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MLB Season Preview | Tipico
MLB Season Preview | Tipico
Phil Dzikiy
Published: 2023-02-23

It’s been a long winter, but pitchers and catchers have finally reported to spring training and full rosters are starting to appear at team facilities in Florida and Arizona. While injuries and late offseason trades could alter the landscape of the league, we have a generally good idea of what the teams will look like in 2023.

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The defending champion Houston Astros have had a mixed offseason, highlighted by the loss of Justin Verlander. That leaves the team without a traditional ace, though Framber Valdez is arguably in that tier, and the rotation is a potential area of weakness.

On the other hand, Houston signed Jose Abreu to start at first base, an upgrade over Yuli Gurriel. If healthy, the lineup has the potential to be the best in the league to cover up any shortcomings within the pitching staff. Houston’s overall run of success also has to be recognized, as the team has reached the ALCS six straight years and beyond to the World Series three times.


While the Astros could have a fairly easy path to the AL West crown, their path to the American League pennant will be more complicated. The Yankees didn’t make major additions to their lineup this offseason, but they did retain key contributors in Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo.

The team projects to be a mix of veterans and intriguing young prospects as each of Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza project to have a regular role to begin the season. Anthony Volpe is regarded as one of the top prospects in the league and could make his big-league debut at some point in the summer months to bolster the team’s offense.

Where the Yankees could really shine as compared to the Astros is with their pitching staff. Even after losing Frankie Montas for most of the season with a shoulder injury, the Yankees boast a dynamic 1-2 punch of Gerrit Cole and Carlos Rodon as well as Luis Severino and Nestor Cortes.

The Blue Jays are also among the best projected teams in the American League. After making the postseason and being eliminated in the wild-card round the last two seasons, Toronto will look to take a step forward in 2023. They made a high-profile trade to land Daulton Varsho from the Diamondbacks and also made more understated additions of Brandon Belt and Chris Bassitt. They’ll be in a tough division squaring off against the Yankees and Rays, so they may be forced to enter the postseason with a wild-card berth once again.

After those three teams, the American League looks to be wide open. The Mariners bolstered their lineup with the addition of Teoscar Hernandez and also boast one of the best bullpens in the league with Paul Sewald, Andres Munoz and Diego Castillo all capable of handling and excelling in high-leverage roles. Though always on a tight budget, the Rays and Guardians have proven capable of getting the most out of their roster year after year and cannot be dismissed.


Shifting gears to the National League, the East division projects to be incredibly competitive once again. Coming off of a World Series appearance, the Phillies will face a challenge in 2023 as Bryce Harper underwent offseason surgery to repair an elbow injury that he played through throughout 2022. He’s expected to miss the first several months of the new campaign, leaving a significant hole in the Phillies’ lineup.

However, the team signed Trea Turner in one of the biggest offseason additions for any team. While more under the radar, the team acquired both Gregory Soto and Craig Kimbrel to bolster a bullpen that posted a poor 4.27 ERA last year.

The Mets continue to spend an incredible amount of money thanks to the ownership of Steve Cohen, with Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana among the key additions this offseason. Like the Yankees, the Mets have a considerable amount of talent coming through their prospect pipeline as well, as Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez could open the season on the big-league roster and contribute immediately to supplement an already strong lineup.


Atlanta is the final of the trio in the East but could prove to be the best of the group. Though it lacked the offseason splash of the Mets and Phillies, the Braves traded for Sean Murphy from the Athletics, a backstop lauded for his defensive ability but also with plenty of pop in his bat. While the Braves didn’t make any additions to their pitching staff, it remains a strength of the team thanks to the presence of Max Fried, Kyle Wright, Spencer Strider and Charlie Morton.


The West rivals the East in terms of both the ability to grab headlines and quality of teams. The Padres were a fairly surprising landing spot for Xander Bogaerts, but he’ll pair with Manny Machado to star along the team’s infield.

All eyes will be on Fernando Tatis, who will return from wrist and shoulder injuries that held him out for much of the 2022 season. The latest reports suggest he’s fully healthy and will be ready to take the field as soon as he serves the final 20 games of a suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Despite the fast start to his career, there are plenty of questions surrounding Tatis after he missed all of last season.

San Diego boasts impressive depth throughout both its starting rotation and bullpen, particularly after the offseason additions of Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo. After earning a wild-card berth in 2022 and ultimately beating the Dodgers in the playoffs, the Padres will look to claim the division as their own.


However, Los Angeles won’t go down easily. After making significant additions at every turn for the last few seasons, the Dodgers had a quiet offseason. They lost both Trea Turner and Justin Turner, with the former leaving a bigger hole on the field. The team didn’t overreact to those departures, and instead will be poised to rely upon top prospect Miguel Vargas to step into an everyday role.

There are also questions in the pitching staff after Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney both departed. Young arms such as Ryan Pepiot and Gavin Stone should have the opportunity to contribute later in the season as needed. While the roster may not be as star studded as we’ve come to expect, the Dodgers will remain a serious contender.

MLB Season Preview | Tipico


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