MLB Power Rankings 2023: Astros look to repeat; Mets, Yankees, Dodgers try to overcome injuries

The 2023 MLB season is right around the corner. All 30 teams are filled with hope and excitement as Opening Day approaches. A lot has changed since the beginning of spring training and the World Baseball Classic, however, as serious injuries have unfortunately impacted a number of ball clubs. That means the MLB Power Rankings will look quite different heading into Opening Day.

With out further ado, here are our 2023 MLB Power Rankings ahead of Opening Day.

1. Houston Astros

The reigning World Series champions are still No. 1 in our MLB Power Rankings. The Jose Altuve and Lance McCullers Jr. injuries are from ideal, but Houston has enough depth to remain atop the list.

This is a team that led the AL in wins before ultimately wining the World Series in 2022. Losing Justin Verlander hurts Houston’s rotation, but they are bringing back most of their stars from last year. Signing Jose Abreu adds a pivotal veteran presence to the roster as well.

Houston’s bullpen will be their driving force in 2023. Ryan Pressly has emerged as one of the most reliable closers in baseball. Additionally, the Astros feature an impressive core of relievers.

The Astros are still the team to beat.

2. New York Mets

Edwin Diaz suffered an injury during the World baseball Classic and is set to miss most of the 2023 season. The initial diagnosis said he will miss the entire year, but Diaz is hopeful he can return towards the end of the season. Regardless, his absence will negatively impact the Mets without question.

In the end, however, Steve Cohen didn’t dish out all that money so that one major injury would derail the ball club. The Mets are still a very talented team with strengths on offense, in the rotation, and in the bullpen.

Playing in the NL East will be a challenge, but New York checks in at No. 2 in our MLB Power Rankings.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (+1)

The Los Angeles Dodgers saw shortstop Gavin Lux go down with a season-ending injury during spring training. Tony Gonsolin is also expected to miss the start of the season due to an injury. So how is it that the Dodgers moved up from the No. 4 spot to the No. 3 position in the MLB Power Rankings?

For starters, the New York Yankees (formerly No. 3) are dealing with a number of injury concerns (more on that later). The Dodgers also have reason for optimism following the spring.

Cody Bellinger’s departure left the team searching for answers in the outfield. Young outfielder James Outman demonstrated great poise during spring training and ultimately made the ball club. Trayce Thompson also performed well during the WBC.

If the Dodgers’ outfield can find stability, their lineup will benefit as a result. Additionally, Max Muncy showed signs of life in March. The Dodgers are still really good and shouldn’t be overlooked.

4. San Diego Padres (+1)

The Padres also moved up in the MLB Power Rankings. Juan Soto and Xander Bogaerts are both dealing with injury concerns, but they are expected to be ready to go soon. Fernando Tatis Jr. will return later in April once his PED suspension is complete as well.

Losing Joe Musgrove to an injury obviously wasn’t the best news for the Padres, but their rotation has enough talent to hold down the fort until he returns. As long as the pitching performs just well enough, the Padres’ offense will take care of the rest.

5. New York Yankees (-2)

The Yankees came into spring training with arguably one of the best pitching rotations in baseball. However, Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino, and Frankie Montas have all gone down with injuries.

Offensively, New York features a similar lineup to last year. Top prospect Anthony Volpe was named to the Opening Day roster, so that should help matters for the Yankees. But it’s difficult to look past their pitching rotation concerns. Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes cannot do it all on their own.

The Yankees are still a good team and the favorite to win the AL East, but they have fallen in the MLB Power Rankings ahead of Opening Day.

6. Atlanta Braves

The Braves had an interesting spring training. Vaughn Grissom, despite having a strong performance, did not make the team. Nevertheless, Atlanta features a talented roster and they are still an intimidating force. Matt Olson enjoyed a stellar spring and players such as Austin Riley, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Max Fried will lead Atlanta to another big 2023 campaign.

7. Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies were extremely close to being moved down a spot or two following the Rhys Hoskins injury. Fortunately for Philadelphia, their lineup has an immense amount of depth and they should be able over overcome Hoskins’ season-ending ailment.

Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola are set to lead the rotation once again. The bullpen was revamped during the offseason as well, so pitching will be a positive for the Phillies in 2023.

As a result of their improved pitching and steady offense, Philadelphia remains at No. 7 in our MLB Power Rankings.

8. Cleveland Guardians (+1)

The Guardians move from the nine spot to the eight position heading into Opening Day.

Cleveland is still led by Jose Ramirez and Shane Bieber. Offensively, Josh Bell displayed his impressive power during spring training and he will provide crucial protection for Ramirez in the lineup.

Pitching wise, Cleveland’s bullpen is amongst the best in baseball. Emmanuel Clase leads the charge, with James Karinchak and Trevor Stephen holding things down in the seventh and eighth innings.

Cleveland will need bounce back performance from Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac in the starting rotation. But their top three pitchers, Bieber, Triston McKenzie, and Cal Quantrill, are all capable of having All-Star caliber seasons.

9. Seattle Mariners (-1)

The only reason Seattle moved from eight to nine is because of their starting pitching uncertainty. Luis Castillo is a reliable front-end starter. However, Robbie Ray dealt with his share of struggles a season ago.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how well Logan Gilbert and George Kirby will perform in 2023. Both pitchers are capable of becoming stars, but they are also young and fairly unproven.

Seattle can easily move up the MLB Power Rankings with a strong start to the season.

10. St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals remain in the No. 10 spot heading into Opening Day. Their outfield has question marks, as well as their starting pitching. The infield, on the other hand, features plenty of star power with Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado leading the way.

St. Louis is the favorite in the NL Central. It will be interesting to see if they can move up the power rankings moving forward.

11. Toronto Blue Jays

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was forced to sit out of the World Baseball Classic after suffering an early spring training injury. Fortunately, Guerrero Jr. is expected to be okay.

Toronto made a number of moves during the offseason and they are counting on having bounce back performances from key players such as Jose Berrios. Playing in the American League East will make things challenging, but Toronto still remains the second highest ranked team in the division.

12. Tampa Bay Rays (+1)

The Rays aren’t a team that features a loaded roster full of All-Stars. But they have players all over the field capable of helping the team win.

Losing Tyler Glasnow to injury obviously will impact their rotation. They are counting on Shane McClanahan and the rest of their pitchers to hold things down.

Tampa Bay is going to have another strong season.

13. Milwaukee Brewers (-1)

The Brewers are certainly capable of performing well. However, they endured some drama with SP Corbin Burnes in spring training and they didn’t do much to address their roster needs during the offseason.

Remaining confident in Milwaukee is difficult after they stumbled to the finish line last year and missed the postseason. Their pitching will give them a chance to win in 2023, but the Brewers don’t seem to be trending in the best direction.

14. Texas Rangers

The Rangers are ready to roll. It is uncertain how well they will perform in 2023, but there’s no question that Texas upgraded their starting pitching.

The bullpen will need to step up and post quality results, and it will be intriguing to see if Corey Seager and Marcus Semien can help the offense reach new heights. Texas will be a fringe Wild Card contender in 2023 if all goes according to plan.

15. Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are similar to the Rangers in the sense that they had a forgettable 2022 season but made a number of high-profile moves in free agency. Dansby Swanson was their prized offseason acquisition, and the Cubs have some young and exciting talent ready to help the team.

They will benefit from playing in a lackluster NL Central division. As of now, the Cubs are right in the middle of our MLB Power Rankings.

16. Los Angeles Angels (+2)

The Angels haven’t made the playoffs since 2014. During that time, there have been multiple years when they seemed to be on the verge of turning things around before faltering during the season. With Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout on the roster, the Angels just needed to add talented pieces around them.

This year could be different as the Angels will need to prove to Ohtani that they can win. Otherwise, he will likely sign elsewhere in free agency.

The pitching rotation has a chance to surprisingly be very good. In addition to Ohtani, pitchers such as Tyler Anderson, Reid Detmers and Patrick Sandoval are all solid arms. Sandoval impressed during the WBC and has legitimate All-Star potential.

Perhaps the Angels can break their playoff drought in 2023.

17. Chicago White Sox (-1)

The White Sox are probably the most talented team in the bottom half of these MLB Power Rankings. They could win the AL Central with a strong campaign, but their inconsistency and injury woes last year make them a difficult team to trust.

If players such as Luis Robert Jr. and Andrew Vaughn find their footing and stay healthy in 2023, the White Sox may be able to make some noise. They will also need rebound performance from Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito.

Chicago could realistically finish with a record of below .500, or they may surpass the 90-win mark. They are one of the most unpredictable squads heading into the new year.

18. Minnesota Twins (-1)

In a lot of ways, the Twins are similar to the White Sox. They have potential but have been hampered by inconsistency and injuries. Minnesota doesn’t feature the pitching upside that Chicago does, which is why they check in one spot behind them.

Nevertheless, Minnesota is a team capable of having a good season.

19. San Francisco Giants

The Giants are projected by many around baseball to be mediocre in 2023. If San Francisco struggles in the first-half of the season, it wouldn’t be shocking to see them sell a number of their key players. However, they could be considered a possible Wild Card contender as well.

For now, the Giants remain at the No. 19 spot in our MLB Power Rankings.

20. Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles didn’t see much movement in the rankings either. They displayed signs of promise in 2022, but their young roster still needs to prove itself in 2023.

Adley Rutschman has the talent to develop into a superstar catcher. Baltimore also features the best farm system in baseball. But the Orioles still may be a year or two away from truly contending.

However, they can prove the critics wrong with a strong effort this year.

21. Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox may finish last in the AL East and still post a record of .500 or better. Boston happens to play in an extremely difficult division, but Rafael Devers and Co. will make sure they don’t completely fall off a cliff.

Will the Red Sox sneak into the playoffs in 2023? Nothing is out of the question, but they certainly are not a championship favorite by any means.

22. Arizona Diamondbacks 

The Diamondbacks have the talent to compete soon. But they also play in a difficult division, as overcoming the Dodgers and Padres will be a major challenge.

Arizona may be able to finish in third place ahead of San Francisco, but that is as high as they will get in the NL West. With that being said, the Diamondbacks have reason for hope moving forward.

23. Miami Marlins

Jazz Chisholm Jr. is going to have a strong season if he can stay healthy. Miami’s starting pitching should be able to perform well.

The Marlins’ question mark is their all-around offensive unit. They don’t feature much power in the lineup and are still likely a year or two away from contending.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates (+3)

The Pirates added players such as Carlos Santana, Vince Velasquez, and Austin Hedges during the offseason. They still have Bryan Reynolds, Ke’Bryan Hayes, and O’Neil Cruz on the roster as well.

Don’t make any mistake about it, as Pittsburgh is still going to struggle in 2023. But they have been near the very bottom of MLB over the past few years. The Pirates should be able to take a few steps forward this season.

25. Detroit Tigers (-1)

The Tigers and Royals are interchangeable. Detroit gets the nod over KC because they feature a bit more upside. Detroit features some talented young prospects that could breakout in 2023 such as Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene.

26. Kansas City Royals 

Salvador Perez remains the face of the franchise for the Royals. They added veterans in Aroldis Chapman and Franmil Reyes during the offseason. Nevertheless, Kansas City doesn’t feature enough talent to compete. They could, however, overtake the Tigers once again in the MLB Power Rankings at some point this season.

27. Cincinnati Reds (-2)

The Reds have a bright future with Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Jonathan India on the team. Joey Votto will surely be looking to have a big campaign as well.

But the Reds have fallen behind the Pirates. Cincinnati is heading in a downward spiral amid their current rebuild. Again, the long-term future is bright… but emphasis needs to be put on long-term.

28. Colorado Rockies

The Rockies aren’t the worst team in baseball. Although, playing in the difficult NL West will only hurt their win-loss total even more.

If Kris Bryant stays healthy and performs well, Colorado could move up the MLB Power Rankings as the season goes on. For now, they check in at No. 28.

29. Oakland Athletics (+1)

We will give the nod to Oakland over Washington, but these teams could go either way. The A’s have a few key players like Ramon Laureano and Seth Brown. In the end, the 2023 season will still be a forgettable one for the Atheltics as their rebuild continues.

30. Washington Nationals (-1)

Washington acquired no shortage of talent in the trade for Juan Soto. They are clearly rebuilding and could develop a winner in a few seasons.

But the 2023 season, in similar fashion to Oakland, will be one they want to forget.

The post MLB Power Rankings 2023: Astros look to repeat; Mets, Yankees, Dodgers try to overcome injuries appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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