The 2023 baseball season is right around the corner. We have 45 days before Spring Training begins, but the sportsbooks have already released early win total projections for 2023. Just like every offseason, I come up with my own win total predictions before looking at the line.
We will review each team with my early leans and a quick summary of why I’m leaning that way. I have not placed any wagers yet, but some totals are already catching my eye. All odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Baltimore Orioles: 77.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
The Orioles won 83 games last year, but we see the early line pointing toward a relatively steep drop-off of 5.5 wins and I’m not exactly sure why. Rookies Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman took the league by storm last season, and now they’ll get an entire season to work their magic. The team failed to make an impactful move to address the starting pitching, but Just Baseball’s top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez should help. We begin this article with one of my early favorite over targets for next season. I believe this team wins more than 80 games.
Boston Red Sox: 76.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
The Red Sox should finish last in the American League East this year. They had a strange offseason. I loved the extension for Rafael Devers, but that’s about it. They signed Masataka Yoshida to the largest contract ever for a Japanese position player. Yoshida should make an impact, but it’s no guarantee. They failed to bring back superstar Xander Bogaerts, which should hurt the total offensive production. They won 78 games last year and only got worse. The rotation scares me and adding aging relievers Kenley Jansen and Chris Martin to the bullpen doesn’t move the needle enough. I think the Orioles will win more games this season.
Chicago White Sox: 84.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
I was the sucker that bet on the White Sox to win the division last season at -200. I will not make the same mistake again. This team has many injury risks, including Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, and Yasmani Grandal. They lost Jose Abreu and Johnny Cueto, who were significant contributors last season. They signed Andrew Benintendi, but that’s not enough to build confidence in this team. Everything has to go right and that never seems to happen on the South Side.
Cleveland Guardians: 87 Wins (Lean: Over)
I love the Cleveland Guardians. They were my most profitable team to bet on last season, and I expect the same this year. The fighting Cal Quantrill’s will be my team once again. The Guardians won 92 games last season and didn’t lose any key contributors. Manager Terry Francona could drag my friends and me to 82 wins. The rotation and bullpen are elite and the offense does just enough to keep them in every ballgame and added Josh Bell. This line isn’t disrespectful, but I believe 90 wins are in their future.
Detroit Tigers: 70.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
The Tigers won 66 games last year and didn’t improve. While I am excited for another look at Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene, this team is still a few years away from competing. Tarik Skubal and Casey Mize had major surgeries last season and it’s unclear how much–if anything–the Tigers will get out of them this season. The Gregory Soto trade will benefit them in the long run but doesn’t help the team next season. I’m afraid a last place finish is imminent.
Houston Astros: 97.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
The Astros won 106 games last year. They are the one team who can weather the blow of losing AL Cy Young Justin Verlander, but it’s still a big loss. While it’s a loss, they’ll plug in Hunter Brown, my early pick to win the Rookie of the Year. Bringing in Jose Abreu is huge and bringing back Michael Brantley–who missed most of last season–is one of the best under-the-radar moves of the offseason. The Astros are the best team in baseball and should win 100 games again.
Kansas City Royals: 69.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
I am excited to see this offense roll in 2023. Bobby Witt Jr, Vinnie Pasquantino, and MJ Melendez should make this team fun, but the pitching is troubling. Outside of Brady Singer, they don’t have any arms that inspire much confidence. The bullpen was one of baseball’s worst last year, and they didn’t improve. They made a couple of signings, but none of them have the Royals looking much different in 2023. With that said, I don’t think the Royals finish last like last year; a slight lean towards the over.
Los Angeles Angels: 79.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
I do this every year. I look at the roster and think the Angels are incredible. They have Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout on the same team! They made some excellent signings to both the rotation and the offense! This is the “put-up or shut-up” year. Ohtani will be a free agent after the year and he’s expressed concern about the Angels’ ability to put out a winning ballclub. While none of the signings were blockbusters, Hunter Renfroe, Brandon Drury and Gio Urshela will replace at bats taken by Andrew Velazquez, Tyler Wade and others last season. This team was off to a hot start last year before falling apart and only finishing with 73 wins. It’s now or never, Angels, let’s see what you got.
Minnesota Twins: 77.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
The Twins signed Carlos Correa! With Correa back in the fold, 77.5 wins seem more than attainable. With that said, this team must stay healthy. Zero Twins’ starting pitchers threw 150 innings in 2022, which includes Tyler Mahle, who they acquired from the Reds in the middle of the season. This team finished with 78 wins, but they finished with a +12 run differential. The White Sox finished with 81 wins, but a -31 run differential. This team is due for positive regression; if they stay healthy, they could have a promising season.
New York Yankees: 95 Wins (Lean: Over)
The pitching is what puts this over the top for me. The Yankees already had one of the best rotations in baseball, and they added a top-10 pitcher in the game in Carlos Rodon. While you expect some regression from Aaron Judge, it shouldn’t be much based on the underlying numbers. An entire season of Harrison Bader will undoubtedly help and I expect Frankie Montas to bounce back. If the Yankees have a hole, they’ll make a move to fix it at the deadline. This team won 99 games last year with a better run differential than the Astros.
Oakland Athletics: 60.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
This team should be the worst in baseball. They had the third-worst run differential last year, only edging out the Pirates and Nationals. They lost their best player, Sean Murphy, and didn’t make any good additions this off-season. They are planning to move the team from Oakland, that should say enough.
Seattle Mariners: 89.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
This line is spot on, as I have the Mariners winning 90 games next season. Seattle got better this offseason by adding Teoscar Hernandez and Kolten Wong, and an entire season of Luis Castillo is exciting. Pitching is so important in the regular season, and the Mariners have it in droves. With that said, there are questions surrounding Jared Kelenic and JP Crawford. This team should finish second, but the division has dramatically improved from last season. The Mariners are better, but so is the competition. I slightly lean towards the over.
Tampa Bay Rays: 87.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
It’s all about health with the 2023 Tampa Bay Rays. With one of the game’s best farm systems and development programs, they always have studs to plug in when the stars go down, but at a certain point, you need your studs on the field.
Tampa has plenty of stars, both in the rotation and the lineup. While the Yankees have the best rotation, the Rays will challenge them. If Wander Franco stays healthy, he will become one of the best shortstops in the game. The Rays could be a 92-94 win team if healthy, but that’s the only question. The wheels fell off last season, and they still managed to win 86. The over feels like a safe play. I have them at 89 wins.
Texas Rangers: 80.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
The Rangers are a risky team. If everyone stays healthy, this team could make the playoffs. The problem is several of these guys have had issues staying on the field the last few years. The three starters they added, Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi, and Andrew Heaney, combined for 246 innings last year. Martin Perez had his best year by far. The bullpen is slightly below average. The offense gets plenty of praise, but they finished 19th in OPS last season and didn’t add anyone. There are too many questions here for me to pitch the over. With that said, the line does feel right. I have them as a 79-win team.
Toronto Blue Jays: 94.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
I like the Blue Jays a lot this season, but this line feels a tad high. This team won 92 games last season and didn’t improve much. While Ross Stripling isn’t a big name, he posted a 3.01 ERA in 134.1 innings. They replaced him with Chris Bassitt, a better pitcher, but it’s not promised he’ll have a better season. I think Jose Berrios will bounce back, and replacing Hernandez with Varsho was a great move. This team is very well-rounded after the addition of Swanson in the bullpen. I have them winning 94 games, so this line feels just right.
Arizona Diamondbacks: 76.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
This will be one of my biggest win-total bets. This Diamondbacks team won 74 games last year but enter 2023 with some hype. Zac Gallen proved he’s a Cy Young-caliber pitcher. Merril Kelly is a solid innings-eater. Behind him are two exciting young pitchers with the possibility of more in the minor leagues. While they did trade Daulton Varsho, they got one of the best young catchers in the sport, and a talented corner outfielder in Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Corbin Carroll is as “can’t miss” of a prospect that you’ll find, displaying his 80-grade speed with a .500 SLG in a short sample last year. Hot take: this team finishes with more wins than the Rangers.
Atlanta Braves: 94.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
One of baseball’s best teams last season is just as good as they were last year. The Braves won 101 games with a better run differential than their rival 101 win New York Mets. Ronald Acuna Jr. is key after losing Dansby Swanson. He was recovering from a torn ACL, and his ground-ball rate spiked. If healthy, we should see him return to MVP form. The return of Mike Soroka has me salivating over this rotation, but the bullpen might be even better. If Vaughn Grissom is half the player Swanson was last year, we should see this team surpass 100 wins once again.
Chicago Cubs: 78 Wins (Lean: Under)
The Cubs will be better, but I’m not sure they are five wins better than last year. They had a slightly better run differential than the 69-win Marlins last season. They got better by adding Dansby Swanson and Jameson Taillon, but they are still a few years away from being a contender. This is a lofty projection, and I have a feeling it will be a popular over. While they did make nice additions, losing Willson Contreras will be a significant loss. This team is winning 75 games, so I see plenty of value in the under.
Cincinnati Reds: 64.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
The Reds won’t shock the world this year, but they should win over 64 games. This team finished with 62 wins last year but had a better run differential than the 65-win Royals. The rotation is young, but it has loads of potential. Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo have both flashed ace stuff. Graham Ashcraft has much better stuff than last season’s 4.89 ERA would indicate. Jonathan India was banged up for a chunk of the 2022 season, but he should be back to his old self. Tyler Stephenson is one of the best catchers in baseball, and Spencer Steer is my dark-horse Rookie of the Year candidate. I have the Reds finishing with 67 wins.
Colorado Rockies: 68.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
This team has zero direction, and I’m unsure what to do with them. They had this exact line last season, I bet the over, and I’m still mad at myself. This team didn’t add any impactful free agents, but they have Ezequiel Tovar. He’s a fascinating young shortstop prospect who’s projected to lead the Rockies in WAR next season, according to FanGraphs. I will not be betting on the over or under; I’ll just let this team have their fun without me.
Los Angeles Dodgers: 96.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
My biggest bet of the preseason was the Dodgers over 97.5 wins last season. They lost Walker Buehler, but it didn’t matter. This team is a regular-season juggernaut that always finds its way to 100 wins. They’ve averaged 108.5 wins over the last two seasons, and I see no reason they can’t reach the 100-win plateau again. This team isn’t as loaded as previous years, but they have as much depth as anyone. They always make aggressive deadline acquisitions backed by a loaded farm system. This team should once again win the National League West and soar over 96 wins.
Miami Marlins: 72.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
Sandy Alcantara won the National League CY Young unanimously, and they still won 68 games. It’s the same story for the 2023 Marlins. They have plenty of talented starting pitchers but no real semblance of an offense. Adding Jean Segura was a satisfying move, but the lineup remains bleak. The Marlins failed to address the offense or bullpen in the offseason. They won’t finish last because the Nationals are even worse, but this team hasn’t improved enough to garner a five-win increase from last season. I have them winning 69 games.
Milwaukee Brewers: 84.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
This line feels exactly right. I have the Brewers winning 84 games after winning 86 in 2022. They’ve traded off valuable contributors in Hunter Renfroe and Kolten Wong, and the direction appears confusing. Without Josh Hader, the bullpen isn’t as strong as it once was, but Devin Williams is still as good as anyone. Factor in an elite rotation, and we are still looking at a solid team. I have this team winning 84 games; I won’t be making a play on them.
New York Mets: 96.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
No Carlos Correa, no problem. This team is still incredibly balanced, with stars all over the roster. They lost key pieces but added new ones. Losing Jacob deGrom is tough, but replacing him with Justin Verlander weathers the storm. The rotation is fantastic, the bullpen is a top-10 unit, and the offense is closer to the top five. While the catching position is up-in-the-air, top prospect Francisco Alvarez should give Mets’ fans a glimpse of a bright future. This team should win between 98-100 games.
Philadelphia Phillies: 88.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
Another line that feels spot on. The only reason I lean towards the under is my gambling brain. This team just made a miraculous run to the World Series, and now they have a line under 90 wins. My heart says to take the over, but my brain thinks the under is the right play. Adding Trea Turner and Taijuan Walker should help this team immediately, but they still have holes that often are exposed in the regular season in addition to Bryce Harper being out for at least the first half. The lack of defense concerns me, and an injury to either Zach Wheeler or Aaron Nola could knock this team off the rails. I originally had this number at 92 wins, but I may be off here with how suspiciously low the line is.
Pittsburgh Pirates: 62.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
Another rock-solid line. I have this team winning 62 games, with no improvement from 2023. The future looks bright in Pittsburgh, but they are still a few years away from competing. If star center fielder Bryan Reynolds is traded, the Pirates are in trouble in 2023. He’s the best player on the team, and without him, the season appears lost. Outside of a few nice players, this roster looks one of the weakest in Major League Baseball.
San Diego Padres: 93.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
The third-straight rock-solid line. I always like to write down my predictions for each team before looking at the line, and I have this team at 93 wins. They could easily go over if everything goes right. Fernando Tatis Jr will return after a month or so and could hit the ground running. Manny Machado puts up another MVP season and Juan Soto returns to doing Juan Soto things. Similar to the Phillies, this team is star-studded at the top, but I still have concerns over a full 162-game schedule. They are loaded at the top, but the lack of depth is troubling. Look for them to make a deep playoff run after a relatively quiet regular season.
San Francisco Giants: 78.5 Wins (Lean: Over)
I think this is an overreaction. They lost out on Carlos Correa and Aaron Judge, but they added a litany of solid regulars. Ross Stripling, Michael Conforto, Mitch Haniger, and Sean Manaea are good veterans. Retaining Joc Pederson allows him to bet on himself, and I’m excited to see what he delivers after a great 2022 season. They won 81 games last year with a positive run differential; I see no reason for a four-win drop-off. I have this team winning 80 games next year.
St. Louis Cardinals: 89.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
My gambling brain is lighting up again. This team won 93 games last season…what’s with this line? The offense had two top-three MVP candidates, and they added Willson Contreras. Contreras is not only a good player, but it was the exact position the Cardinals needed. My guess is the line is the way it is due to the lack of starting pitching. Adam Wainwright turns 42 in August, and Miles Mikolas turns 35. Jack Flaherty and Steven Matz combined for just 84 innings in 2022. If this team doesn’t address the pitching, they could be in for a rougher season than many people think.
Washington Nationals: 61.5 Wins (Lean: Under)
We are ending the article with what could be the worst team in baseball next year. This team showed some heart after dealing Juan Soto and Josh Bell. They finished the season 20-39 after dealing their superstar. That doesn’t sound like much, but it was nearly an identical winning percentage to the first 103 games with Soto and Bell. They have some exciting youngsters, most notably CJ Abrams, but I’m afraid this team is destined for last place in the NL East. I have this team winning 57 games next season.