By Skip Charles in Vegas
The Philadelphia Phillies were two wins away from winning the World Series and are now sitting at +1500 heading into 2023.
They have the seventh-best odds in the league, with four NL teams sitting in front of them. The only main contributor they lost during the offseason was Jean Segura, and all they did was replace him with the best shortstop in the game, Trea Turner.
The Phillies also added Taijuan Walker to the two-headed monster of Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler in their rotation. The biggest weakness for Philly in the last few years has been the bullpen and the Phillies looked to sure-up that area by signing Craig Kimbrel and trading for All-Star closer Gregory Soto from Detroit.
I like this market to attack Philadelphia over a win total or division future because of what we saw last season. Bryce Harper underwent Tommy John surgery following the World Series and is expected to be out for the first half of the season. While that makes the beginning of the season uncertain for the Phillies, we saw them able to stay afloat when he missed two months in 2022 with a broken thumb.
Even if they start slow without Harper, as we saw last year, all this team has to do is get in and they have what it takes to make a run. We have seen in recent years with the Royals in 2015 (Lost in WS), Cubs in 2016 (Lost in NLCS), Atlanta in 2021 (Lost in NLCS), and Houston in 2022 (Lost in WS), a team that lost in the World Series or Championship Series come back and win the whole thing the next season.
Philadelphia should be even better this season with Turner in the lineup, and if Harper can return rested and ready to go, look out.