These 5 teams could surge up standings in '19 – MLB.com

The turnaround team is a backbone of baseball, and that was certainly true in a 2018 season in which two sub-.500 squads from a year earlier (the Braves and A’s) surprisingly reached the postseason, while a third (the Rays) was far more competitive than predicted.

Of the 14 teams that finished under .500 in 2018, these are the five most likely to turn things around in 2019 — if (and only if) they get it right in this Hot Stove season.

The turnaround team is a backbone of baseball, and that was certainly true in a 2018 season in which two sub-.500 squads from a year earlier (the Braves and A’s) surprisingly reached the postseason, while a third (the Rays) was far more competitive than predicted.

Of the 14 teams that finished under .500 in 2018, these are the five most likely to turn things around in 2019 — if (and only if) they get it right in this Hot Stove season.

Phillies
2018 record: 80-82
Current 2019 projection (via FanGraphs): 78-84

The Phillies only qualify for this list because of an epic fade. They were 10 games over .500 going into September. Ten! And then, well … let’s not revisit that.

We’ve already seen the quotes in USA Today from Phillies owner John Middleton that this club might do some “stupid” spending this winter. They’ll be bidders on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. If you add either one of those guys, that might be enough, based on the above projection, to make this a winning ballclub.

But to be a true contender in 2019, the Phillies need improvement at multiple positions, including their need for better production from young players like Scott Kingery, J.P. Crawford, Nick Williams and Maikel Franco (depending on who’s still getting at-bats once the free-agent and

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