2023 Philadelphia Phillies O/U: Why the Phillies Will Hit the OVER

The Philadelphia Phillies have had their set of struggles in the past ten years. Before the 2022 season, the Phillies had not made the postseason since 2011. This past year was a turnaround season for the team. They went 87-75 and made a trip to the World Series to end their season. The Phillies had reason to hope for an effective season entering last year, but they have even more reason to expect great things from their team for the 2023 season. According to FanDuel, the Philadelphia Phillies O/U is set at 88.5 wins this coming season. This team will hit the OVER by several games.

2023 Philadelphia Phillies O/U: Why the Phillies Will Hit the OVER

They Had a Taste of the World Series Last Year

The Philadelphia Phillies had a rough start to their 2022 season but they were unexpectedly able to turn it around in June after firing their manager and bringing in Rob Thomson.

Thomson quickly won the loyalty of his players and things began to change for the better. He was named the Phillies full-time manager on October 10th. Of course, as anyone would know, not all of the problems the team was facing would be fixed with the manager change. It took a lot of effort and commitment from the players as well to become a winning team.

Philly fans witnessed young rookies mature in their skill sets as well as their characters and watched experienced players show up in incredible ways. Thomson led the Phillies to their first postseason run in 11 years and the team did not disappoint him. The 2022 Phillies were resilient and overcame many obstacles in their season and even made it to the World Series. Just about every player contributed in countless ways.

This World Series run has ignited something in the leaders of the Phillies, the clubhouse, and the fans. The Phillies have the motivation to not only make it back to the World Series but to win it all this time.

The Biggest Offseason Winners

The Phillies are viewed as one of the biggest winners when it came to the offseason. President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombroski made some essential moves to prepare for the coming season.

The Phillies signed one of the biggest free agents on the market, former Dodger, Trea Turner to a long-term deal. According to MLB Network, this brings the number one-rated shortstop to play a key part in the Phillies lineup. Turner is known for his exceptional speed, and defensive skills, as well as his at-bats. He is a five-tool player, and the Phillies have high hopes for what he may contribute to the team.

The Phillies have also made some key moves in the offseason by reinforcing their bullpen, which was the downfall for a lot of the 2022 season. They signed right-handed starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, left-handed relief pitchers Gregory Soto (acquired in a trade) and Matt Strahm, and right-handed relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel.

Adding these pieces to the preexisting bullpen is a promising outlook for the coming season. When it comes to building a championship-contending team for the 2023 season, the owner, John Middleton is all in. The Phillies have also focused on strengthening their veteran’s skills in the offseason as well.

Strong Rotation

The Phillies rotation has only gotten stronger during the offseason. After signing starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, the team has four rotation spots filled:  Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and Ranger Suarez and Walker.

Walker pitched 150+ innings in both of the last two seasons and showed major improvements in his 2022 season, he lowered his ERA by an entire point. It is evident from past seasons, especially the 2022 season, that Wheeler, Nola, and Suarez add strength to the rotation.

The number five spot in the Phillies rotation is still in question but the team has a few different options. Top prospect Andrew Painter could be on the fast track to the major leagues. Corey Seidman (Sports Philadelphia) said “Painter has massive upside and is coming off of one of the most dominant seasons in minor-league history. He’s already up to the No. 5 spot on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list.”

Painter had an ERA of 1.56 and a WHIP of 0.89 during his 2022 season in the minor league. If Thomson does not feel he is ready, it will likely fall to Bailey Falter, Nick Nelson, or Christopher Sanchez. Regardless, the Phillies have a promising rotation for the coming season.

Best Catcher in Baseball

The Phillies are home to JT Realmuto, the top-rated catcher in baseball according to MLB Network. He played a key role in the Philadelphia Phillies run to the World Series and plans to do it again this season.

Realmuto finished his 2022 season with a WAR of 6.5. With an average pop time of 1.82, he has kept countless players from stealing bases. Not only is he exceptional behind the plate, but he also carries his responsibility while batting as well. In the 2022 season, Realmuto got 139 hits, scoring 75 runs. He carried a 0.342 On-Base Percentage throughout the season. He also leads Phillies position players in WAR.

Realmuto displayed his extraordinary abilities in the 2022 NLDS game against the Atlanta Braves. He hit an inside-the-park home run, which was the first ever by a catcher in the postseason. He strikes again in the first game of the World Series by hitting a game-tying double and then 5 innings later, silencing Minute Maid Park with a go-ahead home run in the 10th inning of the game.

According to Todd Zolecki, “Realmuto caught 1,281 1/3 innings overall, including the postseason. Only two catchers have caught more innings than that in the past 14 years: Salvador Perez (1,389 2/3 innings in 2014, and 1,334 1/3 innings in 2015) and Yadier Molina (1,309 innings in 2011).” 2022 was the best season of Realmuto’s career so far, winning a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and All-MLB honors. He is on track to have an even better season this year.

Young Players Stepping Up

The Phillies have acquired a lot of young players with talent. Third basemen Alec Bohm, second basemen Bryson Stott, and center fielder Brandon Marsh are all young guys with talent and potential to become even better. These young Phillies were known as the “Phillies Daycare” during the 2022 season, after contributing astonishing offensive moves. Rob Thomson and team veterans have committed to trusting their youth. This has certainly paid off, as these young players have done nothing but flourished since they were given the chance.

The Phillies managed to end their 2022 season with 87 wins. During the offseason, the team has only strengthened its roster in many different ways. The Phillies will win more than 88.5 games this coming season if they can keep the momentum and winning mentality going. If any MLB team has the talent and opportunity to win it all, it is the 2023 Philadelphia Phillies.

Main Image: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY

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