Chicago Cubs and 2023 MLB standings predictions

Washington Nationals v Chicago Cubs
Washington Nationals v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
3 of 6
Jake Cronenworth
Division Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Four / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages

It will be a battle of the titans between Los Angeles and San Diego.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers: 99-63

The Dodgers did not have a huge offseason, but they did add a few pieces and their team is still beyond stacked. Returning to the lineup are stars OF Mookie Betts, 1B Freddie Freeman, C Will Smith, and 3B Max Muncy, They added former Boston slugger J.D. Martinez and IF Miguel Rojas to the lineup and added Noah Syndergaard to the pitching rotation. Future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw and last year's ERA title winner Julio Urías will top off the rotation, with fireballer Dustin May in the mix. This team is still capable of being the best team in the National League, and they can acquire more talent with their stacked farm system.

2. San Diego Padres: 93-69

Could this be the year for the Padres? The team is as stacked as ever going into this season. Superstar IF Manny Machado is in his prime, and the top three in the rotation being Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Blake Snell is very good on paper. Last year they added Juan Soto to the mix and will be getting SS Fernando Tatis Jr. back from PED suspension. This offseason they made a big splash for former Red Sox All-Star IF Xander Bogaerts, DH Nelson Cruz, veteran UT Matt Carpenter, and P Seth Lugo. The team is going all in, and striking right now while they are in their prime is the most ideal scenario for them. The biggest hope is that Tatis bounces back as does Soto, who struggled in his first few months as a Padre, and closer Josh Hader refinds his 2018-2021 form.

3. San Francisco Giants: 83-79

One can imagine how Giants fans felt when the Carlos Correa deal didn't go through, that would have been a really solid addition. They did add up adding OF/DH Michael Conforto via free agency, who is a bit of an unknown since he missed all of 2022, as well as OF Mitch Haniger and P Sean Manaea. The team is coming off a .500 season, and still features the likes of OF Mike Yastrzemski, SS Brandon Crawford, slugging OF Joc Pederson, and IF Wilmer Flores. They certainly do not have the slugging power that the Dodgers or Padres have. If Conforto can prove he can still slug, then that's a big plus for them. They have been known to maximize what they have and play good fundamental baseball resulting in success.

4. Arizona Diamondbacks: 78-84

It's not a team with a ton of firepower, but they have some solid pieces. Starting pitcher Zac Gallen has quietly been one of the better pitchers in the National League, and Merill Kelly is coming off a career season. It seems as if the old Madison Bumgarner is gone, as he has put up a 4.98 ERA and 5.04 FIP in 65 starts as a Diamondback. The biggest source of power will likely come from 1B Christian Walker, who is the only projected Dback to eclipse 20 homers in 2023. They did add veteran 3B Evan Longoria via free agency and got OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (who can hit 20 homers) and young catcher Gabriel Moreno in a trade from the Blue Jays. The franchise has one of the better farms in baseball so they seem to at least be moving in the right direction.

5. Colorado Rockies: 68-94

“I think we can play .500 ball," says Rockies owner Dick Monfort. Well, they lost 94 games in 2022 and they did not really get any better. Most of the lineup is returning, including our old friend Kris Bryant, 1B CJ Cron, 3B Ryan McMahon, 2B Brendan Rodgers, OF Randal Grichuk, and longtime CF Charlie Blackmon. Bryant spent much of last year injured, but will hopefully be healthier this year. Cron is coming off his first-ever All-Star season and has played very well in Colorado. The pitching is going to struggle for a number of reasons, their best starter is Germán Márquez who has solid stuff but sadly pitches in the thin Rocky Mountain air. If Bryant is healthy it can help their lineup, but do not expect a very good season in Colorado.