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Liri-oh-no: Pirates at Phillies Preview, May 13

Let's just sim a few games ahead in the season, yeah?

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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The Phillies are rocking a .323 winning percentage right now. Unsurprisingly, if you've been following along, this is the worst in baseball. If the Phillies were to keep losing at this pace, they'd win 52 games this season and lose 110. The Phillies also have a -66 run differential -- yes, that's a minus in front of the 66 -- as they have somehow allowed 66 more runs than they've scored. Using Bill James'pythagorean expectation formula, that gets the Phillies to a .271 winning percentage.

The...good god, the Phillies are overachieving. Maybe I'm not the first to notice this.

I won't subject you to the second and third order winning percentages, but if this season start holds up -- and we have little reason to expect it won't -- the Phillies will win anywhere between 44 and 52 games this year. That is, about 30-40 more. Get ready for some losses people. Like, say, like tonight's game!

Probable Pitchers

Francisco Liriano -- He's good again! He's walking a batter less per nine, striking out a batter more per nine, and still not giving up many home runs. So you know the old saying: if by May, his ERA be under 3, the good Liriano do you see. This is bad news for the Phillies and their many lefties, and I would not expect Howard's heroics to continue tonight, however muted they may be. This could get ugly.

Cole Hamels -- Fortunately, the Phillies also have a real, honest to god pitcher going for them tonight too, in Cole Hamels. Since you all know enough about Hamels and how he locks things down after April, try to imagine this team without Hamels. They've given up 162 runs. Replace Hamels with, I don't know, Ted Lilly or whoever is trying to make a bizarre comeback this year. How much worse is that going to get?

They won't surpass the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, as they're likely to win more than 10 more games, which puts them higher than a 130 winning percentage. But could they surpass the '62 Mets for the worst 162 game winning percentage (40-120, .250), or perhaps make their own low water mark as a franchise at 41 losses, finally freeing the 1942 Phillies from the level of Hell that they are doomed to wander? You hate to say it, but maybe.