Normally as the season opens, there's a set number of wins that the Philadelphia Phillies are expected to reach. In 2017, that isn't necessarily the case.
A year after posting the worst record in baseball, the Phillies won 71 games in 2016. After adding Michael Saunders and Howie Kendrick, in addition to improving their bullpen talent, some Phillies fans believe the team could challenge for a .500 record if younger players like Vince Velasquez and Maikel Franco have breakout seasons.
On the other hand, there are those that would suggest the team's lineup still isn't that talented, and with the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets expected to be better than a season ago, there's a chance a wins jump may not come in a crowded division.
Sports Talk Philly staffers were polled on how many wins they think the Phillies will have in 2017, here's how they responded:
Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly Editor
Amount of wins: 75
The Phillies will win in the ballpark of 74 games this season, which is a meager upgrade of three wins. For the second year in a row, although fans hate to hear it, the win-loss column will not be the deciding factor on whether or not 2017 was a success. The more exciting lineup will be in Lehigh Valley with Rhys Hoskins, Dylan Cozens, Nick Williams, J.P. Crawford and a half dozen other prospects I could name that SHOULD be in the majors by years’ end.
The organization has a plethora of talent – and improvements for hitters like Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph and pitchers like Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez can certainly be reassuring, but the Phillies have millions of dollars to spend in free agency these next few years. The next two seasons will be telling of where they should commit those dollars.
Tommy Hendricks, Sports Talk Philly Staff Writer
Amount of wins: 83
The Phillies added veteran starter Clay Bucholz this off-season to help bring out the best of the young, talented rotation they have. After dropping the aging veterans who remained from the teams fabled 2008 World Series run, other lineup spots have opened for the prospects the Phillies have to truly shine. Maikel Franco is poised to have a break out year, while another big bat is sure to be lurking in the lineup. The other additions of Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders help add a veteran presence to the very young core, something that will help out with leadership on the team. If the Phillies can get consistent hitting, and great performances from their starters, they could easily win 10 or more games than they did in 2016. However, it's not quite time to compete for the second Wild Card spot.