2023 MLB Season Outlook


Brock Denlinger

Image of Chase Field during a Diamondbacks vs. Giants game.

2023 is off to a fast start, with the Twins, Rays, Dodgers, Braves, Rangers, and Brewers leading their divisions just shy of 50 games into the season. This season is the year of surprises, as the reigning National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies are 22-24, sitting in fourth place of the National League East; one of the three worst teams in the MLB last season (Pittsburgh Pirates) started off the season with the best record in the NL through the first 30 games, and the Baltimore Orioles who missed the playoffs last season, having the second best record in the MLB. With just barely over a quarter of the season being done, the standings will most likely look entirely different by the time the season is over.

Starting off with the National League, the six current playoff spots consist of the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Pittsburgh Pirates, and New York Mets. Teams such as the San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, and Philadelphia Phillies are off to very slow starts, but their rosters are too talented not to make the playoffs. The Pittsburgh Pirates went off to an extremely hot start, going 18-8 in their first 26 games, but have cooled down, going 8-14 over their last 22 games, and will most likely lose their wild card spot. The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to their best start in years, but comparing their roster talent to these other teams, they will likely join the Pittsburgh Pirates in dropping out of the wild card by the end of the season. Our prediction is that these two teams will drop out of the playoffs and be replaced by the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres by the time the season is over.

Then looking at the American League, the six current playoff spots consist of the Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, and New York Yankees. Teams with the talent needed to make the playoffs include the Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Angels. All four of these teams are less than five games out from clinching a wildcard spot. The Seattle Mariners have lots of young talent featured by Julio Rodriguez, allowing them to make a run for a wild card spot as the season progresses. The Los Angeles Angels also have a lot of talent featured by two of the best players in the league, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. Both Trout and Ohtani can carry this Los Angeles Angels team to a postseason appearance. The Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays are both very talented teams, but unfortunately, they are also a part of the best division in baseball so far this season, the American League East. This division comprises the Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays. So far, all five of these teams have over a 50 percent win percentage this season. However, this will most likely cool off, and eventually, some of these teams will most likely fall out of the playoffs. The most surprising team in the American League so far has been the Texas Rangers. Most MLB fans thought that the Texas Rangers would improve going into the 2023 season with the addition of Jacob Degrom. However, most fans didn’t expect them to be one of the best teams in the league, almost 50 games into the season. While the Texas Rangers are red hot right now, they may cool off as the season progresses and possibly fall into the wildcard or even out of the playoffs. Our prediction is that the picture will stay relatively the same with the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles getting close to or possibly falling out of the playoffs and seeing a young team such as the Seattle Mariners or the Los Angeles Angels creep towards a wild card spot by the end of the season.