It’s hard to believe that the New York Yankees last won a World Series 14 years ago. A whole generation of kids has mostly been subjected to high payrolls and even higher disappointments. But with the Yankees convincing Aaron Judge to stay home, the 2023 MLB power rankings show that New York will be expected to end the streak this year.
However, MLB team stats show the Yankees won’t be the favorites to win it all in 2023. There are a number of teams with legitimate shots at the throne. Here’s a look at the top five teams in baseball before the MLB schedule gets into full swing.
MLB odds show the Astros have bounced back from their cheating scandal in a major way. Houston, which is the defending World Series champions, gave Dusty Baker his first World Series as a manager last year by finishing off Philadelphia in six games. In every season of Baker’s three-year tenure, the Houston Astros have reached at least the ALCS.
There have been some key pieces that left Houston in the past year. Veteran pitcher Justin Verlander left, while first baseman Yuri Gurriel remains unsigned, but may be heading to Miami.
The Astros, however, have proven to be a sharp organization when it comes to personnel. The defending champs deserve this spot to start the year. MLB odds also have Houston as a slight +600 favorite to repeat as champions.
Despite fierce competition from the New York Mets last season, the Atlanta Braves won 101 games in the regular season to capture their sixth straight MLB title. Atlanta was able to maintain its spot in the 2023 MLB power rankings by spending in the offseason. The Braves brought in catcher Sean Murphy in the offseason while retraining Travis d’Arnaud.
Atlanta lost Dansby Swanson in free agency, but have several other players the Braves hope can step in and fill that role. The Braves will once again face fierce competition from inside their division.
Atlanta will have to contend with the pitching-rich Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies, who won the National League last season. The Braves are only two years removed from winning the World Series and still have much of that core left over.
New York Yankees
There’s a lot to like for Yankees for anyone making bets on MLB picks and parlays this season. New York was able to lure defending American League MVP and star slugger Aaron Judge back to the Yankees. New York was also able to bring in starting pitcher Carlos Rodon, who was one of the top pitchers on the free agency market.
The Yankees still have several holes, including at shortstop, but New York has several top prospects and could also look to add at the deadline.
San Diego Padres
When it comes to the 2023 MLB power rankings, no team surprised like San Diego to what the Padres were willing to add to be able to win. San Diego Padres added Juan Soto at the trade deadline last season and already had Manny Machado on the roster. Padres infielder Fernado Tatis Jr. will also return to the lineup following a suspension for PEDs last season.
MLB player stats show that San Diego also has plenty of pitching, with Joe Musgrove having developed into a strong top-of-the-rotation pitcher.
The Padres, who stunned their division rivals in the playoffs to reach the NLCS, are hoping adding Tatis back to the lineup will provide a big lift. The Padres are still in search of their first World Series crown in their history.
New York Mets
The Mets will have an interesting amount of key MLB matchups where their starting pitchers are in their late 30s and early 40s. How Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer hold up only an entire season will be important for New York’s rotation. The Mets didn’t shy away from spending cash.
New York has its highest payroll in franchise history. The New York Mets added Omar Narvaez and Francisco Alvarez at catcher. New York also signed Brooks Raley and David Robertson to help out in the bullpen.
The Mets also made sure to spread the money around in-house. New York resigned Edwin Diaz and Adam Ottavino.