Way-Too-Early MLB Division Winners Predictions
With Spring Training underway and the start of the 2023 MLB season quickly approaching, it is about time to predict the division winners for this upcoming season. After a tumultuous offseason full of major moves and massive deals, some of these predictions may surprise while some may not. Without further ado, here are the way-too-early division winners!
This division is a lot more clear-cut than people probably think it is. The Toronto Blue Jays were tabbed as the presumptive 2022 winners but a myriad of offensive issues and an underperforming pitching staff saw them clinch a wildcard spot, only to be bounced out by the Mariners. The Red Sox had a tough 2022 and after losing Xander Bogaerts in the offseason, 2023 could be another long season for Boston.
The New York Yankees should come out as winners of this division in 2023. After a scorching hot first half of 2022, they cooled off down the stretch. A historic season from Aaron Judge and some key performances from Gerrit Cole saw them make it to the ALCS only to be swept by the eventual champions. With the re-signing of Aaron Judge, the addition of Carlos Rodon, and some key players coming back from injury, the Bronx Bombers should take this division once again. Winner: New York Yankees
This division may be the toughest division to predict. 2022 was not a great year for the AL Central, though it did produce a 90+ win team in the Cleveland Guardians. A pleasant surprise in 2022, the Guardians used some stellar pitching and great contact to win the division. 2023 should provide much of the same for Cleveland though their path to winning back-to-back may be difficult.
The re-signing of Carlos Correa and the addition of Pablo Lopez makes the Minnesota Twins an intriguing pick but outside of Byron Buxton, there is not much else to be excited for. The Chicago White Sox could make a run if they finally put the pieces together but until then, they don’t get a vote of confidence. As for the Tigers and Royals, keep developing your prospects and this division could be yours real soon. Winner: Cleveland Guardians
The AL West will be, by far, the most exciting and intriguing division in baseball. Outside of the Oakland Athletics, who are in the ultimate rebuild, there are legitimately four teams capable of making the playoffs. The 2022 champions and division winner Houston Astros look poised to repeat once again. Despite losing ace Justin Verlander, trading for Jose Abreu should make them the favorites again.
That shouldn’t take away from the moves the rest of the division has made. The Angeles added some much-needed pitching depth to go along with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. 2022 was a magical season for the Seattle Mariners, who should now be viewed as a legit contender. Jacob DeGrom’s move to the Texas Rangers gives them the ace they had been looking for. If any of these teams are playing on tv, this should be must-watch baseball. Winner: Houston Astros
Behind the AL West, this division is going to be an absolute dogfight. Three teams made the playoffs, one of which made it all the way to the World Series. The New York Mets should be the prohibitive favorite after adding Justin Verlander to the team, making him and Max Scherzer arguably the best one-two punch in baseball. The Atlanta Braves had an up-and-down 2022 but played great down the stretch and won the division. As for the Phillies, fresh off a world series appearance, the addition of Trea Turner should have an instant impact.
As for the winner of this division for 2023, it is going to come down to whoever can play consistent baseball in the second half. The Mets looked poised to take the division in 2022 but faltered in September but they won’t make the same mistake again. Their line-up is too good and their pitching staff is deep, which should lead them to be division winners in 2023. Winner: New York Mets
The NL Central was a weird division in 2022 and fans should expect more of the same in 2023. The St. Louis Cardinals won in 2022 behind an MVP campaign from Paul Goldschmidt and with the offseason addition of Wilson Contreras, they look poised to take the division again. Despite a stacked pitching staff, the Brewers were as inconsistent as can be. Yet, with a top rotation and a comeback season from Christian Yelich, 2023 could be their year.
The Cubs made some savvy moves in the offseason, signing Dansby Swanson, Cody Bellinger, and Jameson Taillon. With a nice core of young players, they could make some noise this season. The Pirates have some intriguing talent and should prove to be a tough team all season and as for the Reds, better to look away this season. Winner: St. Louis Cardinals
The Dodgers won this division by 22 games in 2022; this will not be the case in 2023. The Dodgers went through a lot of attrition this offseason: losing Trea Turner and Justin Turner while signing a couple of veterans and doing little to address their bullpen. Yet, with Mookie Betts, Freddy Freeman, and Julio Urias, this team should still compete for the division. As for the San Diego Padres, 2023 could finally be their year. After making it to the NLCS in 2022, they splashed by signing Xander Bogaerts to add to their stacked lineup. This team is legit and ready to take that final step.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will be a fun team to watch this season. Loaded with young talent, a solid rotation, and some veterans ready to help this team win; don’t be surprised when this team makes the playoffs. San Francisco should be a tough out all year, though after losing out on both Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa, this could be a tough season. Winner: San Diego Padres