By Peter Marks

The national media are slow to recognize and salute anything that happens in Philly sports.

But The Athletic has noticed the Phils:

T-3. Phillies

Record: 30-13
Last Power Ranking: 5

This time last year: 20-21, ranked No. 16

For a few seasons now, we have spent the winter and the first five and a half months of the regular season extolling Los Angeles and Atlanta as the obvious two frontrunners in the National League and the sport as a whole.

And then come late September, when the Phillies look like they’ve got their stuff together, we point out that, you know, that team can be a tough out in a short series.

How should we thus view a Phillies team that clearly has its stuff together right from the start?

In the past two seasons, Philadelphia didn’t crest over .500 for good until June 15. One year ended in the World Series, the other hosting Game 7 of the NLCS.

This year, the Phillies last surpassed .500 on April 15, and haven’t looked back. Their rotation looks like a monster, their lineup is deep. Maybe it’s time to think of Philadelphia as a legitimate contender alongside Atlanta to win the division, alongside Los Angeles to win 100 games, alongside anybody else in baseball to enter October as a juggernaut favorite.

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