The Road To October: Analyzing the Phillies Competition
The Phillies have had a good year this year. They may not be first in their division or the Wild Card, but they are close to the leaders in both.In this article, I am going to talk about all of the teams that the Phillies are close to in the division and Wild Card races. Let's start out by looking at the Phillies themselves:
Philadelphia Phillies (70-57, Second in NL Wild Card, Second in NL East)
We'll start out with the Phillies. Let's take a look at their strengths and weaknesses:
The Phillies have very good hitting. They have a solid lineup, starting with fast, consistent hitters who get on base a lot, then continuing with their slugger, Ryan Howard, and some more good hitters, Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth. They also have some strength at the end of their lineup with Carlos Ruiz, a very good clutch hitter.
The Phillies also have good pitching. They have three aces, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels. They also have Joe Blanton, who has been having a bad season this year, but has recently been very good, and then Kyle Kendrick, who has had some good games this year but recently has been doing very bad.
In the bullpen the Phillies also have some good pitchers, like Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson, but a lot of relief pitchers are not having good seasons, like J.C. Romero and Danys Baez.
The thing that may separate the Phillies from the other teams is their base running. They have some very good base runners, and they have some very fast runners, like Rollins, Victorino, and Werth.
I think that some of the Phillies main strengths are base running, clutch hitting, and that they have three ace starting pitchers and a very good closer, Brad Lidge.
I think that the Phillies main weaknesses are their inconsistency, and that Kyle Kendrick has recently been pitching very bad, and also that some of their bullpen pitchers are not doing very good.
San Francisco Giants (71-57, First in NL Wild Card)
The Giants are ahead of the Phillies in the Wild Card by 0.5 games. Here are some of their strengths and weaknesses:
The Giants have pretty good hitting. They have some good hitters at the start of their lineup, like Andres Torres, Buster Posey, Aubrey Huff, and Pat Burrel, and then they have some good hitters at the middle and end of their lineup, like Guillen and Sandoval.
One of the Giants main strengths is their pitching. They have five solid starters, Lincecum, Cain, Zito, Bumgarner and Sanchez, who are all very good pitchers, although Lincecum has been recently slumping.
They also have some good bullpen pitchers like Ramon Ramirez and Brian Wilson.
I think that the Giants main strengths are that they have good hitting, and that they have a very good starting rotation.
I think the Giants main weakness is that, unlike the Phillies, they don't have that many main aces except for Lincecum, who recently has been slumping.
St Louis Cardinals (68-56, Second in NL Wild Card)
Let's take a look at the Cardinals:
The Cardinals have some very good hitters, like Albert Pujols, Matt Holiday, and Jon Jay. But past that, the rest of their hitters are not as good, which can be a weakness to their offense.
The Cardinals have some of the best starting pitchers in the league. They have Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, and Jaime Garcia, who are all pretty much aces.
As for their bullpen, the Cards also have some good pitchers there, like Ryan Franklin and Kyle McClellan.
The Cardinals main strengths are probably their pitching aces, and their good hitters like Pujols and Holliday.
What is probably the Cardinals main weakness is that besides Pujols and Holliday, they don't have many other good hitters.
Atlanta Braves (73-54, First in NL East)
Here are some strengths and weaknesses of the Braves:
The Braves have some very good hitters. They have Omar Infante and Martin Prado, who are very consistent, and Brian McCann, the All-Star game MVP, who is also very good.
The Braves also have some good pitchers. They have a good starting rotation, that has Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurjenns, and Kris Medlen.
Their bullpen is also good. It has Eric O'Flaherty, Johnny Venters, Takashi Saito, and Billy Wagner, who are all good pitchers.
Some of the Braves main strengths are that they have a strong starting rotation, a good bullpen, and some consistent hitters.
One of the Braves main weaknesses is that they have recently had a lot of injuries. This could be a disadvantage in the playoff race.
As you can see, each of the teams have their own strengths and weaknesses. There will probably be a close race to get to the playoffs, and we will see what happens next. So until then, Go Phillies!!!