2016 O/U Wins (Westgate):
2016 NL East Odds (Westgate):
Projected Starting Rotation:
Aaron Nola, Jeremy Hellickson, Charlie Morton, Jerad Eickhoff , Vincent Velasquez
Dominic Brown, Jeff, Francoeur
Charlie Morton, Jeremy Hellickson
Handicapper's Take: "It’s hard to imagine that local expectations for the Phillies could be even lower than they were heading into last season but they are. There is no surefire way to project how this mass collection of young players will respond to all the negative projections from the fan base all the way to national insiders. When teams are perceived to be this bad professional handicapper and bettors will try to see if there’s ways to capitalize on the garbage no one else wants.
The lineup here is young but they got their feet wet last season and multiple players showed immediate promise. Of the first five batters in their everyday order, veteran Ryan Howard is the weak link. CF Odubel Herrera, 2B Cesar Hernandez, 3B Maikel Franco, LF Aaron Altheer, and Howard’s replacement vs. LH’s Darin Ruf will now have to adjust to pitching adjustments made to combat their early offensive success.
Defensively this team is better than the one that opened last season and they’ll need to be with the starting staff. Aaron Nola made his first 13 MLB starts last year and showed that he has the goods to become a future stopper at the top of the rotation. Beyond that it’s a hodge podge of veteran arms who figure to produce average results at best. RH Jeremy Hellickson’s low strikeout and home run tendencies could be a disaster in Citizens Bank Park while RH Charlie Morton’s heavy ground ball ways could benefit since this infield defense should protect him (except 1B Howard). There’s just nothing in the way of dominant pitching on this staff but in stretches there are some that can get hot and provide lighter workloads for the bullpen.
Of course the pen will be taxed plenty this season when those arms are in cold spells and with back end stud RH Ken Giles now gone and RH David Hernandez listed as the closer, late inning troubles are inevitable. There just doesn’t seem to be much chance of this team winning 65 games this season so look must be given to “under” 64.5. From a daily perspective, Philadelphia was an exceptional “over” team last year going 86-64-2 and they have that same look on paper. There are variables though including how the young hitters adapt. If opposing pitching adjustments begin to stagnate the Phillies offense, opposing team run-line plays could be a viable option since this pitching staff figures to get hit hard."
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