Cliff Lee: 10 Reasons the Philadelphia Phillies Are Now the Favorites in the NL

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Cliff Lee: 10 Reasons the Philadelphia Phillies Are Now the Favorites in the NL
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The current National League Cy Young Award winner, former American League Cy Young Award winner and three-time 20-game winner. Two-time 20-game winner and a sixth-place finish in the 2010 National League Cy Young Award voting. 2008 National League Championship Series and 2008 World Series MVP. Add to that another former American League Cy Young Award winner with a 20-game win season under his belt, and you've assembled an impressive cast of starting pitchers (and a stocked trophy case.)

That's exactly what the Philadelphia Phillies have done.

When the signing became official on Wednesday afternoon, the Phillies put names to that impressive resume, and effectively assembled one of the greatest rotations, on paper, to ever grace the world of baseball—Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee.

When the Phillies acquired Oswalt at the 2010 Trade Deadline, fans were ecstatic. Added to a rotation that already boasted powerful arms in Halladay and Hamels, the Philly faithful quickly dubbed the new big three with catchy nicknames like "Roy Story 2" and "H2O." So when the Phillies "lurked on the periphery" long enough to swoop in and sign this year's top free-agent prize, fans and analysts alike were quickly dubbing the quartet the "Phantastic Phour," "the Phab Phour," "Smokin' Aces" and my personal favorite, "Charlie's Aces." On paper, this rotation has the potential to be one of the greatest rotations of all time and take the National League by storm.

But does the addition of Cliff Lee make the Phillies the best team in the National League?

The following 10 slides should show you just why it does.

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