Many experts and independent baseball blogs alike have the Philadelphia Phillies poised to finish in third place by the end of the upcoming season. As a result of the team's 81-81 finish last year in addition to an aging core group of players, for the first time since 2008 the Phillies are not widely projected to finish as the top dog in the NL East. Not to mention that more significant upgrades by division-mates Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves slot them further into contention.
However, one website in particular stands out in its projection for the Phillies in 2013. In my opinion, the Phillies are slated to win 87 or 88 games in 2013. I haven't yet decided on that final amount, but somewhere in that ballpark sounds about right to me.
I'm not too far out there like FOX Sports' Jon Morosi, who believes that the Phillies will finish ahead of the Braves in 2013, but I do believe the Phillies will have a better finish than that of 2012 (per HardballTalk.com). What bothers me is that baseball website Baseball Prospectus has the Phillies projected not only to finish third in the NL East once again, but they also project the Phillies to finish at 81-81, just like last year.
Given the Phillies' small yet cost-efficient upgrades this offseason at multiple positions, there's no reason they shouldn't do better than posting a .500 record. Here's five reasons why Baseball Prospects dropped the ball on their projection for the Phillies.