The Mets and Marlins are two of the four worst teams in baseball. Depending on how you feel about the Rockies and Astros, New York and Miami might be the two worst teams, period. So it's nice for the Phillies that they play those two weak NL East foes 13 times in their first 32 games.
By May 5 the Phils will have played seven home games and six road games against the Marlins and Mets, two teams that might combine for 115-120 wins in 2013. There is really no excuse not to go 9-4 or better in those games.
The rest of the Phillies' April schedule isn't easy, but at least they get series against the Cardinals and Reds out of the way early. From April 15-21 the Phils play seven consecutive games against those NL Central contenders.
What follows is a crucial four-game series at Citizens Bank Park against the Pirates, who really don't look much different from last year's 79-83 team.
If you figure the Phils go 9-4 against the Mets and Marlins, 3-2 against the Royals and Indians, 3-4 against the Cardinals and Reds and, let's say, 1-2 against the Braves in the opening series, that would be 16-12 without counting the four-gamer against the Bucs from April 22-25. If the Phillies win three of four, as they should, 19-13 through 32 games would be one hell of a start.
The Phillies' 35-33 against the Pirates since 2002 shows they haven't played well against a team that has a .426 winning percentage over that span, but the Phils have dominated the head-to-head series at home. The Phillies are 20-7 in their last 27 home games against the Pirates and haven't lost a series at CBP since 2003.
Barring a complete letdown against the Marlins, Mets and Pirates or utter inferiority against the Cards and Reds, the Phillies are pretty well set-up to win about 60 percent of their games through the first month-plus. Yes, that's why they play the games ... but they don't start playing the games until tomorrow night.
Astros-Rangers tonight at 8 p.m., though. Baseball! Check out some 2013 Phillies predictions here.