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Philadelphia Phillies Betting Tips – National League Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 2/27/2013 5:51:47 PM

The start of the Major League Baseball season in a few weeks will mean the beginning of a new journey for one of the more disappointing teams from last season.
When people in the online sports betting legal realm consider how loaded with pitching the Philadelphia Phillies were last season, it's hard to comprehend the extent to which the team fell short of its goals. Quality dealers are needed in the high-stakes ballyard poker games that unfold on the diamond; the Phillies had these resources, but they were ravaged by the injury bug in their lineup.

Even the ranks of football betting gurus who don't pay a whole lot of attention to Major League Baseball are aware of two very big injuries that devastated the 2012 Phils. Ryan Howard missed 91 games while Chase Utley played barely over half the season. Those are two of the most impactful bats in the lineup. Without those two sticks, the batting order just didn’t have enough clout to compensate for the pitching performances of some of the members of the Phils' rotation. In 2013, both Howard and Utley are back and healthy, giving the Phillies each of their key players from past year’s success, the third one being leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins. Another element worthy of note is the pickups of Delmon Young and Michael Young, two bats that have slowed in recent years but may add some depth to an otherwise pedestrian bunch.

Make no mistake about where the Phillies' hopes and aspirations lie. They don’t fall in the lineup but on the arms of the staff’s triple-headed monster that, when assembled, was essentially given the expectation of winning a World Series or bust. Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee are all guys capable of winning 20 games in a given season, and the Phillies may need years like that from the trio if they hope to compete with Atlanta and Washington.

Roy Halladay had one of his worst career seasons a year ago. He will look to bounce in a big way as he chases that elusive title he’s waited so many years for. Cole Hamels should again be the best pitcher on the staff after he became the topic of potential trade rumors last season and into the offseason. With all that behind him, it will be interesting to see how he reacts. Last but not least is Cliff Lee, the savvy veteran who has been a playoff assassin in his career and will look to stabilize the big three with his high-strikeout capability.

Jonathan Paplebon took heat when he left Boston for not being paid in accordance with the status he felt he deserved as a closer. The Phillies' bullpen around him was a mess in 2012, and that will have to be cleaned up if the Phillies want any hope of competing for a division crown. Papelbon did not protect as many leads as he was expecting last season. This season will be a truer measurement of his quality (or lack thereof).

All in all the Phillies could easily surprise some teams. The pitching, if it’s on, is good enough to carry this team all season. The bats will need some reviving after a stagnant 2012, but injuries won’t impact this team coming out of the gate as they did a year ago. As a result, Phillies fans should get to see the team they thought could contend in 2012 back at it in 2013.

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