How do the Philadelphia Phillies stack up against the NL East?

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Opinions vary on how the Philadelphia Phillies will finish in the National League East this season, so it’s best to take it team by team.

Is there a division title in the offing for the Philadelphia Phillies this season? If not, are they at least solid contenders for a wild card spot? Or are they just another middling team?

More from Philadelphia Phillies

If I knew, I’d tell you. And so the only logical thing to do is to compare them win the rest of the National League East to see if we can slot them in the appropriate spot. Let’s review how each of these rival clubs might finish either behind or ahead of the Phillies in 2020.

New York Mets

Why the Phils are better: The Phillies made the best managerial hire of the offseason in Joe Girardi, snatching him away from the Mets. New York would go on to hire Carlos Beltran, but they had to can him before the season even started because of his role in the Astros’ cheating scandal. I don’t even know who their new guy is, but he’s no Girardi. Also, Mets closer Edwin Diaz was a disaster last year, which bodes well for the rest of the division going forward.

Why the Mets are better: This offseason, the Phillies signed away the Mets’ #3 starter to be their #2, but New York still has the better rotation. You’re going to see this as a common theme in the division. Don’t put it past Jacob deGrom and company to pitch the Mets into a solid record this year.

Atlanta Braves

Why the Phils are better: A talented but unproven staff is a real wild card for the Braves. They tried to address it by signing Cole Hamels, which the Phillies really should have done, but Hamels is out indefinitely. So maybe the Phils were onto something.

Why the Braves are better: Starting with Ronald Acuña Jr., who could be the best player in the game, the Braves field a potent offense. And this is even after losing Josh Donaldson, who took the Phillies deep six times last season. Despite the Phillies’ talent on offense, they’re not going to be able to outhit the Braves.

Washington Nationals

Why the Phils are better: The Nationals lost Anthony Rendon to free agency, which is a huge blow. And of course the Phillies stole Bryce Harper away from them last year. You just can’t replace that kind of production. How could the Nationals possibly keep pace after losing their best hitter two seasons in a row?

Why the Nats are better: Oh. Right. I guess they still have some good hitters, and their top three starters are light years ahead of what the Phillies have. Patrick Corbin in the #3 slot remains a big deal. The Phils really should have signed him last year.

Miami Marlins

Why the Phils are better: The Marlins are basically a Double-A team masquerading as a major league club wearing Value City uniforms in an empty stadium. They’ve essentially been a laughingstock in 25 of their first 27 seasons in baseball. The other two turned out pretty well, though.

Why the Fish are better: They’re not. But they did add some competent major league bats this offseason, including former Phil Corey Dickerson. And let’s not forget that they posted a winning record (10-9) against the Phillies last year.

Next. Bryce Harper will try to be Pete Rose in Year 2 with the Phillies. dark

Final Verdict: Girardi brings a level of legitimacy to the Phillies, but the NL East is so stacked. They’re most likely a second- or third-place club, finishing behind the Braves and/or Nationals. They’re better than the Mets, despite what some projections say. And if they finish behind the Marlins, I quit baseball forever.