20091016_dn_g1hofm16sPhiladelphia Phillies are the defending World Series champions, and maybe its time that people started to treat them that way. Prognosticator after prognosticator predicted the demise of Phightin’ Phils in their match-up with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team that they defeated 4 games to 1 last October en route to winning the World Series.  But after last night’s 8-6 Phillies win in Game 1 of the year’s National League Championship Series, it seems as if the Dodgers are once again overmatched.  The Phillies got three-run home runs from Raul Ibanez (pictured) and Carlos Ruiz, and were able to overcome a subpar performance from starting pitcher Cole Hamels.

And that is why the Phillies are our favorites to win this NLCS and win the World Series.  The Phillies can flat out mash, and their offense is good enough to overcome their pitching, which at times has been suspect.  They are built for the postseason because their line-up is great at all times, and the series format allows them to obscure the weaknesses at the back-end of their starting rotation and in the bullpen.  The Dodgers are not good enough to overcome a bad day from their pitchers, and they cannot slug with a team like the Phillies.  We know that this was only one game, but it has to be disconcerting for the Dodger Blue faithful.

So why the lack of respect for the Phillies?  Well, it’s simple really.  The Phillies are not an all-time great team, but winning two titles in a row would put them in that discussion.  But this is baseball today.  You don’t have to be great to win the championship.  You just have to be better than the teams you are playing.  And Phillies definitely are that.