Phillies Spring Schedule can make a season

Things aren’t looking good in the city of brotherly love. That Philadelphia Phillies, who again spent big bucks on free-agent outfielders this past offseason Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarberare under .500 and 5.5 games behind the division leader New York Mets. The Phils have slowly worked their way back up the standings and are approaching .500. But a challenging late spring schedule for the Phillies has an opportunity to end or end the season.

Just take a quick look at the Phillies spring date from May 12th to June 9th. Now it might be appropriate to ask why the planners hate the Phillies so much. However, every team goes through bumpy periods in their schedule. But the Phillies’ 23-game stretch seems particularly cruel, especially for a team that struggled in April.

The late spring schedule will be a big test for the Phillies

Starting May 12, the Phillies will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers for four games. Then host them San Diego Padres, and Dodgers again, for three games apiece. Then four against them Atlanta Braves and three against the Mets. That San Francisco Giants will come to Philly for three and then the Angels from Los Angeles for another three. Finally, the gauntlet ends with a set of three games Milwaukee.

Of the seven teams the Phillies will face in the next 23 games, only one has a losing record — the defending world champions, the Braves. The Dodgers, Padres, Mets, Giants, Brewers, and Angels have all won 20 or more games. Four of them made the playoffs last year and three of them won their divisions. These seven teams have combined to win 141 games this season with an odds of .613.

To make matters worse, the Phillies, if at all possible, don’t have a day off from May 17 through June 1. A beleaguered Phillies team must trudge through a 16-game stretch without a day off. Not to mention the distance up against some of the best teams in baseball. The Phillies need to show what they’re made of – the next twenty days will be the toughest stretch of baseball they’ll face all season.

The Phillies season ends in either one of two ways: a pattern after an 81-81 or 82-80 finish, or an irregular post-season berth. With the Phillies already close to .500, they just can’t afford to get through the next 23 games. The Phillies need to have a successful month if they are to stay afloat in the hard-fought NL East. Anything but moderate success will ruin their playoff hopes.

The rest of the season will relax as the summer months approach

Well, to be a little less doom and gloom. The Phillies’ schedule actually brightens once this stretch of play is over. Currently, the Phillies are ranked 28th in all of MLB, just above the Cleveland Guardian and St. Louis Cardinals. Of the games the Phillies have left to play, their opponents have a combined win rate of .479. If the Phils manage to pick up a few wins against the juggernauts they face next month, the rest of the season should go relatively smoothly.

With 19 games remaining against the Washington Nationals and 17 against the Miami Marlin, the Phillies may be able to contribute to their winning total. Not to mention the seven left to play against the terrible ones Cincinnati Red. The Phillies don’t need to see three potential juggernauts for the rest of the year to make things a little better. The Phillies will be done with the Dodgers, Angels and Brewers once this stretch is over.

When things seem bleak, Phillies fans, take reprieve in the fact that this is as hard as it gets. There will be many Reds and Nationals games to look forward to in the coming months. So if the Phillies can survive the gauntlet of their late spring schedule, the rest of the season will look a lot less intimidating by comparison.

main image:

Embed from Getty Images

Mentioned players:

Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber

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