Here’s How MLB Teams Will Finish in 2023

The Phillies will miss the big bat of Rhys Hoskins, who is out for the season with a torn ACL.Photo byAll-Pro Reels from District of Columbia, USA, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

By Dan Schlossberg

Nothing is more ridiculous than making baseball predictions before the season starts.

A lot can happen over 162 games — especially with the advent of the pitch clock, bigger bases, shorter distances between them, fewer pickoffs, and no more shifts.

In addition, no one knows who will get hot, who will get hurt, what rookies will become instant stars, what veterans will lose it, and what comeback candidates will succeed or fail.

All that being said, here’s how the races look with less than a week before Opening Day:

NL East: Braves, *Phillies, *Mets, Marlins, Nationals

Despite biggest payroll of all time, Mets have too much age and too many serious injuries (Diaz, Quintana). Younger Braves are stronger with Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna, Jr. healthy again, Michael Harris II around for full season, and arrival of Sean Murphy. Phils will use Big Three starters to compensate for loss of Harper (two months) and Hoskins (full season).

NL Central: Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers, Reds, Pirates

Cards will miss Yadi Molina and Albert Pujols and the playoffs, while Cubs will love Dansby Swanson.

NL West: Padres, *Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Giants, Rockies

With Juan Soto, Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado, and the returning Fernando Tatis, Jr., San Diego has a quartet of All-Stars — plus enough pitching to dethrone the Dodgers. Rising Arizona has a hot rookie prospect is Corbin Carroll.

AL East: Yankees, *Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays, Red Sox

Even with pitching injuries, the slugging Yankees are the division’s best team. The Jays are solid too and the youth-powered Orioles are moving up.

AL Central: Twins, Guardians, White Sox, Royals, Tigers

Keeping Carlos Correa helps the Twins return to the top, though the Guardians will try to keep their crown with a combination of pitching, speed, and strong defense.

AL West: Astros, *Rangers, *Angels, Mariners, Athletics

After losing Justin Verlander and a pair of catchers, Houston could be hard-pressed to stay on top. Much depends on the health of new Rangers starters Jacob deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi. Texas also has a terrific new manager in Bruce Bochy.

(*) wild-card winner

NL Wild Card Series: Dodgers over Cubs; Mets over Phillies (Braves, Padres byes)

NL Division Series: Padres over Mets; Braves over Dodgers

NL Championship Series: Braves over Padres

AL Wild Card Series: Blue Jays over Twins; Rangers over Angels; (Yanks, Astros byes)

AL Division Series: Astros over Rangers; Yankees over Blue Jays

AL Championship Series: Yankees over Astros

World Series: Braves over Yankees

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has been covering baseball since 1969. He became a fan in 1957. E.mail him at

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