ESPN.com recently ranked all 30 MLB teams (paywall) using Steamer player projections from Fangraphs to run 10,000 simulations of the 2023 season. And the result? The Phillies are projected to win 85.2 games, good for 12th best in the league.
Projected 2023 wins via ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle:— MLB Metrics (@MLBMetrics) December 27, 2022
90 Blue Jays
82 White Sox
The Phillies won 87 games in 2022, so this would be an expected decrease in two wins. What’s accounting for the expected decrease in wins? That’s not really clear. The author explains some “tweaks” were made without going into much detail.
The article ranks the Phillies as the fifth most improved team this offseason, which makes sense considering the additions of Trea Turner, Taijuan Walker, and others. But if the Phillies are thought to be improved, then why is their win total down? (And why are the Brewers ranked above them despite having fewer wins in 2022 followed by an underwhelming offseason?) The only explanation is that they expect the returning Phillies to have worse years than they did in 2022.
As best I can tell, the decrease seems to be mostly attributed to Steamer projecting a sizeable decline by J.T. Realmuto, an extended absence and relatively poor play from Bryce Harper (Odd that it would affect the simulation that much considering he missed a large chunk of time in 2022), and a slight decline in performance by all of their starting pitchers. (Steamer is also higher on Alec Bohm and lower on Brandon Marsh than I would have expected given the players’ defensive abilities.)
My conclusion: This was an article designed to get clicks and to have people talking about baseball during a relatively dead period of the offseason. Should Phillies fans give it any consideration to it beyond that? No.