NLDS Preview: Phillies Offense

This is featured in part of Phillies Nation's NLDS Preview.

The Phillies have established themselves as an offensive ball club. The Phillies have become one of the league’s top powerhouses offensively. It might be surprising to hear that the Reds collected better offensive stats as a whole, however the Phillies were without several of their star players over the course of the year.

From the top of the order to the bottom, the offense is now completely healthy.The Phillies scored 772 runs this year, and batted .260 as a team. They only hit 166 home runs, which is 58 fewer than last year. The lack of home run production can be blamed on Ryan Howard, who hit an career-low 31 home runs this year. The power drop-off can also be a side effect of numerous injuries. Chase Utley hit half as many home runs as he averages, but he didn’t get near as many at-bats with his injury.

The Phillies have relied on small ball this year more than ever. Even without Jimmy Rollins, the Phillies still managed to have the best stolen base percentage in the majors (84%).

Johnny Cueto will start game three, and the Phillies have rocked him. Cueto has a 5.96 ERA in his career against the Phillies.

Ryan Howard has faired well in his career against the Reds. He has a 1.030 OPS against Cincy. Chase Utley has similar success. He has a 1.078 OPS in his career against the Reds. With the exceptions of Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz, none of the regulars had career years. Compared to their potential, most of them had down years. That says a lot, considering that the Phillies still managed to finish with one of the league’s top offenses.

Watch out for: Ryan Howard (.921 career postseason OPS), Carlos Ruiz (.400 OBP this year, .905 career postseason OPS).

Postseason Predictions:

Division Series

Phillies over Reds in 4
Giants over Braves in 5
Rangers over Rays in 4
Twins over Yankees in 5

Championship Series

Phillies over Giants in 6
Rangers over Twins in 7

World Series

Phillies over Rangers in 5


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