Monday, April 27, 2015

Can the Phillies climb ahead in the odds race?

It goes without saying that the Phillies have struggled out of the gate, losing 11 of their first 16 games to crash to the bottom of the NL East standings. The Phillies have already lost four of their first five series and there appears to be no end in sight to the Phillies’ woes.

Offense has been an obvious problem. The Phillies have swung the bat poorly in their opening five series, recording a team batting average of just .214, the worst mark in the entire National League. They are also at the bottom of the pile in the runs and RBI departments, posting just 49 runs and 47 RBIs through 16 games.

It’s tough enough to win with your offense out of sync it’s even harder when your pitching is struggling as well. Through their first five series in April, the Phillies’ pitching staff has walked a total of 66 batters, the highest in the majors this season. With problems engulfing the club left and right, it isn’t a surprise to see Philadelphia’s odds to win the championship tumble. Current MLB betting lines at TopBet show the Phillies are far from the favorite in 2015, sitting at +40,000 to capture the World Series this season.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though, for the struggling Phillies. Cody Asche has provided some glimmer of hope for the Philadelphia faithful with his excellent play this season. Through 15 games played, Asche is 18-of-59 with two homers, two doubles, three RBIs and four walks.

Asche can’t do it all by his lonesome, though. For Philadelphia to turn its season around, the veterans need to step it up and start contributing on the offensive end. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley have been simply atrocious to start the season, batting .193 and .121, respectively, for the Phillies through their first five series. Howard has been miserable at the plate, striking out 18 times, while Utley only has seven hits in 58 at-bats.

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