The Philadelphia Phillies have been one of the best teams in baseball in the last few months.
They hit a hot streak, jumping into the middle of the Wild Card race.
Best MLB records since June 1@Braves 56-22
Mets 48-29 pic.twitter.com/0PeQ7gAKGr
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) August 28, 2022
Now, with the MLB season hitting its home stretch, they sit comfortably in the second place spot.
While a lackluster start to the season may have put any division championship hopes to rest, the Phillies may still be a problem in the playoffs.
Here are three reasons why.
3. Well-Balanced Offense
When they’re at full strength, the Phillies have one of the strongest offenses in baseball.
There are stars throughout the lineup, of course headed by perennial MVP candidate Bryce Harper.
Bryce Harper is back. pic.twitter.com/Z4XjUVtlbz
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 26, 2022
While the star outfielder has been hurt for much of the season, his recent return could prove to be critical for the Phillies.
Beyond Harper, the Phillies are led by the home run hitting Kyle Schwarber, who currently sits atop the National League home run lead with 35.
J.T. Realmuto is once again having a standout season, while Rhys Hoskins has put up strong numbers in his sixth season.
When you add in a mix of supporting batters in the lineup, you have a strong and deep offense.
If Harper can return and play at an MVP level, it should give the Phillies another added boost to take them over the top.
2. Underrated Rotation
Two names have seemingly flown under the radar in the best starting pitching conversation: Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler.
Both of these starters are top-end arms who complement each other really well.
Zack Wheeler, Filthy 80mph Curveball. 😷 pic.twitter.com/VFMt8hXU3a
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 10, 2022
In fact, the Phillies have a solid argument as one of the best 1-2 duos in all of baseball.
However, it seems like their names are rarely mentioned when it comes to that conversation in baseball.
Reliable arms like Ranger Suarez and Kyle Gibson can give the team length and solid numbers when needed, while the acquisition of Noah Syndergaard helped give the team potentially another dominant arm.
With this core of pitching, the Phillies could be well equipped in a playoff series.
This is especially true in a three-game Wild Card set, where they would have a fountain of pitching talent to work with,
Because of this, the Phillies could be well set up come October.
1. An Underdog Story
Nobody is expecting the Phillies to make a run.
Many aren’t even truly considering the Phillies to be a threat.
However, something like this may play into their favor.
The city of Philadelphia thrives on the underdog environment, and their already dedicated fanbase essentially gets another reason to.
No. 35 for Kyle Schwarber goes 451 feet. 💪 pic.twitter.com/KBkt8erdh8
— MLB (@MLB) August 25, 2022
With teams like the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, and Los Angeles Dodgers dominating the National League, the Phillies are sneaking through.
Amongst these giants stands the Phillies, who boast a strong enough roster to make a playoff run now.
While there is still time before the playoffs begin, being the hottest team come October is supremely important.
They are hot, and seem to continue winning.
It is very possible that this could be the very thing that sparks a playoff run,
For these reasons, watch for the Phillies to make a run before the season ends.NEXT: Phillies Are On Pace For Their Highest Win Total Since 2011