3 Stats That Prove the Phillies Are Legitimate World Series Contenders
By Larry Rupp
The Philadelphia Phillies look primed to end the National League's longest playoff drought (2011) this season. They currently sit 1.5 games up on the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card race and should get reigning MVP Bryce Harper back in early September. That's a special kind of late-season boost.
The Phillies remain a contender to win the World Series and even have odds set at +3200 to hoist the Commissioner's Trophy over on FanDuel Sportsbook. Those odds rank ninth in all of baseball, so let's take a look at three stats that prove the Phillies can be the last team standing.
Philadelphia Phillies World Series
1. 81 Stolen Bases (T-No. 3 in MLB)
Changing the game by swiping bags has become a lost art form over the years. That's what makes the fact that the Phillies rack them up in bunches a clear advantage. Philadelphia has logged 81 stolen bases, which trails only two other teams in baseball (Marlins and Rangers). Those teams aren't even in playoff contention, meaning manager Rob Thomson's team could have a huge leg up on the competition once the postseason arrives. Keep in mind eight different players on the roster have at least 6 stolen bases and the team is led by catcher JT Realmuto (15). Going from first to second in the blink of an eye changes everything.
2. 111 Home Runs Allowed (No. 5 in MLB)
On the mound, the Phillies have worked hard to overcome a consensus that they have a "bad bullpen." They've succeeded in their efforts, too. Philadelphia has allowed only 111 home runs on the year as a team, which ranks as the fifth-best mark in the league. Specifically, the bullpen is allowing the fifth-fewest home runs per nine innings pitched (0.97). Limiting the long ball in potential matchups against the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets is going to be vital in the playoffs. After all, one swing of the bat can singlehandedly alter the outcome of the game.
3. 2.23 Walks Per Nine Innings (No. 3 in MLB)
What has been guiding the Phillies to more wins this season than any other year in the last decade is a strong starting rotation. It's a staff that has posted the seventh-best ERA in the league (3.66) thanks to its ability to limit walks. Philadelphia starters average only 2.23 walks per nine innings pitched and that's good for the third-best mark in MLB. Aaron Nola (1.3) and Zack Wheeler (2.2) have especially shined in this statistical category. That has to be scary for any opposing lineup that faces them down the stretch and into the playoffs. It's simple. Limiting baserunners limits opportunities for the opponent to score.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.