Phillies

Examining Phillies’ World Series odds in this sprint of a season

Examining Phillies’ World Series odds in this sprint of a season

Take me out to the ball game. And since we can’t yet go out with the crowd, let’s head to the sportsbooks apps for the Phillies’ odds. 

If you have faith in the Phils during the most unusual season of them all with this 60-game format, there is plenty of value for the taking. 

The Phillies currently have odds of 20-1 to win the World Series at DraftKings and FOX Bet ($100 wager pays $2,000), while you can get bigger odds of 25-1 ($100 wager pays $2,500) at FanDuel and William Hill. 

You may want to consider jumping on Caesars Sportsbook’s number of 30-1 ($100 wager pays $3,000) on the Phillies. 

It’s important to point out the Phillies’ odds haven’t changed much since they were released around last Halloween. On most sportsbooks the Phils are anywhere from the 8th to 12th best odds to take home the crown. However, that’s not going to be an easy ticket to cash. 

Let’s look at the odds of the teams in the East to win the National League. According to most experts and sportsbooks (DraftKings) the Phils (+1100 — $100 wager pays $1100) are the fourth best team in the NL East behind the Braves (+600), the defending champion Nationals (+750), and the Mets (+900). 

As for the rest of the National League, add in the Dodgers, who are generally the favorite to win the World Series, as well as the Cardinals, Cubs, Brewers and Reds and you have one heck of a race jockeying for NL supremacy. 

To make it even more difficult for the Phillies, they’ll play games against the Yankees, who are the second choice on the board at most sportsbooks, with odds of +400 to win the World Series. By the way, all the Bronx Bombers did a season ago was win 103 games. The climb uphill doesn’t get any easier with games against the Rays (+1800) and Red Sox (+3000). Tampa wasn’t too shabby last year with 96 wins of their own, while Boston racked up 84. 

Here’s a little optimism for you: After 60 games a season ago, the Phillies (33-27) were the leaders in the NL East and held the fourth-best record in the National League. Meanwhile, the Mets (28-32) and the World Champion Nationals (27-33) were closer to the bottom of the standings and wouldn’t have sniffed the postseason. 

So it’s going to be a 60-game sprint to the finish. Wouldn’t it be great if we turn back the clock to 1993? That was the season when the Phillies posted the franchise’s best 60-game start to a season (43-17) and earned a trip to the World Series. 

Or perhaps a 35-25 beginning like in 2008 could suffice. All the Phils did that season — to quote the great “Indians” catcher Jake Taylor — was “win the whole (bleeping) thing.” 

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Phillies 28-man roster: Kyle Garlick, Enyel De Los Santos optioned to Lehigh Valley

Phillies 28-man roster: Kyle Garlick, Enyel De Los Santos optioned to Lehigh Valley

To trim their roster from 30 to 28 ahead of Thursday's deadline, the Phillies optioned outfielder Kyle Garlick and right-handed reliever Enyel De Los Santos to their satellite site at Lehigh Valley.

MLB rosters will stay at 28 the rest of the regular season and postseason. Initially, rosters were set to be cut to 26 two weeks from now but MLB has revised that rule amid so many game postponements already related to COVID-19.

The Phillies now have 13 position players and 15 pitchers, a.k.a a four-man bench and 10-man bullpen. Garlick was the likeliest bench candidate to go given that he has options remaining. The Phillies didn't need to remove Garlick, or De Los Santos for that matter, from their 40-man roster to remove them from the active roster.

Garlick's ability to hit lefties for power was why the Phillies carried him on their opening day roster. He went 0 for 2 in the Phillies' first six games, both at-bats coming in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader started by Yankees lefty J.A. Happ. 

De Los Santos had not pitched yet this season. He pitched 30 innings for the Phillies across 2018 and 2019 with a 5.70 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. Still, there was a belief he could help in this bullpen which lacks right-handed threats beyond closer Hector Neris and right-handed velocity overall.

It appeared that Austin Davis, a fringe reliever, might be the bullpen casualty after he allowed four runs to the Yankees while recording one out, but the Phillies opted to keep the extra lefty over the extra righty.

This is their bullpen, which has a 9.18 ERA and .338 opponents' batting average this season with no magic potions in sight:

Hector Neris
Tommy Hunter
Adam Morgan (LHP)
Jose Alvarez (LHP)
Deolis Guerra
Trevor Kelley
Nick Pivetta
Ramon Rosso
Cole Irvin (LHP)
Austin Davis (LHP)

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Bryce Harper has company in the J.T. Realmuto Fan Club with Zack Wheeler

Bryce Harper has company in the J.T. Realmuto Fan Club with Zack Wheeler

If Bryce Harper is president of the J.T. Realmuto Fan Club, Zack Wheeler is vice president.

Wheeler notched his second win in as many starts with the Phillies in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Yankees on Wednesday. The right-hander pitched six innings of three-run ball and was supported by homers from Harper and Realmuto.

In recent weeks, Harper has been outspoken in his desire to see the Phillies extend Realmuto's contract.

Wheeler chimed in with his own subtle endorsement of the All-Star catcher after Wednesday's game.

"Playing against him all these years, I was wishing he was my catcher and now he is," Wheeler said. "That was part of me coming over here, and I love throwing to him."

Wheeler, a former New York Met, signed a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. The Chicago White Sox actually offered Wheeler more money but staying on the East Coast and in the National League East appealed to the pitcher. And now we know that joining Realmuto was a factor in his decision, as well.

Wheeler has pitched 13 innings and allowed just four runs over two starts with his new club, both with Realmuto behind the plate.

"Against a lineup like the Yankees, you have to make pitches," Wheeler said after Wednesday's game. "Me and J.T. were on the same page all day. He can call a game and that's what you need back there.

"And he's a great receiver, one of the best in the game at that. And when guys get on base, you don't have that thought in the back of your head about being slow to the plate because he'll make up for it with his arm. And, of course, he can swing it."

Realmuto will become a free agent at season's end. The Phillies hope to sign him to an extension. Time will tell if that happens.

In the meantime, you can bet that Realmuto's agent will save Wheeler's endorsement for his client's free-agent dossier.

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