Finally it’s baseball season. A sentence that hasn’t been uttered in Philadelphia for what feels like forever. But here we are. About to kick off the 2019 campaign and the Philadelphia Phillies are back to being entertaining and more importantly, competitive. Time for some predictions that will most likely be wrong but hey, let’s do it anyway.
Biggest Break Out Star: Nick Pivetta
Probably the most over hype player in baseball for the 2019 season is Nick Pivetta. Not over hyped because people are calling for him to win 20 games and compete for the Cy Young. No over hyped because everyone and their grandmother sees a breakout season for Nick. Meaning it most likely won’t happen but I can dream.
Pivetta has a lot going for him this season. First off, if you have a career ERA 5.33, you only have one way to go. Now last year he posted a 4.77 ERA and only went 7-14. You’re probably thinking, ummmmm, why would he be poised for a breakout year. Easy. Don’t be a sucker and look at his stuff.
In baseball it’s all about the stuff. The same way we all knew Ben Simmons would be an all time great by the way he moves on the correct, Nick’s stuff says he’s better than 4.77. Last year he ranked top 15 in baseball when it came to strike out percentage (27.1%), ground ball percentage (46.7%) and K/9 (10.32).
Pivetta also has going for him that he isn’t being leaned on as “the guy” or even the top two guys. With Nola and Arrieta, Nick can fly under the radar. So I’m not just calling for a breakout year from Pivetta. I’m calling for a possible All-Star appearance and he WILL receive Cy Young votes. Like 1 or 2 but that still counts.
Boldest Prediction: Hoskins and Harper out homer Stanton and Judge
That’s right, the Bronx bombers won’t be able to out slug the bash bros in South Philly. I’m saying Rhys knocks 37 and Bryce hits 42 for a combined 79 dingers. Also I think Harper hits a ball so far it lands in Ashburn Alley, more specifically Bull’s BBQ and puts a waiter in a coma.
Phillies Biggest Trade: Zack Wheeler
The Phillies didn’t sign a starter and at the trade deadline they will be big time buyers. The Mets are the Mets. Some people have them as the dark horse to win the NL East. Those people are called Mets’ fans. Wheeler will be a free agent after this season and with New York signing DeGrom they will have to decide if they want to shell out big money for Wheeler as well. My guess, that answer is no.
Trade deadline the Phillies, Nationals and even the Braves will be in front of the Mets. They will be sellers because what’s more Mets than signing a pitcher to a big deal then selling at the deadline? It will take a lot to get it done but I think the Phillies pull the trigger and not only add Wheeler but also resign him at season’s end. No longer have to save money for Trout.
Biggest Surprise: Phillies sign Kimbrel
The 2019 baseball season is only a few hours away and Craig Kimbrel is still a free agent. What in the world? The rumors out there are that Kimbrel is getting interest from the Brewers, Braves, Nationals and Phillies. If that is true than the Phillies need to pay whatever the asking price is just to keep Kimbrel OFF the other three rosters. At this point the National league is a dog fight. If you’re the Phillies you can’t, under any circumstances, let your biggest competitors go get a guy that can swing the power of the league. Philly man’s up, pays him what he wants for a two year deal.
Official Season Result: 92-70
The Phillies will go 92-70. They will also clinch the NL East on the very last day of the season after being 1 game behind the Nationals. They will sweep the Marlins in the final series of the season while the Nationals go 1-2 vs the Indians. Philadelphia gets to the World Series after beating the Brewers in the NLCS after 7 games. Unfortunatly they just aren’t ready to hang with the big dogs that are the reigning World Series champions. Boston takes care of Philadelphia in 6 games.
Whatever happens, exciting baseball is back in Philly. That is all I could have ever asked for entering 2019. LFG