Favorites to win it all. It’s an unfamiliar role for a Philadelphia sports team, but that’s what the Phillies are this season.

According to, the Phillies are the overwhelming favorite to win the NL pennant. The odds are 2-1 they reclaim the World Series title.

It should be no surprise that the Phillies are top dogs since they possess three aces, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. Their leading hitter, Carlos Ruiz, bats eighth, and their closer, Brad Lidge, finally has his groove back.

No wonder Las Vegas bookmakers call the Phillies favorites. Many experts believe the Phillies are the game’s most formidable team. There is an uncharacteristic swagger amongst fans. However, don’t mention the word favorites in the Phillies’ clubhouse.

“I think we’re underdogs,” Jayson Werth said. “We were underdogs the last few years in the playoffs. We don’t mind being overlooked. That fits us well. I like it when people think we’re something we know we’re not.

“When we won the World Series [in 2008], it was all about the Rays and their Cinderella run.”

Last season, the media focused again on the Dodgers. One pundit prematurely compared young Dodger southpaw Clayton Kershaw to Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax. And then there was the World Series. The Yankees’ ground crew sported ‘27’ shirts during the series, presuming the Yankees would win their 27th title.

“Sometimes, we notice that stuff [disrespect] and sometimes we don’t,” Werth said. “We have no control over it. All we have control over is when we play baseball. No matter what I feel like, the world looks at us as underdogs. But we have the confidence that we can beat anybody.”

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