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Phillies Roundtable: How many games will team win in 2017?

Jerad eickhoff and maikel franco

Jerad Eickhoff and Maikel Franco will be key in determining how many games the Phillies win in 2017. (Frank Klose/STP)

By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor

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

Last season, I predicted 72 wins for the Phillies. They won 71. There is certainly potential to be better, as in .500 better. But 81 wins seems out of reach given the overall improvement of the NL East and National League in general. The Phillies just aren't in the same class as the Cubs, Cardinals, Nationals, Mets, Dodgers and Giants. They are getting there and closing in on making a return to contention, but in 2017, that's still a thing of the future. So for 2017, I'll go with 75 wins as a nice round number, improved from last season, possibly over that mark if the future starts to arrive and contribute, but not quite good enough to compete with the top teams in the National League.
  
Matt Albertson, Sports Talk Philly Historical Columnist 
 
Amount of wins: 77
 
Last year, the Phillies corner outfielders amassed a (-4.0) WAR. Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders combined for a 1.8 WAR. The difference between those numbers is 5.8. Add six wins to last year's win total and you arrive at 77 wins. The outfield was awful last year, and the minor upgrades at the corners this year should help the rest of the lineup offensively. Additionally, there’s the chance that both Kendrick and Saunders are gone by the trade deadline, meaning the talented Roman Quinn and possibly Nick Williams will spark the offense at the end of the year.  
 
 
Matthew Shinkle, Sports Talk Philly Staff Writer
 
Amount of wins: 74, give or take
 

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. 

Comments

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Rick Soisson

Number of wins: 85. Call me an optimist, but this seems a stronger team than last year's, and assuming the new people dovetail with the rest, there's no reason they shouldn't improve "into" the group of teams over .500. Buchholz should help; Eickhoff should move over .500; Stassi will push Joseph, and Saunders will hit some homers at the Citizens Bandbox. On the other hand, if one of the starters goes down for a significant period, make that number 80.

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