How Jake Arrieta And Nick Pivetta Can Be Productive In 2020
  7. Victor Arano Could Be A Key For Phillies Bullpen
  8. The Phillies Path To One Of The Wild Cards Won’t Be Easy Either
  9. What Should You Expect From Mickey Moniak In 2020?
  10. Seranthony Dominguez Is ‘Chomping At The Bit’ For 2020 Season
3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Phillip Auxt

    February 12, 2020 at 11:32 am

    I’m a Phillies fan. That was very hard to admit.

  2. Phillip Auxt

    February 12, 2020 at 11:37 am

    How did we ever get a lousy MLB team, Heath and/or Bob?

  3. Walt Maueroeder

    February 12, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    I am more amazed that they picked the Mets to win the NL East with 88 wins. The winner of the East definitely will have to have somewhere in the mid 90s for wins.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Phillies Nation has been bringing Phillies fans together since 2004 with non-stop news, analysis, trade rumors, trips, t-shirts, and other fun stuff!

Browse the Archives

Browse by Category

Copyright Phillies Nation, LLC 2004-2020
Not Affiliated with Major League Baseball or the Philadelphia Phillies

To Top