By Ben Sullivan
The Phils open the 2021 season tomorrow at Citizens Bank Park against the Braves, who just happen to be the Vegas fave to win the NL East at +135.
Following the Braves are the retooled New York Mets at +140, who went talent shopping in the offseason and bolstered their lineup by adding SS Francisco Lindor and SP Carlos Carrasco from the Indians. The 2021 NL East odds then take a big jump with the Washington Nationals next at +650, followed by the Phillies at +1000 and Miami Marlins at +3000.
|New York Mets||+140|
On paper, the Phils batting order has a wealth of talent, led by Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins and Andrew McCutchen, but the team somehow only finished 28-32 SU in 2020.
After making a big splash in the 2018 offseason to bolster the batting order, the Phillies are hoping a full 162-game season can showcase a squad that should, in theory, run away with the NL East Division each year.
The Phillies at least have an ace in Aaron Nola who can be a reliable starter every four or five days but after Nola, it gets pretty dicey for starting pitching.
The No. 2 for the Phils is Zack Wheeler, who was fairly solid in 11 starts in 2020 but should be in the No. 3 or No. 4 spot for a team hoping to contend for a World Series.
This may be the year the Phils put it all together but after three straight third-place finishes in the NL East, if the Phillies can’t make a decent showing in 2021, when will they?