2011 Philadelphia Phillies Analysis and Predictions

Will ShafferCorrespondent IAugust 8, 2011

Philadelphia Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel
Philadelphia Phillies skipper Charlie ManuelDoug Pensinger/Getty Images

Right now, the Philadelphia Phillies are the most fun team to watch in baseball.


Halladay, Lee, Worley, Hamels and Oswalt just to start.

They're quite possibly one of the most balanced five-man rotations in the history of the game. The Phillies ride the backs of these five horses to series victory after series victory.

With the addition of Hunter Pence, the Philadelphia attack has become considerably more balanced.

Rollins is having a decent year leading off. He'll likely finish with about 100 runs scored and 40 stolen bases.

Victorino also likely will score 100 runs, but would have to go on a stealing frenzy the final 48 games of the season to reach the 40 steal plateau. He should get to 30 though.

After missing the first several months of the season, Chase Utley has quietly put together 11 stolen bases, a .288 average, .379 OBP and an .858 OPS in 63 games.

Since the Phillies acquired Pence, Ryan Howard has been locked in at the plate. Expect him to mash about 40 home runs and drive in 120 to 130 runs by season's end. If he can raise his average it's possible he could be placed in MVP contention.

Hunter Pence has lived up to all his billings so far in a Phillies uniform, hitting .342 with a .945 OPS after playing nine games with his new team.

Raul Ibanez should end the season with about 20 home runs and 80 to 90 RBI.

Placido Polanco hitting seventh in this lineup is an eye-rubber, but he may be headed to the DL with a hip injury he's been playing through.

Carlos Ruiz is quietly having a decent year at the plate, although his numbers are down from last year's production.

John Mayberry Jr has proved himself to be a potent right-handed bat off the bench or given a day to start to rest Howard or any of the outfielders. With his six stolen bases, opposing pitchers need to keep an eye on him too.

The Phillies have the best defense in the National League and have only committed more errors than one other club in all baseball; the Chicago White Sox have 50 to the Phils' 52.

Ryan Howard has eight errors this season, leading the club for that dubious distinction. But in reality, eight is not bad for him at all.

Out of the bullpen, Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo have been getting the job done consistently all season.

Michael Stutes has also been very very good and Brad Lidge seems to be settling back in nicely only allowing one run to this point after making six appearances.

Juan Perez has been up and down with the club but has flashed signs of brilliance, giving the Phils a viable second left-handed option out of the pen if needed.

Philadelphia currently has an 8.5-game lead in the NL East with 74 wins and 40 losses.

The next closest team in baseball is Boston with 70 wins and 43 losses. The Phillies took two of three from the Sox at home in June.

Should the Phillies continue to play as they have for the remainder of the season, they likely will finish with between 105 and 110 wins and bring home a second world championship in the past four years.

There will be a lot of hard baseball between now and earning that distinction, as every team in baseball at this point is now gunning to beat them.

Should this Philadelphia Phillies team win the World Series in 2011 it would be fair to say they're arguably one of baseball's greatest teams of all time.