Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper makes Phillies World Series contenders

Eliot Shorr-Parks
March 02, 2019 - 9:29 am

Ever since Bryce Harper decided to sign a 13-year contract with the Phillies, fans in Philadelphia have debated if their team is now a World Series contender. 

Among oddsmakers, however, there is no debate. 

According to updated odds at BetOnline.AG, the Phillies now have the third best odds to win the World Series this season, trailing online the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. 

New York Yankees+600

Boston Red Sox+700

Philadelphia Phillies+750

Houston Astros+800

Los Angeles Dodgers+800

Not only are the Phillies now World Series contenders, they are considered the favorites to win the National League -- ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team they beat out for Harper:

Philadelphia Phillies+400

Los Angeles Dodgers+450

Chicago Cubs+750

Milwaukee Brewers+900

St. Louis Cardinals+900

When asked this week about the new pressure on the team, manager Gabe Kapler said on 94WIP that he is ready to embrace the new expectations. 

"Look, what we always want is to be judged by wins and losses on the field," Kapler said. "We know that now the expectations of Philadelphia Phillies, the city of Philadelphia, are especially high. That's what we've always wanted. We want a high challenging bar and we want the expectations that we're going to step up and meet that bar. We have the players with that kind of mentality. We have the staff and the front office and the ownership group with that kind of mentality, so we would want it no other way. And we've kind of been really thinking about this moment for quite some time. That the pressure would be on, that the bar would be high, and that we would be prepared to step up and meet that bar."

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