Opening Day for the 2023 MLB season is finally here! All 30 teams are set to compete Thursday, March 30, starting at 1:05 p.m. ET... but before first pitch, it's time to make our 2023 MLB season predictions.
Here, I'll break down my predictions for each National League division, including projected records, playoff seedings and more.
Predicted record: 101-61
Postseason? Yes (Division Winner, 1-seed in NL)
The Braves won the World Series in 2021 and will find themselves competing for another in 2023. Atlanta just seems to find a way every year — a well-run organization with a present and future to get excited about. They have proven they can survive without Freddie Freeman, and now, they must do the same after Dansby Swanson packed his bags to join the Cubs.
Thankfully, Rondal Acuna Jr. is fully-healthy, Ozzie Albies is back and so is Mike Soroka. Never sleep on this team. This season has a really good chance of ending with a National League pennant in Atlanta.
Predicted record: 97-65
Postseason? Yes (Wild Card #1, 5-seed in NL)
The Mets haven’t won the NL East since 2015, and that will continue to be the case in 2023. That's no knock on New York; this team is GOOD. Most of the talent comes by way of the richest owner in sports, Steve Cohen, who has an obsession with winning now that is universally understood throughout the organization.
The Mets are serious contenders in 2023, but they really haven't proven much in this new Steve Cohen era, aside from last year’s first-round postseason exit. The Mets will no doubt make the postseason again this year, even with the National League being more competitive. The trick will be avoiding the same disappointing end they saw in 2022.
Predicted record: 84-78
Postseason? Yes (Wild Card #3, 6-seed in NL)
Philly proved what they can do last fall after sneaking into the playoffs and making it to the World Series. They added Trea Turner (among others), but an injury to Rhys Hoskins will undoubtedly have a huge impact on what many believed was the best lineup in baseball. If the Phillies were in a different division, maybe their talent would lead to a better record, but I really think these teams in the NL East will beat up on each other all season.
Philly will make the postseason as the third and final NL Wild Card (once again) but will have to potentially get through teams like the Mets, Braves, Dodgers and Padres to reach the World Series again. Good luck.
Predicted record: 80-82
While the Marlins aren’t the best, they’re fun! But they also aren’t the worst either. After a rebuild that took longer than expected, when you look at Miami’s roster you notice two things: it ain’t that bad, and this team is young, with five players in their projected starting lineup born in 1996 or later. It takes time for young players to adjust to the major league level, so don’t expect the Marlins to compete for the division yet—but soon.
Predicted record: 67-95
The Nationals will be the worst team in the National League in 2023. It’s wild to me how this franchise did a complete 180 after winning the World Series in 2019, but when you win a World Series and then proceed to pay no one from that championship team, you can make a lot of money. That is exactly what Washington did.
This team once had Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Juan Soto, Max Scherzer and Anthony Rendon all on the roster at the same time. None of those players are still with the Nationals.
Predicted record: 91-71
Postseason? Yes (Division Winner, 3-seed in NL)
St. Louis will benefit from playing in what will likely be the worst division in baseball. Being able to pile up wins against the Reds, Pirates and even Cubs will allow the Cardinals to take this division with ease. They have two top-10 players in baseball right now (Nolan Arenado and reigning NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt) and a relief pitcher by the name of Ryan Helsely who throws like 104mph. With this being Adam Wainwright's last season, St. Louis will surely play for a championship but will gift Waino with a division title at the very least on the way there.
Predicted record: 84-78
Milwaukee has been sus the past couple of years. From trading an All-Star closer while firmly in the hunt for a playoff spot last year to pissing off former Cy Young award winner Corbin Burnes with arbitration drama—what are the Brewers cooking? Nothing that smells good, that’s for sure. They still have a talented roster, but I think the window is officially closing in Milwaukee.
Predicted record: 78-84
Don’t sleep on the Cubs! While 2022 didn’t bring a ton of W’s to Wrigley, it did show the Cubs have something and gave fans something to get excited about. The post-Anthony Rizzo-Kris Bryant-Javy Baez era in Chicago has been absolutely brutal but this team is starting to turn a corner and the addition of Dansby Swanson is speeding up the process.
Predicted record: 71-91
Pirates fans! Get excited! No not because you’re going to compete in 2023. But because you finally have a young core to build a future around! This season will be full of growing pains for Pittsburgh, but that experience makes this foundation of players better and closer. If the Pirates can avoid finishing in last place in the NL Central for the fifth consecutive year, it’ll be a reason to celebrate.
Predicted record: 68-94
The Reds were on the verge of building something just four short years ago! I know 2020 was a shortened season with expanded playoffs, but the Reds were one of those teams in the playoffs! Fast forward to 2023 and this organization looks depressing. The Reds will compete this year… with the Nationals for the title of worst team in the National League.
Predicted record: 93-69
Postseason? Yes (Division Winner, 2-seed in NL)
On paper, this is a super team. I don’t care what anyone says. You have a lineup with Manny Machado (former MVP runner-up), Juan Soto (former MVP runner-up), Fernando Tatis Jr. (former MVP finalist), and Xander Bogaerts who has finished in the top-10 MVP voting twice in his career. After sending the Dodgers packing in last year’s postseason, San Diego looks like a team ready to take the next step and take over the NL West for years to come.
Predicted record: 89-73
Postseason? Yes (Wild Card #2, 4-seed in NL)
While the Dodgers have won the NL West 9 out of the last 10 seasons, it becomes 9 out of the last 11 after this season. This team is good, yes—but they are not nearly as good as they were last year and they were still bounced in the second round of the playoffs. They lost Trea Turner and replaced him with Gavin Lux who tore his ACL in Spring Training. They won’t have Walker Beuhler all season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. They even lost some guys like Justin Turner, Tyler Anderson and Cody Bellinger to free agency.
The Dodgers will take a step backward in 2023, as a lot of their younger guys (Dustin May, Miguel Vargas) will get a chance to play.
Projected record: 83-79
What an L of an offseason for baseball in the Bay. The Giants missed out on Aaron Judge (they really wanted him!) and then had a DISASTER of a signing and then unsigning of Carlos Correa. BUT, they did add guys like Michael Conforto, Mitch Haniger and Sean Manaea. That’s enough to be competitive, but not enough to be taken seriously.
The Giants were clearly prioritizing their lineup this offseason and had the potential to really put themselves in the conversation of “Best in the National League.” Unfortunately for them, the baseball gods had other plans.
Projected record: 77-85
The Diamondbacks are an organization with a lot of difference-makers on the cusp of making their big league debut and becoming stars. Until then Arizona still has the star power of Zac Gallen and Ketel Marte to carry them into the media attention and national coverage they otherwise would not get. I’m excited to see what some of these prospects like Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas can do at the major league level, and excited to watch Zac Gallen put up another Cy Young-worthy season.
Projected record: 69-93
The Rockies are that baseball team that every baseball fan likes in addition to their favorite teams because well… the Rockies are harmless. After names like Kris Bryant, CJ Cron and Ryan McMahon, this team doesn’t have much. And oh yeah, the pitching in Colorado? They’ve just given up. Unfortunately, they also call a stadium that often plays like a little league field home, which makes trips to Colorado for opposing teams a calendar circler. The Rockies are so likable and so bad that the team’s own Twitter account often goes viral for making fun of the team. Only in Colorado.