Here, we will be giving our MLB predictions for the 2023 AL West standings at the end of the season. If you want to hear our more in-depth breakdown from two generations of baseball fans, listen to the attached episode of the Playing Catch-Up Podcast below for the opinions of a father-son duo.
Now, let’s get started with the bottom of the barrel.
MLB Predictions for 2023 AL West Standings
5th Place: Oakland A’s
The A’s really befuddle me. Sure, I know they probably will stink. They’re prospect farming as usual, and any promising veterans will surely find a new home at the deadline this year as they build towards their most efficient chance of contending. The Oakland way. But that said, I can’t shake this feeling they could be better than awful. Not good, but like in an Oakland way, annoyingly average. They just seem to find a way, and they added some guys I really like this year to try and get something out of them. Trevor May was one of the best relievers in baseball two years ago, and I think he’s sure to find his way again. And same for the consistent Jesus Aguilar. Of course, they should finish last, but who knows. This is Oakland we’re talking about.
4th Place: Los Angeles Angels
Shohei Ohtahni and Mike Trout shouldn’t be finishing fourth, but oh well, this is the norm in LA it seems. The world just saw these two cement their legacy as two of the greatest to ever do it, so how come they can’t see it translate to the Angels? This roster should be better than it has been, with Renfroe, Rendon, and Wade all being underrated great talents when they’re on. Adding Tyler Anderson to Ohtani’s rotation was smart. But underneath that, we have disappointing expectations. The pitching is just too weak beyond the top guys, and the Angels for some reason chose to gut their bullpen last year. So while the guys they do have can make you dream, my money is for the Angel’s to remain baseball’s nightmare.
3rd Place: Seattle Mariners
I’ll be the fun police on this one. I love the young, fun Mariners as much as the next guy. Julio is generational talent, Luis Castillo is an ace in this league, and they have depth across the board that should see them be a threat in this division. But I think we’ve gilded the lily a bit. Youth can often be inconsistent, and until I see guys like Haniger and Kirby produce again, I can’t quite give them the vote of confidence. Also, that rotation is lowkey underachieving. Sure they have big names, but don’t be surprised if Ray and Castillo both have worse years this year to match their career norms. And while they’ve counted on some of their talents to continue improving, this next team has done nothing but add talent.
2nd Place: Texas Rangers
The Rangers are an uncertainty, but we can’t overlook just how much they’ve done here. Their starting rotation is deGrom, Heaney, (Jon) Gray, Perez, Eovaldi, and Odorizzi. That’s like top of the league levels here! Sure, we’re worried about health with a few of these guys, but we’ve got depth, and in the case of deGrom, if he is healthy, then he’s the best in the game. Then on offense, the holes have vanished rapidly. Take away the first month of the year and Marcus Semien was the best in baseball last year, while Corey Seager led all shortstop’s in homers. Nathaniel Lowe and Jonah Heim could become household names, and who doesn’t love the reemergence of manager Bruce Bocci? Don’t get me wrong, second is the top of their best hopes this year, and they’ve still got to prove these moves have done enough to turn around a truly terrible team. But sometimes spending is really the answer to success.
1st Place: Houston Astros
Duh. The best team in baseball added Jose Abreu. Even losing Verlander doesn’t seem to worsen this team’s odds, with Christian Javier and Framber Valdez leading many odds for Cy Young votes now. They’ll miss Altuve early, but in the long run, this division is a shut case. I’ve got my eye on Kyle Tucker for a sneaky MVP run, and Yordan Alvarez for a less sneaky one. It’s not an exciting pick, but it’s the right one. Astros have to be my favorite to win the pennant again this year, and because of that, this divisional race feels more like a formality.
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