The Circuit's 2023 MLB Season Predictions
The World Baseball Classic is in the books and it’s time to turn our attention to the MLB! Who will take home the MVP, Cy Young, and who will win the World Series this fall??? Circuit Artwork How great was it to finally see Mike Trout play in a baseball game that had some sort of stakes? Too bad we might not ever see it again! But it was fun to see the stars go head-to-head in the offseason, and definitely primed us for an exciting 2023 season. Will we have our first repeat champion since the late 90’s-early 00’s Yankees? Can the Braves climb the mountaintop again? Or can the Padre$ finally put all that money to good use and win it all? And what the hell just happened with Carlos Correa? Let’s take a look at some over-unders and predict the final standings for the 2023 season (almost certainly incorrectly). AL East Getty Images 1- New York Yankees (O/U 94.5= OVER) 2- Toronto Blue Jays (O/U 92.5= OVER) 3- Tampa Bay Rays (O/U 88.5= OVER) 4- Baltimore Orioles (O/U 77.5= UNDER) 5- Boston Red Sox (O/U 77.5= UNDER) The Yankees finally have a legitimate pitching staff, and they have a shot of adrenaline coming to the infield in the form of Anthony Volpe. All that, plus Aaron Judge smacking home runs like it’s his job (because it… is), the Yankees should win the AL East again in 2023. I went all-in on the Blue Jays last year, picking them to win the World Series and it bit me in the ass. It feels like this team just might not have what it takes to win it all, but they should still be a solid playoff team. Never count out the Rays. No matter who is on the roster, this team is going to win 81 games. I don’t think they’ll be great, but they will be good enough to compete for a wildcard spot. The Orioles were a great story last season, but come on. Do we really think they’re ready to ascend yet? I see them regressing a tad. Not a lot, but enough. Boston is a shit show at the moment. Letting Bogaerts go is inexcusable for a market like Boston, and with Story sidelined for the time being I don’t see how this team seriously competes. But I would have said the same thing in 2013, and look at what the Sox did then. AL Central Getty Images 1- Chicago White Sox (O/U 83.5= OVER) 2- Minnesota Twins (O/U 83.5= OVER) 3- Cleveland Guardians (O/U 87.5= UNDER) 4- Detroit Tigers (O/U 69.5=OVER) 5- Kansas City Royals (O/U 68.5= UNDER) This division is always a toss-up. Last year I picked Cleveland to finish last and they won it. I think the White Sox lost a valuable piece in Abreu, but I’m going with addition by subtraction with getting LaRussa out the door. I would like to publicly apologize to White Sox fans, as now you’re destined to finish last. Seriously, wtf is going on with Correa? Does he even have any tendons left in his arms? Why did he sign with 17 teams this summer just to crawl back to the Twins with his bat between his legs??? Despite all that, give me the Twins to compete for the playoffs. Cleveland is a tricky team to predict. They have an elite skipper in Francona, and some great arms, but the lack of talent in the lineup is hard to overlook. I’m sure I will be wrong, but I can’t see them doing enough to win big. I just won’t quit the Tigers. I picked them for a wildcard spot last year and whiffed horrifically. I still think they have some talent, and they will be better than expected. The Royals are not a good team. They had a great run in the mid 2010’s, and now they’re destined to drown in baseball’s abyss for a decade. AL West Getty Images 1- Houston Astros (O/U 96.5= UNDER) 2- Seattle Mariners (O/U 88.5 OVER) 3- Los Angeles Angels (O/U 81.5= OVER) 4- Texas Rangers (O/U 82.5= UNDER) 5- Oakland Athletics (O/U 59.5= OVER) Houston is the pick here. Seattle is on the rise and the Angels are the Angels, but the Astros will win the division. They’re loaded to the gills with talent, no need to overthink this. Julio Rodriguez is a legitimate superstar, and the Mariners are a team that will compete for championships for years to come. They aren’t quite ready to compete with the Astros, but they certainly are a playoff team. At SOME POINT the Trout-Othani combo has to cash in, right? Eventually they will HAVE to make the playoffs, right? The WBC seems like a harbinger for bigger things to come for the Angels in 2023. The Rangers have gone all-in on this team, and it will amount to absolutely nothing. deGrom will miss at least 10 starts because that’s what he does, and this team will flounder without him. 59 wins is so low, I can’t justify saying they will go under. They might, but it’s hard to predict a team will lose 103 games. Even dumpster fires find their way to 60 wins. NL East Getty Images 1- Atlanta Braves (O/U 95.5= OVER) 2- New York Mets (O/U 88.5= UNDER) 3- Philadelphia Phillies (O/U 89.5= UNDER) 4- Miami Marlins (O/U 75.5= UNDER) 5- Washington Nationals (O/U 59.5= OVER) The Braves have the deepest, most talented roster in baseball. I fully expect them to have the best record in the majors, and they will have a great shot at a 2nd World Series title in 3 years. The Mets and Phillies should finish right around the same record if Harper were healthy, but he’s likely to miss significant time. And with the addition of Verlander, the Mets might actually be contenders again. Maybe. I like the Schumaker hire in Miami, and the Nationals are in a complete rebuild. But again, 59 wins is not a lot, so ethically I have to predict over. NL Central Getty Images 1- St. Louis Cardinals (O/U 89.5= UNDER) 2- Chicago Cubs (O/U 77.5= OVER) 3- Milwaukee Brewers (O/U 85.5= UNDER) 4- Pittsburgh Pirates (O/U 67.5= OVER) 5- Cincinnati Reds (O/U 65.5= UNDER) I still believe this is the weakest division in baseball, but the Cardinals rule the roost. They go under the win total, but comfortably win the division. The Cubs are my surprise shot this season (see last years: Colorado Rockies. Fuck the Rockies). Swanson is a big addition, I like Ross as a manager, and they have some young talent that can carry them to a wildcard. The Brewers are headed in the wrong direction. I think they will continue to win fewer and fewer games until they finally embrace the rebuild. The Pirates are a team with some intriguing talent but they can’t seriously contend yet. And the Reds are going to be awful, and perhaps the worst team in the sport. NL West Getty Images 1- San Diego Padres (O/U 93.5= OVER) 2- Los Angeles Dodgers (O/U 96.5= UNDER) 3- San Francisco Giants (O/U 80.5= UNDER) 4- Colorado Rockies (O/U 65.5= OVER) 5- Arizona Diamondbacks (O/U 75.5= UNDER) This is the year! With Tatis back, Soto in for a full season, and Machado happy and well-fed, the Padre$ are finally going to win the NL West and justify this unprecedented spending spree. The Dodgers are still going to be really good, but can they always be great? Eventually, they will slip up and have simply a really good season and not a great one. This is that year. The Giants had a really disappointing 2022 season, and I don’t expect much of a turnaround in 2023. Fuck the Rockies. Arizona is a better team than Colorado, but I just can’t quit them. So sorry Diamondbacks, you gotta finish last. Now let's make some playoff predictions! Playoff Predictions AL Wild Card: Getty Images 6 Los Angeles Angels def 3 Chicago White Sox 2-0 4 Seattle Mariners def 5 Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Why not, let’s go all-in with the Angels! If I’m going to put them in the playoffs, I might as well have them getting past the shaky White Sox. And Seattle vs. Toronto could turn into a fun little rivalry, but the Mariners once again get the better of them. NL Wild Card: Getty Images 3 St. Louis Cardinals def 6 Chicago Cubs 2-1 5 New York Mets def 4 Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 Cardinals-Cubs would be a really fun series, but St. Louis just has too much talent. The Dodgers are a better team, but as long as Verlander and Scherzer are healthy, it’s hard to imagine them losing a 3 game series. ALDS: Getty Images 4 Seattle Mariners def 1 New York Yankees 3-1 2 Houston Astros def 6 Los Angeles Angels 3-1 Sorry Yankees fans, I smell an upset brewing! J-Rod is an ultra-talent, and they’ll ride him to the ALCS. The Angels finally had a breakthrough, but it won’t last too long. Houston is too good and too experienced to lose to Mike Trout. NLDS: Getty Images 1 Atlanta Braves def 5 New York Mets 3-2 2 San Diego Padres def 3 St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 The Braves are a dominant team, and they have just enough pitching to offset the top of the Mets rotation. Give me the Braves in a really fun series. The Padre$ get back to the NLCS by vanquishing the Cardinals in a very easy series. ALCS: Getty Images 4 Seattle Mariners def 2 Houston Astros 4-1 History tells me the Astros won’t repeat, since it hasn’t happened since before I started school. Pre-school. They’ll make the ALCS because that’s what they do, but I think the Mariners continue their hot streak all the way to the World Series. NLCS: Getty Images 1 Atlanta Braves def 2 San Diego Padres 4-3 How many years in a row can the Padre$ lose to an NL East team in the NLCS? San Diego is probably the second best team in baseball, they just happened to run into the best. World Series: Getty Images 1 Atlanta Braves def 4 Seattle Mariners 4-2 (World Series MVP: Michael Harris II ) The Mariners will be a great story, but they won’t be able to take down the Braves. They have the pitchers, they have the hitters, and they’re a fast team which I really like. Give me Atlanta in 6 games for another World Series title! Now let’s predict the individual award winners for the 2023 season! AL MVP: Julio Rodriguez (Seattle Mariners) Getty Images This dude is special. I think the Mariners will be a really good team, and J-Rod is about to become the face of baseball. NL MVP: Juan Soto (San Diego Padres) Getty Images I thought long and hard about taking Acuna here, but if I’m giving them the World Series I figured I would spread the love. Soto struggled for the Padre$ last season, but after a full offseason to acclimate I think he’s going to rake in 2023. AL Cy Young: Shohei Othani (Los Angeles Angels) Getty Images He could easily be the MVP, but I think he’ll settle for the Cy Young as a consolation prize. Plus with Verlander out of the AL, who is really going to challenge him? NL Cy Young: Max Fried (Atlanta Braves) Getty Images They don’t get the MVP but they get the Cy Young. I’ve liked Fried for a long time now, and I think he’s poised to add his name to the list of Braves all-time great pitchers, which is no small feat. AL RoY: Anthony Volpe (New York Yankees) Getty Images I think Volpe is going to be exactly what the Yankees need; Jeter 2.0. This kid could be special, and will get a chance to produce under the bright lights of New York City. NL RoY: Francisco Alvarez (New York Mets) Getty Images There are a lot of names that could be here: Jordan Walker in St. Louis, Brett Baty in New York and Ezequiel Trevor in Colorado. But I’m going with Alavarez based on my experience with him in The Show (I usually hit pretty well with him). That’s it, that’s the case. AL MoY: Dusty Baker (Houston Astros) Getty Images I think Servais should be the winner, but I think there is a lot of momentum with Baker after seeing him get jiggy with it after winning the World Series last year. I don’t feel great about the pick, but I think it’s the smart play. NL MoY: Brian Snitker (Atlanta Braves) Getty Images Bob Melvin and David Ross will join him as finalists, but the Braves winning 107 games will be enough to net Snitker his second MoY award. There you have it! Our predictions for the 2023 MLB season. Make sure to check back in throughout the season to see which of my predictions will be right, and more important which ones will be wrong!