2023 MLB Preview: Playoffs, Awards, Miscellaneous Guesses

This is the “Nostradumbass” edition of my previews. If you’ve read my division by division breakdowns, you already know who I’ve picked to win the divisions. If not, they were:

AL East—Tampa Bay Rays

AL Central—Minnesota Twins

AL West—Houston Astros

NL East—Atlanta Braves

NL Central—St Louis Cardinals

NL West—San Diego Padres

Wild Cards, in no particular order:

AL—New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners

NL—New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers

World Series: San Diego Padres over Houston Astros

Originally, last month, I had the Astros over the Padres. Then Jose Altuve fractured his thumb and had. to have surgery. He will not begin baseball training until May at soonest, meaning he is out at least until June. At that point it is an unknown how well he will be able to hit until next season.

Awards:

MVP:

AL—Jose Ramirez. He’s had multiple MVP caliber seasons. This time he gets one. Of course Mike Trout can always earn #4, but unless he’s totally dominant, some voters will want to give it to someone new. Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani will have worthy seasons, but won’t win it. You’ll see why under my miscellaneous guesses below. I also considered Wander Franco and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.

NL—Juan Soto. I’ve tabbed him before. Eventually I will be right. I don’t pick back to back winners, so no Paul Goldschmidt. I considered Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, and Trea Turner.

Cy Young:

AL—Shane Bieber. Pundits everywhere are pegging Shohei Ohtani for this. Again, see below for why I say no.

NL—Corbin Burnes. Okay, he won in 2021 and was 2nd last year, so this is more obvious than most of my guesses, but there it is. Watch for Max Fried and Aaron Nola.

Rookie of the Year:

AL—Anthony Volpe. Picking him over fellow rookie shortstop Gunnar Henderson is basically just stating New York players get more attention than Baltimore players. Masataka Yoshida will get votes, but some voters will discount him due to seven years’ experience at the highest level of Japanese baseball, NPB.

NL—Corbin Collins. Because this is a year for people named Corbin to win awards.

Manager of the Year: Voters’ first go for skippers of teams that are perceived to overachieve. After that, they pick total dominance. With that in mind…

AL—Rocco Baldelli. If I’m right about the Twins taking the AL Central after finishing out of the playoffs last year, then this is your MoY winner.

NL—Bob Melvin. I’m picking all the same playoff teams as last year, so padres domination gives Melvin some hardware.

Miscellaneous Guesses:

Okay, prognosticators are really all WAGs (Wild A__ Guesses). Bear that in mind when reading these.

  1. Shohei Ohtani has been a popular pick to win the Cy Young and the MVP. I say no. Why. Well, many of those same pundits are picking the Angels to make the playoffs too, and I say no to that as well. In fact I say not even very close, that the Rangers will come closer to moving past them than they will to closing the gap with either the Mariners or Astros. Ohtani has not signed an extension and made it clear he wants to play on a winner, and the Angels are not one. He’s thus a free agent at the end of the season. If I’m right about the Angels season, and I am, then the Angels will have to make a tough decision in July. I am saying the Angels will want more for him than the one draft pick they would get for a turned-down qualifying offer after the season. Thus, he gets traded at the deadline to the Dodgers. Thus, he wins no postseason awards despite putting up ridiculous numbers. However, he will be happy gaining his first taste of the postseason.
  2. Aaron Judge will hit 40-45 home runs, slash .300/.400/.500…and talking heads will be opining about “what’s wrong with Aaron Judge.” Jose Ramirez will have virtually identical stats…and (as above) win the AL MVP.
  3. Average game length will be under 3 hours. Stolen bases will be up 30%. Strike outs will be down 10%. Runs and batting averages will be up 15%. All the rule changes will not make the game unrecognizable; no, instead they will successfully make the game more resemble baseball of the 1980s.

3 thoughts on “2023 MLB Preview: Playoffs, Awards, Miscellaneous Guesses

  1. Nice guesses raysfan.

    Just cracked open a Bell’s Amber Ale and turned on bankrupt Bally Sports Detroit. 15 minutes until 1st pitch and the Trop in Tampa looks pretty empty. Opening day in Detroit is a quasi official holiday. Let the suffering of another Tigger season begin.

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    1. If I were King, opening day would be on a Friday (and would be a holiday). Still, the Tiggers aren’t the Yankees, so Tropicana will not be close to full. At least there was no gimmicky “let’s have a couple games that count in Japan” a week prior to actual opening day. I do miss the tradition of having the first game be in Cincinnati…but that’s only because I grew up a Reds fan.

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  2. What a bummer! I was looking forward to a 1-2 MVP finish (or 2-1, depending) and a breakout pitcher. Career years all through the dugout and bullpen leading to a trashing of Houston, Boston, NYY, or anybody else who stands in the way. The reality may be that Sho tires early as the season goes on and on (as seen previously) and Mike Trout spends July on the IL with a middle finger injury. No help from the rotation: the Angels get short ended in 9-10 games as well as 1-2 games.

    But maybe (it’s a big maybe) Arte decides not to rip off the city of Anaheim, and fills the stadium by picking up a couple of good pitchers near the deadline. Trout comes back from his yearly injury and tears up the joint. SO scores the only runs winning three straight starts. Angels take the wildcard and win out for the second franchise title! Go Angels!

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