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2023 MLB Season Preview

MLB Spring Training has arrived, which means it is time to make some predictions for how the season will play out.

Guide to the 2023 MLB Season 

This is a fan guide to what everyone that loves baseball should expect when the 2023 MLB season begins. This will talk about the offseason winners and losers, division winners, award winners, World Baseball Classic predictions, new rule changes, and more. 

3 Offseason winners and losers

My offseason MLB winners are the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, and San Diego Padres, as the Phillies found a way to improve their lineup by adding Trea Turner to their deep lineup alongside Bryce Harper, Kyler Schwarber, JT Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins. Even though the Mets lost out on Carlos Correa and failed to keep Jacob deGrom, they figured out a way to keep Edwin Diaz and Brandon Nimmo along with signing the reigning AL Cy Young Award Winner in Justin Verlander to reunite with his former Detroit Tiger teammate in Max Scherzer. The Padres bolstered their lineup as they added Xander Bogaerts, Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter to complement Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr, and Jake Cronenworth which should make them one of the best lineups in baseball along with the Dodgers, Astros, Phillies, and Yankees.

As for my offseason MLB losers, I am going with the Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, and the Colorado Rockies. The A’s continued their fire sale by trading Sean Murphy to the Atlanta Braves, the Giants missed out on Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa, and the Rockies had a quiet offseason and mostly stood pat. 

Teams with new Managers

Chicago White Sox-Pedro Grifol 

Kansas City Royals-Matt Quartaro 

Miami Marlins-Skip Schumaker 

Philadelphia Phillies-Rob Thompson 

Texas Rangers-Bruce Bochy 

Toronto Blue Jays-John Schneider 

Projected Division Winners

NL West

Y Los Angeles Dodgers 102-62

W San Diego Padres 100-60 

San Francisco Giants 82-80 

Arizona Diamondbacks 72-92

Colorado Rockies 64-94 

The Dodgers to me are still the team to beat in the NL West, but the moves that the Padres made to land Bogaerts, Cruz, Carpenter, Seth Lugo, and Michael Wacha should give them a chance to compete in the wild west. The Giants are a borderline .500 team as they’ve taken a big step back after winning the NL West in 2021.

The Rockies and D-Backs are going to battle for 4th place as I think the Rockies will end up being the worst team in the NL West with Arizona having a bit of the edge over Colorado. In the end I expect both the Dodgers and Padres to somehow make the playoffs again. 

NL East

Y New York Mets 110-52 

W Philadelphia Phillies 108-58 

W Atlanta Braves 105-60 

Miami Marlins 80-82 

Washington Nationals 60-100 

The NL East is a bloodbath of a division, with Miami and Washington still in a rebuild. The Mets, Phillies and Braves are the three-headed monsters of the division. The Braves made a major upgrade with their catcher position in adding Sean Murphy as he will be a great addition to the lineup alongside Ronald Acuna Jr, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley and former A’s teammate Matt Olson. The Phillies somehow got better both lineup-wise and pitching-wise when adding Trea Turner, Tajuan Walker, and Craig Kimbrel in free agency as well as trading for Tigers star closer Gregory Soto.

Despite missing out on Carlos Correa, the Mets somehow kept Diaz and Nimmo, while extending Jeff McNeil was a big plus for them as well. Even though the Mets didn’t keep Jacob deGrom, I really think Scherzer and Verlander are going to be the anchors of the rotation along with Jose Quintana, Carlos Carrasco and Kodai Senga. 

NL Central

Y St. Louis Cardinals 95-75 

Milwaukee Brewers 92-72 

Chicago Cubs 82-80 

Pittsburgh Pirates 65-105 

Cincinnati Reds 55-108 

Despite losing Yadier Molina, the Cardinals still have the advantage in the NL Central and got Willson Contreras in free agency to take over as the team’s starting catcher replacing Molina. I think he will be a great complement in the team’s lineup headlined by Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. A healthy Jack Flaherty makes the Cardinals rotation even stronger, but I think Adam Wainwright is going to have a great final season as he will retire after the 2023 season. What about the Cardinals bullpen? Can it be good in 2023? Absolutely. If Jordan Hicks can regain his dominate form, he will be a key piece in the backend of the bullpen as I think he could be the team’s closer over Giovanny Gallegos.

The Brewers are still one of those MLB teams that are pesky. Despite losing Josh Hader to the Padres, the Brew Crew can still be great on the pitching side of things as Corbin Burnes is arguably the ace of the staff and Devin Williams can become an elite closer for the team. The Cubs with Swanson, Bellinger, and Suzuki have one of the more unique lineups in baseball, but I think they are 2-3 years away from challenging the Brewers and Cardinals for the NL Central Crown.

The Reds and Pirates are still in a rebuild but their directions aren’t clear. The Pirates are still facing questions in regard to if they should trade Bryan Reynolds. The Reds still have Joey Votto, but it may be time to hang it up so that they jumpstart the rebuild.  

AL West

Y Houston Astros 105-65 

W Texas Rangers 100-60 

W Seattle Mariners 98-78 

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 82-80 

Oakland Athletics 52-114

The Houston Astros are coming off a World Series championship. Despite losing Justin Verlander to the Mets, I still think they will be fine pitching-wise but got better offensively by adding Jose Abreu. Who will be the new ace of the Astros? I say it’s Lance McCullers because he will be able to lead a young rotation with Framber Valdez, Christian Javier, and Jose Urquidy. Ryan Pressly is the anchor in the team’s backend of the bullpen.

The Rangers and Mariners are going to be teams that will close the gap on the Astros because the Rangers got deGrom to help with the rotation and the Mariners got Teoscar Hernandez to help bolster their lineup. The Angels are still a mess despite Arte Moreno not selling the team. This team has a ton of talent around Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, but the Angels are still going to have another losing season which means that Ohtani will likely play elsewhere once his contract expires after the 2023 season concludes. The A’s have no direction since moving Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, and others to different MLB teams.  

AL East

Y New York Yankees 104-64 

W Toronto Blue Jays 103-63 

Tampa Bay Rays 97-77 

Baltimore Orioles 95-75 

Boston Red Sox 82-80 

The Yankees have made great offseason moves such as signing Carlos Rodon to pair with Gerritt Cole and Nestor Cortes in the rotation, but the big splash was that Aaron Judge is staying in pinstripes and was named the next team captain of the Bronx Bombers. Despite trading Tescoar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel, the Blue Jays still have a strong overall team as they have a lineup built around Vlad Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and George Springer and made moves to land Kevin Kiermaier in free agency and trading for Dalton Varsho to strengthen the outfield. Brandon Belt is that left-handed bat that will balance the team’s righty heavy lineup. The rotation is now built around Alek Manoah and Jordan Romano.

The Rays are still a sneaky good team with the system and resources that they have despite being low on payroll. Their lineup is now built around Wander Franco and their pitching staff is built around Tyler Glasnow. The Orioles are on the rise in MLB because of Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson, while the Red Sox are now Rafael Devers’ team. 

AL Central

Y Cleveland Guardians 102-72 

Minnesota Twins 96-76 

Chicago White Sox 92-72 

Detroit Tigers 85-75 

Kansas City Royals 74-94 

Can the Cleveland Guardians be a 100-win ballclub with the young roster that they have? Absolutely. I think Terry Francona is guiding this young team in the right direction as this team is built around Jose Ramirez, Shane Bieber, and Emmanuel Clase. A healthy Byron Buxton makes the Twins an instant contender, but having Correa back makes their lineup even better along with Joey Gallo and Max Kepler in the same outfield. Pablo Lopez is going to make the Twins rotation better because pitching was an area of need for them, while the Marlins are getting an amazing hitter in Luis Arraez.

The White Sox are still built to win but health is going to be the question mark. The Tigers will be significantly better this season with the Royals still in rebuild mode. 

Y=Division Winner 

W=Wild Card Team 

Projected 2023 Award Winners

NLROY-Miguel Vargas LAD

ALROY-Gunnar Henderson BAL 

NLMOTY-Dave Roberts LAD

ALMOTY-Bruce Bochy TEX 



NL MVP-Pete Alonso NYM 

AL MVP-Aaron Judge NYY 

The Balanced Schedule Good for MLB

The new balanced schedule is good for baseball because fans want to see their favorite teams play against certain teams more often in interleague play. That eliminates playing divisional opponents 19 times a year which I think is also a good thing as well. 

WBC Preview

Can Team USA win another World Baseball Classic Title? Anything’s possible but they have a deep roster and are one of the favorites to win it along with The Dominican Republic, Japan, And Cuba. I look forward to a fantastic tournament on March 8th. 

Managers on the Hot Seat in 2023

Aaron Boone-New York Yankees 

David Bell-Cincinnati Reds

Derek Shelton-Pittsburgh Pirates 

Mark Kotsay-Oakland Athletics 

Bud Black-Colorado Rockies 

Torey Lovullo-Arizona Diamondbacks 

Dave Martinez-Washington Nationals 

Out of the Managers listed, Aaron Boone is in big danger because his inability to make decisions has been awful, and he has been a puppet to GM Brian Cashman. Bud Black and Torey Lovullo need to guide their teams to the playoffs or else they will be big time scapegoats. Mark Kotsay, David Bell, and Derek Shelton have had bad seasons with their respective teams so a change in direction could benefit the Oakland A’s, Cincinnati Reds, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

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