Chicago Cubs and 2023 MLB standings predictions
The National League East is going to be an epic battle.
1. New York Mets: 95-67
Steve Cohen has no budget, and he showed that this offseason. Even though the Carlos Correa deal did not go through, they still added SP Justin Verlander, SP Kodai Senga, SP Jose Quintana, RP David Robertson, C Omar Narváez, and OF Tommy Pham. The Mets also secured OF Brandon Nimmo on an 8-year deal. The lineup features the star power of SS Francisco Lindor, 1B Pete Alonso, and Jeff McNeil. The top of the rotation featuring future Hall of Famers Verlander and Max Scherzer is going to be a heck of a combo, even after losing Jacob deGrom. They also have one of the very best closers in Edwin Diaz. This is a very good team on paper, the Mets just hope the bad luck bug doesn't bite again.
2. Atlanta Braves: 93 - 69
They lost Dansby Swanson, but the lineup is still very good. Star OF Ronald Acuña Jr. will lead the way with 2B Ozzie Albies, 1B Matt Olson, and 3B Austin Riley. The middle of the infield now features the young, promising Vaughn Grissom, who impressed in his first 41 MLB games last year. GM Alex Anthopoulos made a big trade this offseason to acquire All-Star C Sean Murphy from the A's. The rotation will be headed off by All-Star Max Fried, 24-year-old Spencer Strider who was outstanding last year, underrated starter Kyle Wright and veteran Charlie Morton. These top three teams will be fun to watch duke it out in 2023. Head-to-head records could determine the standing order.
3. Philadelphia Phillies: 91-71
The defending National League champs have one of the most exciting lineups in baseball. Star OF/DH Bryce Harper and his slugging crew of OF/DH Kyle Schwarber, C J.T. Realmuto, OF Nick Castellanos, and 1B Rhys Hoskins will now feature All-Star SS Trea Turner. In terms of scoring runs, this team should thrive. If starting pitchers Zach Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and Taijuan Walker can pitch to their better levels, it's a tough team to beat. One knock on them is, like last year, they won't be known for defense. Luckily for them, they can slug their way to many victories. Just imagine if Castellanos can bounce back from a "meh" season in 2022 and pair that with everyone else playing to the back of their cards.
4. Miami Marlins; 76-86
Miami features some really nice arms on their staff, including reigning Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara as their ace. 25-year-old Jesús Luzardo is coming off a very good year as well. The Fish added some veterans this offseason including P Johnny Cueto and IF Jean Segura. Their biggest add was acquiring American League batting champ IF Luis Arraez in a trade with the Twins for P Pablo Lopez. Arraez joins a lineup with the electric OF Jazz Chisholm Jr., 2021 World Series hero Jorge Soler, and veteran Avisail Garcia. The team has some good pieces but lacks the star power of the three teams ahead of them.
5. Washington Nationals: 62-100
The team that won the World Series in 2019 is all but gone. Now the Nats are in full rebuild mode. The franchise has built up its farm system a bit, especially with the trade of star OF Juan Soto to the Padres last year. The current projected roster has a few notable young pieces, including P Cade Cavalli, P MacKenzie Gore, and SS CJ Abrams, but much of it contains veteran fillers. Veteran bats include OF Corey Dickerson, IF Jeimer Candelario, 1B Dominic Smith, P Trevor Williams, and P Patrick Corbin. Unless the unthinkable happens, they should be sellers at the deadline and more prospects can get some playing time. They will likely be at the bottom of the National League.