MLB Preview


Pike Temple, Sports Editor

Japan won the World Baseball Classic and Spring Training is coming to a close. Although Spring Training games don’t mean a whole lot as far as predicting a team’s success the upcoming season, momentum built up from the pre-season doesn’t hurt a team’s chances of starting strong come Opening Day. The organization’s best minor leaguers get to show off their talents and fans of rebuilding teams get a look at the future of the ball club. Here are the Tower’s predictions for the 2023 season.


American League East:

New York Yankees

Toronto Blue Jays

Baltimore Orioles

Tampa Bay Rays

Boston Red Sox

The New York Yankees are one of the strongest teams in the league, but the Toronto Blue Jays are the Yankees biggest competition. The key to the winning division will be pitching, and the Yankees happen to have the better rotation. Although the Blue Jays may have the better offense, Aaron Judge, the former MVP, is almost unstoppable and will look to put up similar numbers this season. With Vlad Guerrero Jr. breathing down his neck however,  the race this year may be closer than expected.


American League Central:

Cleveland Guardians

Chicago White Sox

Minnesota Twins

Kansas City Royals

Detroit Tigers

The AL Central is the most wide open division in the league. The Cleveland Guardians appear to be the pre-season favorites to repeat, but most of their opponents improved, in some fashion or another. The White Sox, now without manager Tony Larussa, could set the tone as the top offense in the league, but the Guardians are the most well-rounded squad, so they will likely win the division once again. 


American League West:

Houston Astros

Seattle Mariners

Texas Rangers

Los Angeles Angels

Oakland Athletics

The World Series Champion Houston Astros are a top 3 team in the league. Even after key departures from players from former playoff teams, the Astros always seem to be able to restock the talent with players already within the organization. A prime example is Carlos Correa, who is now with the Twins, being replaced with Jeremy Pena. The Houston rotation is also elite. Although the Mariners and Rangers have quality squads as well, neither team eclipses the Astros star power throughout the roster.


National League East:

Atlanta Braves

New York Mets

Philadelphia Phillies

Miami Marlins

Washington Nationals

The National League East is one of the stronger divisions, with teams like the Braves, Mets, and Phillies jostling for the division title. The Mets have a great foundation and should make the playoffs, the Braves are still the team to beat and a formidable World Series contender. Even though the Phillies made the World Series last season, a lot had to go right for them to make it that far. A lot will have to go right this season too as Rhys Hoskins recently tore his ACL. Hoskins is out for the season and Bryce Harper’s timeline for recovery is uncertain. Due to injuries, the Phillies won’t be able to keep up with the Braves. Atlanta will win the division. 


National League Central:

St. Louis Cardinals

Milwaukee Brewers

Chicago Cubs

Pittsburgh Pirates

Cincinnati Reds

The NL Central is one of the weaker divisions, but the Cardinals and the Brewers are both capable of winning the division and making the playoffs. Milwaukee has one of the best pitching staffs in the entire league, but their offense limits the team’s ceiling. Although players like Willy Adames and additions like William Contreras give fans hope that the 2023 season will be better, the rest of the roster includes unproven players or guys like Christian Yelich or Jesse Winker who must bounce back in 2023 for the Brewers to challenge the Cardinals. The Cardinals have more depth overall offensively, and are led by Paul Goldschmidt, an older, yet uber reliable MVP caliber piece.


National League West: 

San Diego Padres

Los Angeles Dodgers

Arizona Cardinals

Colorado Rockies

San Francisco Giants

From an offensive standpoint, the Padres are the best team in the MLB. With a flurry of talented superstars on the roster, San Francisco has its eyes set on the World Series trophy. With one of the deepest starting rotations in the game, the Padres should have no problem winning the division. Although the Dodgers are a very talented and comparable foe. Los Angeles lost a few veteran players and an influx of youth could lead to growing pains early in the year. Although the Dodgers will likely take a step back this year, they should still make the playoffs, but not win the AL West. 


World Series Winner: San Diego Padres

In short, the Padres are the best team in the league from a roster standpoint. After adding Xander Bogaerts this offseason, the Padres boast one of, if not the best offenses in the league. Along with a seasoned and experienced pitching staff highlighted by Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, and Blake Snell, Josh Hader is one of the best closers in baseball. The Padres will be the team to beat come the postseason. 


AL MVP: Shohei Ohtani

The AL league is filled with talent and potential MVP candidates, but Shohei Ohtani should be a front runner. As Ohtani’s future with the Angels is somewhat up in the air, Ohtani could prove that he is a top 5 player in baseball. After his performance in the World Baseball Classic, Ohtani has made a name for himself nationally and could become the face of baseball in a couple years. 

NL MVP: Juan Soto

Juan Soto is a top contender for the NL MVP award. Although playing alongside Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis could hurt his chances of winning, Soto has found a home in San Diego and will become a fan favorite and the face of the franchise in no time. The Padres will win the division and Soto will help San Diego win a World Series.

AL Cy Young: Shane McClanahan

Shane McClanahan proved last season that he is a legit starting arm in the American League. After posting a 2.54 ERA with a 0.93 WHIP and 194 strikeouts, the 25 year old could be a Cy Young candidate for years. Although he could be overshadowed by flashier names from bigger franchises, stats alone should make the case for McClanahan to win AL Cy Young this season. 

NL Cy Young: Zac Gallen

A similar case can be made for Zac Gallen. Gallen recorded a 2.54 with a 0.91 WHIP and 192 strikeouts. Although he plays on the Arizona Diamondbacks, the team could take a step in the right direction this year and Gallen would help the process. Gallen has one of the strongest arsenals in the NL and should not be overlooked as a candidate to win the NL Cy Young award in 2023.