The final stretch is here! Which teams have over-achieved? Under-achieved? Who will take home some hardware, and who will ultimately win the World Series? Find out here!
There have been some big surprises this season (Orioles, Reds), and some major disappointments (Padres, Yankees), and a whole lot of teams that are right where we thought they’d be (Braves, Athletics). But let’s dive into the things I got right and wrong about the 2023 season!
3 Things I was Big RIGHT about…
1- The Mariners Were Good!!!
Huzzah!!! If you remember, I picked Seattle to go to the World Series. I felt good about that pick for about 2 weeks. But finally, after months and months of the grieving process, things are finally looking up! They’ve caught fire since the All-Star break, and they look poised to sneak into the playoffs. And from there, anything can happen.
2- The Mets Would Hit the UNDER…
I won’t lie to you, my MLB Over/Under picks aren’t great. A far cry from my NBA picks I’ll tell ya that (go check those out). But there was something about this Mets team that stunk in April and is downright rotten in August. This team wasted the Verlander-Scherzer reunion, and that is unforgivable. I’m glad you stink Mets!
3- The Royals Would be Baaaad…
Low-hanging fruit, I know. But they’re bad! Aside from Bobby Witt Jr., why do Royals fans even tune in at this point? And while we’re spending our obligatory 5 minutes on the Royals for 2023, can we talk about how their 2015 World Series title was maybe the most random championship of the last 25 years??? I mean, THE ROYALS won the World Series? What? Huh? Anyway, they suck.
Now what I swung and missed on…
1- The Orioles Weren’t Quite Ready to Win…
Good pick Adam. I thought last year was a great story, but I didn’t think they were quite ready to compete this year. Cut to August and they look like the best team in the AL, and that’s without Jackson Holliday in the majors! This team is set up for years to come, and it appears they might steal a title before they’ve even hit their primes. My sincerest apologies to the DMV!
2- Aaron Boone was the Right Guy for the Job…
Damn. I have fought on the Boone Hill for years now; I’ve always argued he’s a really good manager that can lead the Yankees back to the promised land. No more! I can’t do it. His teams have consistently crapped out in the playoffs, and now they’re in last place in the AL East for the first time since Marty McFly had a weird thing with his mom. I like Boone, and still think he can help make a bad team good, but I no longer believe he can make a good team great.
3- The Tiger Would be A Lot Better…
I will never quit this team! Every year I think they’ll make a jump and every year they win 3 more games. They are going in the right direction, but still aren’t anywhere near the playoffs, which is where I was hoping they would be in the vicinity of in 2023. Maybe in 2024!
Time to hand out some hardware!
AL MVP: Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels)
Can we all agree; fuck the Angels! How do you have both Mike Trout AND Shohei Ohtani in their primes and never make the playoffs??? Ridiculous. But despite the Angels woes, Ohtani is the best player in the game, maybe ever, he’s the MVP. If you think he isn’t… go watch hockey.
NL MVP: Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta Braves)
He’s been the pick from the very 1st Quarter Polls, but the gap is closing! His teammate, Matt Olsen, has come on strong and is mashing home runs like it’s his job (because it is). I still think Acuna will win out because he has the narrative behind him, but I wouldn’t be shocked if his new running mate snaked him in the final moments.
AL Cy Young: Kevin Gausman (Toronto Blue Jays)
This is an uninspiring race. Ohtani is slowly fading, Sonny Gray is on the Twins and I refuse to recognize them in any awards capacity, and I just can’t get behind Cole for this award. All that leads me to Gausman; he’s had a great season and he’s on a contender, so he wins.
NL Cy Young: Zac Gallen (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Both CY Young races stink! I’ve gone back and forth between Strider and Gallen, but right now I’m flipping back to the latter. He’s carried the Snakes into playoff contention almost single-handedly, while Strider has the best lineup in baseball behind him. But hey, ask me in 45 days and I’ll probably have a different answer.
AL Manager of the Year: Brandon Hyde (Baltimore Orioles)
Is this a question? The Orioles are one of the best teams in the league and they’re two years ahead of schedule. To run down the Rays after their blazing start is impressive, and his player development is off the charts.
NL Manager of the Year: Brian Snitker (Atlanta Braves)
They’re the best team by a mile. There is no other choice here.
AL RoY: Gunnar Henderson (Baltimore Orioles)
Keep giving ‘em awards! They’ve got future AL RoY winner in Jackson Holliday on standby, but let’s give them one now! There is some stiff competition with Volpe and Yoshida, but they’re on bad teams. I want to give the Orioles all the flowers!
NL RoY: Elly de la Cruz (Cincinnati Reds)
Is he going to win? Probably not. Corbin Carroll has been playing well all season, while Cruz has only been here for a short time. But come ooooooon! Cruz is the star the MLB needs; let’s give him the award! Who cares (except Carroll).
Now Let’s Make Some Playoff Predictions!
AL Wild Card:
6 Seattle Mariners def 3 Minnesota Twins 2-1
4 Texas Rangers def 5 Tampa Bay Rays 2-0
*in Dr. Frankenstein’s voice* MY PICK IS ALIIIIIIIVE!!!!!! The Mariners are GOING to get into the playoffs, and I like their chances against the Minnesota JV Twins.
Man, Tampa Bay is one of the more disappointing teams in a long time. At least the Padres had the decency of being a disaster from Opening Day! The Rays, meanwhile, gave us a 13-0 start and the promise of one of the best seasons ever. Instead, not only could they not win their division, but they couldn’t even take the top wild card spot! Pathetic. And now their ace is gone? Goodnight Tampa Bay.
NL Wild Card:
6 Milwaukee Brewers def 3 Chicago Cubs 2-1
4 Philadelphia Phillies def 5 San Francisco Giants 2-0
I think the Cubs will chase down the Brewers for the NL Central, but in the playoffs the Brewers have the pitching and the manager to get it done. It hurts me to pick against the Cubs, but the Brew Crew find a way to survive.
The Giants are a scrappy team, but the Phillies are starting to roll now that they’re getting healthy. Harper, Turner, Schwarber, Realmuto & Castellanos? Yikes. Good luck to all opposing pitchers!
4 Texas Rangers def 1 Baltimore Orioles 3-1
2 Houston Astros def 6 Seattle Mariners 3-0
Every single year, one of the top teams goes out in the DS, much to everyone’s surprise. The Rangers, even without deGrom, have the better pitching staff, the more experienced roster and a manager who has won three championships. Give me the Rangers in the upset!
Very sad moment indeed. I can send my preseason AL pennant pick no further, as they are running up against the modern-day Yankees (because the actual modern-day Yankees suck now, apparently); Houston will dispose of the Mariners fairly quickly, but the future's still bright in Seattle.
1 Atlanta Braves def 4 Philadelphia Phillies 3-1
2 Los Angeles Dodgers def 6 Milwaukee Brewers 3-2
The Phillies are a very good team, but the Braves are in a class by themselves.
Doesn’t it just feel like the Dodgers and Brewers play each other every single year in the playoffs? Another entry here, and another ass-kicking by the Dodgers. Milwaukee has the pitching to keep up with Los Angeles, but as is always the case with the Brewers, they can’t hit! And Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun aren’t walking through that door.
2 Houston Astros def 4 Texas Rangers 4-2
In the battle for the Lone-Star state, the Rangers just won’t be able to get past the dominant team of this century. Altuve, Tucker, Bregman, Alvarez, Pena and co. will power the Astros to their 5th World Series in 7 years, and their 3rd straight.
1 Atlanta Braves def 2 Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1
This Dodgers just doesn’t seem to have it. They’ll get to the LCS mainly due to a soft path, but the path is soft no more! The Braves are the best team in the sport, and Los Angeles won’t prove to be a particularly tough test.
1 Atlanta Braves def 2 Houston Astros 4-3 (WS MVP: Matt Olsen)
The 2021 rematch!! 2 years ago, I thought the Astros were the definitively better team. This time around they’ve flipped. In a back-and-forth, epic series, give me Atlanta in 7 for their 2nd title in 3 years, and perhaps the blossoming of a new dynasty in the MLB.
There you have it! Make sure to check back in before the playoffs to see how I did on my over/unders, who will be taking home awards, and who will win the World Series!