There are no longer any low expectations for the Philadelphia Phillies. After 10 straight seasons of missing the playoffs, the Phillies squeaked into the postseason in 2022, then shocked everyone by winning the National League pennant, coming just two wins shy of a World Series title.

The Phillies enter 2023 with a stacked roster chockfull of all-star talent, yet it's no guarantee they win their division or even finish second. With the absolute gauntlet that will be the NL East, the Phillies would be smart to play the long game and just find a way to get back into the playoffs rather than use all their resources to win the division.

Regardless of where they finish, the Phillies will be one of the most exciting teams to watch in 2023. A nightly sellout at Citizens Bank Park won't come as a surprise this season. The Phillies are for real.

3. Phillies bullpen will have a top-10 ERA in the league.

Simply put, the Phillies bullpen has been awful over the last decade. Over the previous three seasons, Phillies relievers have finished 23rd, 25th, and 30th in terms of ERA. This year, however, there is a lot of buzz surrounding the relievers at manager Rob Thomson's disposal.

The Phillies knew that improving the bullpen was a priority in the offseason. With that in mind, the front office made three key additions.

Philadelphia traded for two-time all-star Gregory Soto from the Detroit Tigers. Soto recorded 48 saves and a 3.34 ERA in 124 innings across the last two seasons.

The Phillies also signed free-agent relievers Matt Strahm and Craig Kimbrel. Strahm had a 3.83 ERA and 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 50 appearances with the Boston Red Sox last season.

Kimbrel, the eight-time all-star and former consensus best closer in baseball, has struggled with command at times since 2019. He was surprisingly left off the Dodgers roster for the National League Divison Series in 2022. The Phillies and their fans shouldn’t expect a return to dominance from the 34-year-old. Luckily for Kimbrel and the team, he won't have to be dominant to make an impact with the other names around him.

The last season the Phillies bullpen had an ERA under four was 2015. The last time it finished in the top 10 was 2011. Those additions, paired with returning fireballers Seranthony Domínguez and José Alvarado, have the Phillies bullpen shaped nicely for 2023.

2. Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler will finish 1-2 for NL Cy Young Award.

There's an argument to be made that Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler are the best starting pitching duo in Major League Baseball. There's also an argument that they're not even the best duo in their own division (see Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer).

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Despite what you think, there's no denying these two are among the elite starting pitchers in baseball. Aaron Nola finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting last season, while Wheeler donned a 2.82 ERA in 26 starts to follow up his Cy Young runner-up campaign from 2021.

With the Phillies no longer looming in the shadows after their run to the World Series last season, they'll need both Nola and Wheeler to be at the top of their games in order to compete in an uber-talented NL East.

Either one could throw his way to the top pitching honor in the National League, but we'll lean toward Nola here. He enters the final year of his contract in 2023 and another stellar season will see him earn a massive payday next offseason. While he doesn't need to win the award to earn that big contract, he's certainly more than capable of taking the hardware.

A pair of teammates haven't finished top two for the NL Cy Young Award since Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling did it with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002. If Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler continue to pitch deep into games and put up numbers consistent with last season, they could etch their names into baseball history in 2023.

1. Trea Turner hits 30 home runs and steals 50 bases.

You wanted bold, didn't you? Only two players in the history of Major League Baseball have had a season with 30 or more home runs and 50 or more stolen bases: Eric Davis in 1987 and Barry Bonds in 1990. A little side note here, if you've never watched an Eric Davis highlight reel, do yourself a favor and head to YouTube after you finish reading this.

The Phillies made headlines in December when they signed shortstop Trea Turner to an 11-year, $300 million contract. Turner will immediately slot into the top of Philadelphia's lineup and bring plus defense at a premium position to a team that has struggled defensively in recent seasons.

Although Mike Trout was captain of the United States in the World Baseball Classic, Turner was the one American that everyone in the sport was talking about. He led the tournament with five home runs and drove in 11 in six games. Then what does he do in his first game back with the Phillies in spring training? Hits a home run in his third at-bat.

Turner's power numbers don't exactly jump off the board. He hit 21 homers last year and had a career-high 28 the year prior. Yet with his monster spring at the WBC and in exhibition games with the Phillies, as well the Phillies ballpark being one of the most hitter-friendly in the league, it almost seems like Turner could hit 30 with ease if he wants to this season.

It isn't easy to steal 50 bases in the MLB, but many around baseball believe the increased size of the bases will lead to a lot of movement from baserunners this year. That plays right into perhaps Turner's biggest strength. Turner hasn't taken off as much in recent years as he did earlier in his career, but the consistency and the speed are still there. Since 2018, and excluding the shortened 2020 season, Turner has stolen an average of 34 bases a season while only being caught a total of 22 times in that span

While a longshot, if there's any player capable of pulling off this ultrarare feat, it's Trea Turner. If he's not hitting leadoff bombs, expect Turner to take some more chances on the basepaths.