Number 11: Philadelphia Phillies
The new age Phillies are an exciting watch with Gabe Kapler at the helm. He’s an analytics-based manager that was highly criticized for his early season moves and his handling of the bullpen. It’s actually worked out better than most thought it would.
They’re 15-8 and overachieving to the max. Right now they’re in the second spot of the NL East and a lot of it has to do with their pitching.
They have the fifth best ERA in the league with a 3.13. They’re also tied for sixth in the league in batting average against.
Jake Arrieta is killing it in his first four starts in Philly. He’s 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA, while Aaron Nola and Nick Pevetta are also a sub-3.00 ERA.
On the offensive side of the ball, Rhys Hoskins is leading the team with four homers and a .324 batting average. Even though Maikel Franco is only hitting .250 he’s coming off back to back 20 or more homer seasons.
They’re 12th in the league in on-base percentage through their first 23 games. They have a very new mindset when it comes to analytics. Some old-school baseball guys won’t like Kapler and his team, but they are a forward-thinking organization that believes in sabermetrics.
A young and exciting team, with a young and exciting manager. The Phils are definitely worth a watch in 2018.