Blog Entry

3 to watch: The most favored opponent edition

Posted on: April 10, 2011 7:30 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2011 7:31 pm
Nine games in, the Phillies have the same record they had after nine games last year. They're 7-2, the best record in the National League.

But nine games in, the Phillies have scored 10 fewer runs than they did in the first nine games last year.

Does that mean they really do miss Jayson Werth and Chase Utley? Or does it just mean that they haven't played the Nationals yet?

They do miss Werth and Utley, or at least they should miss them eventually. But it is worth noting that the Phillies played six of their first nine games against Washington last year, and that they scored 50 runs in those six games.

The only reason we're bringing this up now is that Werth left the Phillies to sign with the Nationals last winter, and this week in Washington he'll play against his former team for the first time.

And if the Phillies were off to a slow start, there would no doubt be plenty of talk about how much they miss Jayson Werth.

Instead, Werth is hitting .200 for the Nationals, and the Phils are averaging 6.6 runs a game without him.

And that's without any games against Washington, the team the Phils pounded for 107 runs in 18 games last year.

The 107 runs were the most the Phillies scored against any opponent, but they weren't the most any team scored against any opponent last year.

The Twins scored 130 runs in their 18 games against the Royals (helped by a 19-1 game), and the Brewers scored 125 in 18 games against the Pirates (helped by back-to-back 20-0 and 17-3 wins).

And this week, while the Phillies play the Nationals, the Twins will play the Royals and the Brewers will play the Pirates.

Is there any doubt about the theme for this week's 3 to watch:

1. Ryan Braun is the National League's early home run leader, with four in the first 10 games of the season. And he hasn't even faced the Pirates yet. Braun hit six of his 25 home runs last year against Pittsburgh, the team he'll face in for the first time this year in Brewers at Pirates, Tuesday night (7:05 ET) at PNC Park . Braun has homered off each of the scheduled Pirates starters this week, with one in 16 at-bats against Kevin Correia (Tuesday), one in 30 at-bats against Paul Maholm (Wednesday) and two in 16 at-bats against Jeff Karstens (Thursday).

2. The Twins are off to a slow start. Joe Mauer is off to a slow start. But the Twins haven't seen the Royals yet, and neither has Mauer. Last year, Mauer hit an incredible .516 against the Royals, with 17 RBI in 15 games. He gets his first chance of 2011 in Royals at Twins, Tuesday night (8:10 ET) at Target Field .

3. John Lannan is 29-30 with a 3.87 ERA in 86 career starts against everyone but the Phillies. John Lannan is 0-8 with a 6.09 ERA in 11 starts against the Phillies. He gets another chance -- or the Phillies get another chance -- in Phillies at Nationals, Wednesday night (7:05 ET) at Nationals Park . Bad news for him: He's matched up against Roy Halladay, who allowed one run in 23 innings in his three starts (all wins) against Washington last year.


Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 3:13 pm

3 to watch: The most favored opponent edition

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 4:14 pm

3 to watch: The most favored opponent edition

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:22 am

3 to watch: The most favored opponent edition

Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 4:01 pm

3 to watch: The most favored opponent edition

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 11:43 am

3 to watch: The most favored opponent edition

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Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:12 pm

3 to watch: The most favored opponent edition

Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 4:10 am
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Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: April 11, 2011 9:00 pm

3 to watch: The most favored opponent edition

I think Ben Francisco can put up 20-25 hr, 80-90 rbi, and and bat .280-.290 which is not much different than Jason Werth. What they lose in Ben Francisco is the defense (Jason Werth is 10x better) and base stealing. Jason Werth also has the ability to draw a walk thus his high on base percentage, but that is not what you want out of a 5 hole hitter in the Phillies lineup. That is also why Jason Werth had the worst average in the  MLB with runners in scoring position last year, he took to many pitches.  All that said I think  Jason Werth is going to struggle in Washington this year (just a gut feeling)..

Since: Sep 19, 2007
Posted on: April 11, 2011 8:54 pm

Hey Dan check your math your wrong

The Phils scored 50 last year in their first 9 and this year they have scored 59. That would be 9 more this year not 10 less.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: April 11, 2011 8:04 pm

3 to watch: The most favored opponent edition

i think ben francisco having a .290/30/100 type of season is very reasonable.
Wow.  Really?

You think that kind of line is "very reasonable" for a career .265 hitter who averages one HR per 28 ABs?  Unless he suddenly and inexplicable becomes a better hitter than he's ever been he'd have to have more than 800 at bats to pull 30 dingers.  Maybe its just me, but that .441 slugging percentage last year didn't exactly inspire dreams of greatness.  He's never even sniffed that kind of output in an extensive minor league career. 

Maybe you're right.  Maybe Francisco's going to be a 30 year old first time all star this season.  Stranger things have happened.  I just don't see what basis there'd be for a prediction like that beyond sheer optimism.  But now I'm starting to realize why the other guy said the lineup is overrated - I think comments like that start with predicting greatness for a late-comer who has never shown it.

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