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MLB predictions 2023: Final standings, playoff projections, World Series odds for every team

Aaron Judge (left) and Giancarlo Stanton (right)
mlb predictions 2023: final standings, playoff projections, world series odds

The start of the 2023 MLB season is right around the corner, which means it’s prediction and projection time.

For fans of league favorites, that means savoring the lofty odds that give their teams higher chances of winning the World Series. For fans of sleepers, that means screenshotting the low playoff odds and sending them to Freezing Cold Takes at the end of the year when that team makes the postseason. And for fans of teams with little expectations in 2023, well, sometimes it’s just fun to see where the rest of the competition sits.

The 2022 season was filled with its share of surprises. The Guardians beat nearly every projection model to win the AL Central and advance to the ALDS. The Mariners cracked the playoffs for the first time since 2001. The Phillies and Padres advanced the furthest in the NL despite playing in the same divisions as the Braves and Dodgers, respectively.

But in the end, it was still a heavyweight favorite that came out on top of the baseball world as the Astros again reached the summit and won their first World Series since the controversial 2017 victory.

MORE: Ranking all 15 Opening Day pitching matchups

With the season preparing to begin, The Sporting News is rolling out the second edition of its MLB projection model to take a look at what’s in store for the 2023 season. The model works by using player projections from Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA and Fangraphs’ Depth Charts, along with data on past team performances, to analyze all 30 teams in 2023 and evaluate their lineups, rotations and bullpens in the season ahead.

The model uses that data, along with park factors, to simulate the 2023 season 20,000 times and logs each team’s record and postseason performance. The results of the simulations are used to determine most likely records, division standings, playoff performances and World Series winners. The predicted standings shown in the article are the average wins and losses from the simulations.

The Sporting News has compiled the results of the model’s projections, along with explanations and analysis for each division and pennant race, giving fans an idea of what could be ahead in the 2023 MLB season.

MLB predictions 2023

AL East

  1. Yankees (90-72)
  2. Blue Jays (90-72)
  3. Rays (81-81)
  4. Orioles (80-82)
  5. Red Sox (80-82)

Last year, the American League East put three teams in the playoffs. This year, the AL East is once again projected to be a beast of a division, with two of the most talented teams in the field. While this section won’t get into World Series odds — keep reading for that — let’s just say two of the top three teams play in this division.

After reaching the American League Championship Series last year, the Yankees are projected to be the top team in the AL East again in 2023. The model looks at New York’s combination of a deep rotation, with a quartet of Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes and Luis Severino, and a stout bullpen and sees the league’s best pitching staff — when they’re all healthy. When the lineup is fronted by Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo, there’s a lot to like about this year’s Yankee squad. If Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza can make the impact many expect out of them, New York is going to look all the scarier.

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New York is not expected to run away with the division. In fact, the model sees this as the closest division in baseball. That’s because of how stacked the Blue Jays are. Toronto has its own fearsome foursome in the rotation with Kevin Gausman, Alek Manoah, Jose Berrios and Chris Bassitt, and the model likes the Blue Jays’ offense more than New York’s. The core of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, George Springer, Matt Chapman, Daulton Varsho and Alejandro Kirk is as dangerous as any in baseball. The pitching is the difference between New York and Toronto right now, but it would not be surprising to see Toronto’s lineup power the team to a division title.

The Rays made the playoffs last year despite losing several key players for stretches of the season due to injuries. The sky is the limit for Wander Franco if he can stay healthy, and if Shane McClanahan and Tyler Glasnow can pitch up to the levels they’ve shown in the past, they are a dangerous one-two punch at the top of the rotation. The model isn’t as high on Tampa Bay in large part because there isn’t a proven star in the lineup, and the rotation has depth concerns beyond Drew Rasmussen. But there is plenty of upside in this young team.

BUSTIN’ OUT: Young shortstops lead AL East list

The Orioles had their first winning season since 2016 last year, and there’s no reason to expect them to drop out of this hotly contested AL East race. The model is extremely high on the young star duo of Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson, and expects Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander and Ryan Mountcastle to help fill out a stout lineup. Why is Baltimore expected to finish with a losing record? Well, the division remains incredibly deep, for one. And the pitching is a major question mark as there is no true ace, or even quality No. 2 starter, currently on the roster. Baltimore’s next rookie sensation, Grayson Rodriguez, could go a long way toward helping improve that part of the team.

There are some who might look at the Red Sox and be surprised by the number of projected wins. After all, this is a team that won just 78 games last year, and will now move forward without Xander Bogaerts. But bear in mind, last year’s biggest issue for Boston was its pitching staff. In 2023, the Red Sox will have ace Chris Sale back and added veteran Corey Kluber to help provide some stability to what was a shaky rotation last year. Rafael Devers is one of the league’s biggest stars and Masataka Yoshida is expected to have a productive first year in MLB. If Adalberto Mondesi can stay healthy — he has played in just 109 games since 2019 and has never played in more than 102 contests in a season — he could help reduce the blows of losing Bogaerts in free agency and Trevor Story to a long-term injury.

Team Win division Make playoffs First-round bye
Yankees 43.3% 82.3% 37.5%
Blue Jays 40.2% 79.4% 37.2%
Rays 6.7% 34.1% 5.2%
Orioles 5.1% 26.7% 3.8%
Red Sox 4.8% 26.1% 3.3%

Jose Ramirez

AL Central

  1. Guardians (84-78)
  2. Twins (82-80)
  3. White Sox (81-81)
  4. Royals (75-87)
  5. Tigers (67-95)

Last year, no division title was claimed by a team with fewer wins than the Guardians, who went just 92-70. The model expects the division to look similarly in 2023, with the Guardians as a slight favorite over the Twins and White Sox. The Royals and Tigers both are projected to improve from last year, but still come up well behind the other three.

It would not be surprising if the Guardians out-perform their projections again. In 2022, Cleveland fueled its surprising playoff run on a contact-over-power approach at the plate and a steady pitching staff led by a Cy Young winner and the best reliever in the American League. This year, the youngest team to make the playoffs will only gain a year of experience while adding veteran pieces like Josh Bell and Mike Zunino to add some thump to the lineup that already features perennial MVP candidate Jose Ramirez. If Cleveland continues to get more production from other young up-and-comers like Will Brennan, Gabriel Arias and George Valera, this looks like another big year for a team that expects to be a playoff contender for years to come.

In any given year, it’s difficult to know what to expect from the Twins. Minnesota won 101 games in 2019 and won the division again in 2020. Then, it dropped to the bottom of the division in 2021 and moved slightly up to third in 2022. It’s not hard to see the upside in Minnesota. The pitching staff features a solid quartet of Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, Pablo Lopez and Joe Ryan. Jhoan Duran has shown he can be one of the best relievers in baseball. The youth movement with Jose Miranda, Royce Lewis, Alex Kiriloff and Edouard Julien could help provide a strong supporting cast behind Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton. Health has often been the question for the Twins, and could be the difference again between a tight AL Central and another disappointing season. The model is wagering for something in the middle.

BUSTIN’ OUT: Is Vinnie Pasquantino poised for big year?

Fewer teams disappointed more than the White Sox in 2022. Chicago was expected to be a World Series contender and the runaway favorite in the AL Central. Instead, it finished at an even .500 record and 11 games behind Cleveland. There is tantalizing potential on this team if Pedro Grifol can turn it around. Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Mike Clevinger form a well-rounded rotation, and even after losing Jose Abreu, the lineup still features stars like Luis Robert, Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada. Oscar Colas could be the next big bat in that lineup. The model is skeptical of a rotation that walked too many batters in 2022 and a lineup that largely underachieved in 2022, but this could easily be a team that turns things around quickly.

It’s hard not to be excited about the Royals moving forward. Not many teams have a young core as strong as Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino, MJ Melendez and Nick Pratto. Maikel Garcia could be the latest prospect to make an impact on the big-league roster. But the issue for the Royals in 2022 is still a problem in 2023. After Brady Singer, the rotation and pitching staff as a whole is suspect. Zack Greinke, entering his age-39 season, is projected to be the team’s second-best starting pitcher despite striking out only 12.5 percent of opposing hitters a season ago. Scott Barlow looked promising in 2022, but he’s heading into his age-30 season and his 3.5 K/BB ratio indicates some regression could be in store. Ideally for Royals fans, 2023 is another step in the right direction of a promising rebuild.

It’s not yet time to hit the panic button for the Tigers, but things weren’t great in 2022. Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene, the team’s top two prospects, significantly underperformed expectations in their rookie seasons. Casey Mize, the team’s ace of the future, had Tommy John surgery and is likely to miss most, if not all of 2023. There is still room for optimism. Greene will be 22 for most of 2023 and Torkelson will be 23, and the model sees both as likely to make improvements in their second seasons in the majors. Matt Manning and Tarik Skubal showed upside out of the rotation and Alex Lange could be the closer of the future. It looks like another rebuilding year in Detroit, but like with Kansas City, if fans see their young talents take another step forward, that would constitute a winning season.

Team Win division Make playoffs First-round bye
Guardians 42.1% 55.9% 17.1%
Twins 28.9% 41.8% 28.9%
White Sox 22.5% 35.8% 7.0%
Royals 5.9% 10.6% 0.8%
Tigers 0.6% 0.9% 0.0%

AL West

  1. Astros (90-72)
  2. Mariners (84-78)
  3. Angels (84-78)
  4. Rangers (80-82)
  5. Athletics (63-99)

The AL West was largely expected to be a one-team race last year, with Houston the clear team to beat. And while that was still largely true, the Mariners jumped back into the playoffs for the first time since 2001. They have established themselves as a legit threat in the AL West, but two other teams could also be poised to make this one of the tougher divisions in baseball.

Even with Seattle, Los Angeles and Texas looking more formidable, the AL West is still the Astros’ to lose. The reigning World Series champions might have lost Cy Young winner Justin Verlander to free agency, but this is still a team rich in depth that is poised to remain strong. Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier give Houston a standout one-two punch atop the rotation, and the model is high on the upside from rookie Hunter Brown as the No. 5 option. And that bullpen is loaded with quality options. What makes Houston really scary, however, is that its lineup might have improved from last season. MVP finalist Yordan Alvarez again looks to be one of the league’s best bats and Kyle Tucker should keep making improvements. Houston also upgraded at first by signing Jose Abreu to provide some pop at the corner infield spot. There are few flaws on this roster, which is why it has such a strong chance to repeat.

The Mariners aren’t going to just let Houston run away with the division, however. The model sees Seattle as having a better rotation with the standout group of Luis Castillo, Robbie Ray, Logan Gilbert and George Kirby. And like the Astros, Seattle’s bullpen is loaded with options at the back-end. The lineup should also be improved with the Mariners adding Teoscar Hernandez and Kolten Wong in the offseason to add some depth behind star Julio Rodriguez. How far Seattle goes will likely come down to how much production it can get from the rest of the lineup. Cal Raleigh and Eugenio Suarez should provide some power, but Seattle needs Jarred Kelenic to take a step up and Ty France to avoid a second-half slump. 

BUSTIN’ OUT: Will Jarred Kelenic finally live up to the hype?

The model currently has the Angels as one of the most likely wild-card teams, which should be music to most baseball fans’ ears. Everyone should want to see Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani play meaningful baseball. The question will be what the supporting cast can do. The model is high on a bounce back from Anthony Rendon and likes the chances for a rookie breakout season from catcher Logan O’Hoppe. But the biggest reason why the model thinks this year will be different for the Angels is the rotation. The model believes Patrick Sandoval’s big 2022 was legit and expects Reid Detmers to take another step up. And if Tyler Anderson can pitch like he did with the Dodgers, this could be the best Angels pitching staff in some time.

MORE: Why Shohei Ohtani should never be normalized

The Rangers once again made the biggest free agency splash of the offseason in landing Jacob deGrom to add to a roster that continues to make big signings each year. With deGrom, Marcus Semien, Corey Seager and Adolis Garcia, how could this team miss the playoffs? Well, deGrom’s health (26 combined starts over the past two seasons) has reduced his impact in the projections even if he’s been stellar when healthy, and the bullpen lacks a true shutdown arm. But with the shift going away, this could be a big year for Seager as he looks to be the offensive leader in Texas. If deGrom can stay healthy, Seager looks like an MVP and young standouts like Josh Jung and Leody Taveras can make improvements, expect Texas to outperform its projections.

Look away Athletics fans. The trades of nearly all Oakland’s biggest names of the past few seasons like Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Sean Murphy and Frankie Montas have left the Athletics with the weakest roster in baseball on paper. The model sees improvements from players like Shea Langeliers and Kyle Muller, two of the bigger prospect additions in recent deals, as well as Cristian Pache and JJ Bleday, who struggled to sub-.170 batting averages in 2022. Zack Gelof and Tyler Soderstrom could be rookies to watch make their debut in 2023. But this does not look to be the most entertaining season in Oakland.

Team Win division Make playoffs First-round bye
Astros 56.1% 81.8% 46.3%
Mariners 19.5% 49.7% 13.9%
Angels 17.3% 48.0% 12.5%
Rangers 7.0% 26.4% 4.6%
Athletics 0.0% 0.1% 0.0%

NL East

  1. Braves (90-72)
  2. Mets (89-73)
  3. Phillies (87-75)
  4. Marlins (74-88)
  5. Nationals (71-91)

The NL East has established that it is as difficult a division as any other in the sport. The NL pennant winner has come from the division in each of the past two seasons and three of the past four. It was the Nationals winning the title in 2019, the Braves winning it all in 2021 and the Phillies falling just shy against the Astros in 2022. The division again looks loaded with top talents in 2023.

Atlanta has a case to be the most balanced team in baseball. The Braves’ rotation might not be Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine, but Spencer Strider, Max Fried, Charlie Morton and Kyle Wright is an enviable top four. And that’s before the Braves turn to a bullpen that features the standout arms of A.J. Minter, Joe Jimenez, Raisel Iglesias and Collin McHugh. The lineup features stars like Ronald Acuna Jr., Austin Riley and Matt Olson on top of NL Rookie of the Year Michael Harris II and offseason trade acquisition Sean Murphy. The model is also bullish on Ozzie Albies’ chances of a bounceback after an injury-plagued 2022. The NL’s most recent World Series champion appears poised for another deep October run.

The Mets finished tied with the Braves in the NL East a season ago with 101 wins, but finished second in the division on a tiebreaker before a disappointing wild-card round exit. The model expects them to still be right in the middle of the NL East race in 2023. Sure, losing deGrom was a major blow. But the model still loves the trio of Max Scherzer, Verlander and Kodai Senga in the rotation and sees them helping lead a dangerous pitching staff. Though the loss of Edwin Diaz docked New York a bit, the bullpen still has plenty of depth. The lineup is anchored by a pair of stars in Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor, and is well-rounded with reliable bats like Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte. Steve Cohen has assembled a super team that looks poised to once again compete for a pennant.

In a year where two NL East teams won more than 100 games, many would have believed that the NL pennant winner would come from the division. Few would have believed it would have been the 87-win team. That was the case for the Phillies, who got hot in the playoffs and nearly rode the momentum to a title. On paper, this is a better team than the one that went to the Fall Classic. Philadelphia signed Trea Turner, who is projected to be an MVP candidate, and Taijuan Walker, who should add rotation depth. Preseason injuries to Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins have dinged the outlook for Philadelphia, but this is still a fierce World Series contender.

The 2022 Marlins provided enough reasons for fans to come out to the ballpark. A young rotation finally saw a true ace emerge in Sandy Alcantara, who won the NL Cy Young, and Jazz Chisholm blossomed into a young star. But the model thinks it could still be a tough run in 2023. On the bright side, it expects another big year from Chisholm and further development from Jesus Luzardo, Trevor Rogers and Edward Cabrera. On the down side, it expects some regression from Alcantara and AL batting champ and offseason acquisition Luis Arraez. And the rest of the lineup doesn’t quite have enough to keep up in a loaded division.

BUSTIN’ OUT: Jazzed about Chisholm? Marlins fans should be

For the first time since 2013, the year after Bryce Harper debuted, the Nationals head into a season without a franchise outfielder on their team. They traded Juan Soto at the deadline last year, and have fully embraced the rebuild. The success or failure of Washington’s 2023 will likely not be determined by wins and losses, but rather how the youngsters perform. MacKenzie Gore and Josiah Gray have the potential to front a rotation. Keibert Ruiz, CJ Abrams and Luis Garcia could be the core of the next Nationals’ playoff starting lineup.

Team Win division Make playoffs First-round bye
Braves 44.1% 84.2% 37.6%
Mets 31.3% 74.5% 26.9%
Phillies 23.8% 70.5% 20.2%
Marlins 0.7% 6.0% 0.4%
Nationals 0.2% 2.0% 0.1%

NL Central

  1. Cardinals (87-75)
  2. Brewers (83-79)
  3. Cubs (78-84)
  4. Pirates (73-89)
  5. Reds (73-89)

The model looks at the AL and NL Central as essentially MLB embodiments of the pointing Spider-Man meme: underwhelming divisions expected to be won by flawed teams. But as fans of the NL Central have come to learn over the years, that almost always spells success for the Cardinals, who haven’t endured a losing season since 2007, the only time this century the team fell below .500. And the model expects it to be St. Louis’ to lose again in 2023.

It’s easy to see why the model likes the Cardinals to win the division. Reigning NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt and perennial All-Star Nolan Arenado lead a fierce lineup that got even more dangerous when it signed Willson Contreras to catch. Add in expected big seasons from Tommy Edman, Tyler O’Neill and Team Japan standout Lars Nootbaar, and this St. Louis offense might be as dynamic as any in baseball. Not to mention the defense should remain elite. But there is no true ace in St. Louis that can match up with other divisions’ top contenders, and there are rotation depth concerns with the team relying heavily on 41-year-old Adam Wainwright and the injury-plagued Jack Flaherty. The bullpen is a force with Ryan Helsley, Giovanny Gallegos and Jordan Hicks, which still helps the pitching prognostication overall. Even with the starting pitching concerns, that lineup should out-hit most other teams in the league through the regular season.

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The Brewers are about as polar opposite from the Cardinals as it gets. Milwaukee’s top three starters of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta each would likely be the ace of the Cardinals, and most teams for that matter. The model expects them to continue to be an elite trio in 2023. And the bullpen is fronted by relief ace Devin Williams. But the lineup doesn’t have any of that star power that St. Louis has. The Christian Yelich who nearly won back-to-back MVPs in 2018-19 is nowhere to be found, and the rest of the lineup looks decent in 2023, but not great. Willy Adames is expected to have another productive year and Jesse Winker looks to be a decent bounce-back candidate in 2023. Offseason acquisition William Contreras could give the Brewers their best bat behind the plate since Jonathan Lucroy. Will they be enough to keep up with St. Louis? The model is skeptical.

The Cubs feel perfectly in between teams like the Brewers and Pirates. They’ve made some moves to improve the roster and try to make a push for the playoffs. But they don’t have the pitching of the Brewers or the bats of the Cardinals. The middle-infield duo of Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner should be a promising pairing, and Cody Bellinger could benefit from a change of scenery. Seiya Suzuki showed promise in 2022 and should build further in 2023. Ian Happ, meanwhile, remains the last regular bat of the Cubs’ World Series-winning team. Marcus Stroman, Jameson Taillon and Justin Steele will anchor a rotation that is expected to be low on strikeouts, which could leave little room for error. Chicago should be better than the 74-win team in 2022, but it might not have done enough to make a realistic playoff push.

We now get to the rebuilding section of the division. The team that has seen more of its prospects reach the majors recently is the Pirates, thus it’s no surprise they’re expected to be in a slight fourth ahead of Cincinnati. Bryan Reynolds, Oneil Cruz and Ke’Bryan Hayes is a young core a team should be happy to build around, and Endy Rodriguez rose to prominence in the minors in 2023. Mitch Keller finally showed glimpses of the potential many have seen in him last year, and the model likes his chances of taking another step forward in 2023 alongside another potential future standout in Roansy Contreras. That young core should continue to make Pittsburgh an enjoyable team to watch in 2023, even if the record might still be a bit grim at the end of the year.

BUSTIN’ OUT: Hard-hitting Cruz, hard-throwing Greene lead NL Central breakouts

The Reds continue to cobble a roster together of inexpensive veterans and young stars as they wait for a wave of promising young talent in the minors. Fans can be excited for three days of the week with Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft giving the team a glimpse of the future rotation in 2023. Jonathan India is projected to bounce back more to his 2021 NL Rookie of the Year form, and the model is high on 2023 campaigns from Spencer Steer and Tyler Stephenson. But for the rest of the season, fans will be playing the waiting game. Joey Votto could be in the last year of his deal with the Reds unlikely to pick up his club option after the season, leading to an uncertain future for the franchise bat, and veteran players like Wil Myers and Jake Fraley would likely be dealt at the trade deadline if they perform well. This is the point where the countdown begins for the debuts of Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte and Christian Encarnacion-Strand.

Team Win division Make playoffs First-round bye
Cardinals 54.9% 69.8% 25.0%
Brewers 30.9% 48.5% 11.3%
Cubs 9.2% 19.6% 2.0%
Pirates 2.6% 5.3% 0.4%
Reds 2.3% 5.1% 0.5%

Clayton Kershaw

NL West

  1. Dodgers (89-73)
  2. Padres (88-74)
  3. Giants (80-82)
  4. Diamondbacks (79-83)
  5. Rockies (77-85)

Dating back to 2013, this has been the Dodgers’ division, with the lone exception of 2021, when they finished second behind the Giants despite winning 106 games. But another team has certainly entered the chat and appears ready to challenge them for the foreseeable future. The Padres are clearly pulling out all the stops to make this one of the most exciting division races in the sport.

At least for now, the model still sees the NL West as the Dodgers’ division again, albeit with a significant drop-off from their 111 wins a season ago. The biggest reason for optimism is depth. Los Angeles has a rotation (when healthy) of Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, Dustin May, Noah Syndergaard and Tony Gonsolin. Top prospects like Ryan Pepiot, who will start the season in place of the injured Gonsolin, and Gavin Stone are waiting in the wings and are projected to pitch well when they get their chances. The bullpen is also remarkably deep behind Evan Phillips and Brusdar Graterol. Losing both the Turners — Trea and Justin — to free agency is a blow, but is a lineup with Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and Max Muncy really expected to be bad? Rookies like Miguel Vargas and James Outman are also projected for breakout seasons. Projections like this reflect how even when the Dodgers aren’t the big spenders of the division, their player development continues to remain among the best in the league.

BUSTIN’ OUT: Dustin May, Corbin Carroll highlight NL West list

The Padres are now the big spenders of the NL West. Signing Xander Bogaerts and extending Manny Machado are major flexes for a team that also features the return of Fernando Tatis Jr. and a projected MVP-caliber season from Juan Soto. Jake Cronenworth, Trent Gresham and Ha-Seong Kim being projected as outside the top four hitters shows why this lineup is projected to be as dangerous as any in the game. The pitching might be the biggest thing holding the Padres back from the Dodgers. Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish are a solid one-two-three, but don’t quite match up to Kershaw, Urias and May. And San Diego will be counting on Josh Hader bouncing back from a dismal 2022 — which the model expects to largely happen. But with that lineup, don’t expect San Diego to finish 22 games behind the Dodgers again.

The Giants find themselves in a challenging position. On the one hand, Logan Webb and Camilo Doval look like franchise fixtures on the pitching staff. And in 2023, Alex Cobb, Sean Manaea, Alex Wood and Anthony DeSclafani should help give the team a solid pitching staff. On the other, this is a team that is continuing to get older with Cobb at age-35, and key bats like Mike Yastrzemski, Brandon Crawford, Michael Conforto, Mitch Haniger, Joc Pederson and Wilmer Flores on the wrong side of 30. The model sees a team with a solid roster of players that should have a strong pitching staff and a lineup that can produce enough runs to keep the squad around .500. But after missing out on Judge and opting not to sign Correa, the Giants aren’t in a great position to push the Dodgers or Padres.

The rebuilding phase for the Diamondbacks appears to be nearing an end. The lineup, in particular, has started to take shape of what could be an exciting young core even after trading Daulton Varsho to the Blue Jays. Corbin Carroll has a case to be the top prospect in baseball, and he and Alek Thomas look poised to form a formidable pairing in the outfield for years to come. Gabriel Moreno, who was at a point viewed as the top catcher in the minors, could be the franchise backstop the team has sought in recent years. Add in some experienced players like Ketel Marte, Christian Walker and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and the lineup should surprise some people. The pitching could still use some improvement, but Zac Gallen and Brandon Pfaadt look like long-term rotation fixtures, while Merrill Kelly and Madison Bumgarner should eat innings in 2023. All the pieces are there for the Diamondbacks to be a popular sleeper pick this season.

The Rockies aren’t projected too far behind the Diamondbacks, but these are two teams likely trending in opposite directions. Colorado did not get what it expected from Kris Bryant in 2022, due in large part to injuries, and while the model expects a rebound, it will likely still be shy of his MVP form. Rookie Ezequiel Tovar has lofty projections and Ryan McMahon should provide some thump, but with Brendan Rodgers likely to miss most of the season, the lineup should experience a drop from last year. German Marquez struggled last year, and the model is bearish on his chances of turning things around. The rest of the rotation appears to have its uncertainties as well, and pitching in an increasingly difficult division won’t make that much easier. The farm system shows promise, but the 2023 Rockies might not be must-see TV.

Team Win division Make playoffs First-round bye
Dodgers 44.8% 78.1% 35.2%
Padres 41.2% 75.4% 32.1%
Giants 6.8% 26.0% 3.7%
Diamondbacks 4.6% 19.9% 2.9%
Rockies 2.6% 12.9% 1.6%

AL playoff predictions

  • First-round byes: Yankees, Astros
  • Remaining playoff teams: Guardians, Blue Jays, Mariners, Angels

The American League appears to be a three-team race. The Yankees, Astros and Blue Jays each were projected to finish with at least 90 wins, six more than the next-closest teams in the field. Are the win-loss records indicative of how the model sees the race for the pennant?

They certainly are. Those three teams have more than an 18 percent chance of winning the pennant, combining for a 57.5 percent chance that one of those three teams will represent the American League in the World Series. The Guardians at 7.6 percent are the next closest, followed by the two runners-up in the American League West.

Team Win pennant
Yankees 19.4%
Astros 19.2%
Blue Jays 18.9%
Guardians 7.6%
Mariners 7.2%
Angels 6.7%
Twins 4.9%
Rays 4.1%
White Sox 3.4%
Orioles 2.8%
Red Sox 2.7%
Rangers 2.6%
Royals 0.7%
Tigers 0.0%
Athletics 0.0%

NL playoff predictions

  • First-round byes: Braves, Dodgers
  • Remaining playoff teams: Cardinals, Mets, Padres, Phillies

The AL is a battle between three teams. The NL race appears to be much more wide open. The six teams projected to make the playoffs — and the same teams that comprised last year’s field — all have at least a 10 percent chance of winning the NL pennant. The Brewers, at 6.2 percent, are seventh.

Last year’s NL pennant winner, the Phillies, occupy the No. 6 spot, while the Senior Circuit’s most recent World Series champion, the Braves, have the best odds to return to the Fall Classic at 17.4 percent. As is the case in the NL West race, the Dodgers and Padres are separated by a slim number.

Team Win pennant
Braves 17.4%
Dodgers 15.1%
Padres 14.6%
Mets 13.8%
Cardinals 11.7%
Phillies 11.3%
Brewers 6.2%
Giants 3.1%
Diamondbacks 2.1%
Cubs 1.8%
Rockies 1.4%
Marlins 0.6%
Reds 0.3%
Pirates 0.3%
Nationals 0.2%

Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve

World Series prediction

The three top teams in the American League are also the three most likely teams to win the World Series. While that might seem like some Junior Circuit bias, bear in mind that the model views the National League as a far more daunting gauntlet to emerge from. Getting past two other legit title contenders is easier than getting past five others.

The Yankees remain the slight favorite over Houston at 10.5 percent to the Astros’ 10.1 percent chance at repeating. The Blue Jays sit at 10 percent exactly.

OPTIMISTIC PREDICTIONS: AL | NL

From there, the model sees the six likely NL playoff teams as the next-most likely, with the Braves opening at an early 1.2 percent advantage over the Dodgers and the rest of the field. The Padres, at 7.6 percent, have better odds than the remaining wild-card teams and the third likely division winner, St. Louis. 

Team Win World Series
Yankees 10.5%
Astros 10.1%
Blue Jays 10.0%
Braves 9.3%
Dodgers 8.1%
Padres 7.6%
Mets 7.3%
Phillies 5.9%
Cardinals 5.8%
Guardians 3.4%
Mariners 3.2%
Angels 3.0%
Brewers 2.9%
Twins 2.0%
Rays 1.8%
Giants 1.3%
White Sox 1.3%
Orioles 1.2%
Red Sox 1.2%
Rangers 1.1%
Diamondbacks 0.9%
Cubs 0.8%
Rockies 0.5%
Marlins 0.2%
Royals 0.2%
Reds 0.1%
Pirates 0.1%
Nationals 0.1%
Tigers 0.0%
Athletics 0.0%

Written By

Dave Gallo is a pioneering sports analytics expert, renowned for his revolutionary work in AI-driven sports simulations, projections, and advanced statistical analysis. With a profound passion for sports and technology, he crafts cutting-edge computer models that accurately predict outcomes. Dave's game-changing insights have reshaped strategy, player evaluation, and decision-making across various sports. His dynamic presentations make complex analytics accessible and inspiring, ensuring his legacy as a visionary in sports analytics. Check out Dave's Pick Record.

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