Philadelphia Phillies A TCB illustration of stars of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Philadelphia Phillies made the 2022 World Series. They bowled through October in a memorable run to the World Series but ultimately fell short to the Houston Astros.

Last season, the Phillies returned to the playoffs and made life unpleasant for the Atlanta Braves again. The Phillies defeated their National League East rivals and returned to the ALCS. This time, though, the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Phillies in a thrilling seven-game series.

One month into the 2024 MLB season, the Phillies are on top of the NL East. They caught fire at the end of April and haven’t looked back since. Entering Saturday, Philadelphia’s 28-13 record is the best in baseball. They are two games up on Atlanta on May 11 and, right now, look awfully impressive.

Here are three reasons why the Phillies find themselves atop the NL East.

The Phillies have one of MLB’s best offenses

Philadelphia has boasted a potent offense in 2024 on the surface and beneath. They’ve scored 213 runs, second-most in the NL behind the Dodgers. They rank second in the NL in batting average (.261), OBP (.336), and SLG (.424), also behind the Dodgers. They’ve clobbered 49 home runs, second in the NL, also to the Dodgers. So they’ve hit at a rate that’s contended with a team that many consider the World Series favorite. Philly is also in the NL’s top five in stolen bases and BB%. They’re a difficult team to reckon with right now at the plate and it’s driven this team to the top of the division.

Elite starting pitching

Another reason for their success? Look no further than the Phillies’ starting rotation. Philadelphia leads the NL in starters’ ERA with a mark of merely 2.70. Boston ranks first in MLB at 2.45, so Philly isn’t too far off the mark. Phillies’ starters also lead the NL in K/9 at 9.31. Baseball has gotten more difficult as it is, with relievers who throw 97-100 MPH growing on trees. The Phillies, though, possess a serious threat with how their starters have pitched thus far this year. Ranger Suarez and Spencer Turnbull all have ERAs <2.00. Zack Wheeler’s was under 2.00, but it ballooned north to 2.53, which is still an outstanding number. While that’s probably very unsustainable for three pitchers to hold that over the course of an entire season, even leveling off, at this point, will make them a force to be reckoned with. If they can keep that momentum going, Philadelphia will be a tough out in October yet again.

Alec Bohm

While Bryce Harper is the Phillies’ biggest star, their best player through the first month of the 2024 season is Alec Bohm. Formerly a top prospect, Bohm hasn’t panned out like some thought. But that was before this year. Bohm leads the team in OBP (.400) and SLG (.534), and his .338 average is just a few ticks off Trea Turner’s .343 for the team lead.

Bohm’s impressive 163 wRC+ leads the Phillies and seats him in the top 10 in MLB in that category. Suffice it to say: He’s been one of baseball’s hitters and has certainly helped fuel the fire in Philly. If he can continue to be a threat at the plate, Philadelphia could keep this success going and perhaps finally turn that elusive October corner.

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022