The Phillies Can (and Should) Make a Run in 2013

Posted: July 18, 2013 in Uncategorized
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The mood is dim in the City of Brotherly Love. Gone are the days of four aces and overflowing confidence. The decade of dominance, one that saw the Phillies capture this city’s first championship in 25 years, has waned. Instead, the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies have devolved into an enigma. Injuries, inconsistency, and age have contributed to a first half that was decidedly mediocre.

Still, there remains plenty of opportunity for a team once left for dead by their fan base. Philadelphia, thanks to a 9-4 stretch in July, is right in the thick of things in the National League. As the second half gets underway on Friday, the Phillies sit 6.5 games behind Atlanta in the East. They’re also just 5.5 out of the Wild Card, although that represents a trickier task thanks in large part due to the fact that they’d have to pass three teams to accomplish it.

Overall, it looks like a tricky situation. However, the Phillies have long been a strong second half team under Charlie Manuel. Even last year, when Philadelphia relied on the likes of Tyler Cloyd, Ty Wigginton, and Kevin Frandsen to be key contributors, they went 44-31 after the All-Star break, good for fifth in the NL. Couple that with their favorable schedule, and the Phillies’ faithful should not give up hope just yet.

There are 66 games remaining in the 2013 season. That is certainly enough to overcome a 6.5 game deficit in the division. It helps that the Phillies will play a majority of those games (35) against teams at or below .500. Philadelphia will see the Mets (10 games), Marlins (6), Cubs (6), Rockies (4), Giants (3), Dodgers (3), and Padres (3) over the next two months. With the exception of a three-game series at Wrigley Field, every non-divisional series against below .500 teams is at home.

Of course, that leaves 31 games against teams that are currently above .500, including two critical sets on the road over the next week-and-a-half in St. Louis and Detroit. If Philadelphia can survive their current nine-game home stand with five wins or better, they could be in for a smooth sprint to the finish. The Phillies play the Braves and Nationals a combined 22 times, something that should come in handy when it comes to catching Atlanta in the division. The only other series against a team above .500 is an August set at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have struggled over the last month. Simply put, the Phillies control their own destiny. If they beat Atlanta and Washington handily, they should be right in the divisional race at the end of September.

The Facts

– The Phillies are currently 6.5 games back of Atlanta in the NL East (Washington sits just ahead of them at 6 games back.

– The Phillies play a majority of their remaining games against teams that are below .500 (35 of 66).

– Of those 35 games, 16 come against NL East rivals New York and Miami. Of the remaining 19 games, only 3 are on the road. That leaves 16 home games against Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Colorado, and San Francisco.

– Of their remaining games against above .500 teams (31), the Phillies play 22 against the two teams ahead of them in the NL East, Atlanta (13) and Washington (9). That leaves just three series against the likes of St. Louis, Detroit, and Arizona (home).

– Of their 35 games against below .500 teams, 22 of them are at home.

– Of their 31 games against above .500 teams, only 9 are at home.

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