The first weekend of the MLB season has come and gone, with most teams playing their first full series of 2023. It's the perfect time for time out of pocket overreactions about what we've seen so far — and which ones might be a bit believable.

The Rangers will win the AL West

Five days into the 2023 MLB season and the AL West looks like the best division in all of baseball. The Rangers opened up their season with a sweep of the reigning NL champion Phillies in which they scored a total of 29 runs over three games!!!

They sit atop a division that has three teams projected to finish above them (Astros, Mariners, Angels), and a hot start for the Rangers could last long enough to have Texas in contention later in the season than expected. A lineup that has the fourth-most runs scored in the league so far is deep with talent featuring Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Nate Lowe, Josh Jung, Adolis Garcia and more. Can’t forget about the additions of Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney to a pitching staff that already has all-star Martín Perez. Everything’s bigger in Texas—including this overreaction.  

Believe it?

As fun it would be to say yes, I don't think so. The Rangers are at best the third-best team in this division BUT they could sneak a wild card postseason birth and play their first playoff game since 2016. Bruce Bochy will certainly be a Manager of the Year candidate if that's the case. Now that is a little more believable.

Shohei Ohtani Will Win AL Cy Young Award, AL Hank Aaron Award, AND AL MVP

An overreaction? Nah. This is probably the most likely thing to happen on this list. Ohtani has already added a Hall of Fame-worthy list of individual accomplishments and accolades to his resume, but this one would take the cake.

For those unfamiliar — the Cy Young award in baseball goes to the best pitcher in each league, while the Hank Aaron award goes to the best hitter. MVP typically goes to the best player, but often tends to lean in favor of position players rather than pitchers. Good thing Ohtani is both.

There is no denying that the Japanese superstar is amongst the game’s best pitchers AND best hitters which makes this very possible. If he does win all three in 2023, I say induct him into the Hall of Fame immediately after, why wait until he retires? He has shown us everything and has nothing left to prove at that point. 

Believe it?

Yes. He's THAT good. I don't know how else to say it!

Ronald Acuna Jr. will have a 40/40 season and win NL MVP

Anticipating his first full healthy season since 2019 (excluding 60-game COVID season), Ronald Acuna Jr. has the potential to put up some NUMBERS in 2023. Easily one of the most dynamic players in the game, Acuña's lethal combination of speed and power puts him at the top of a list to accomplish something only four players in the history of the MLB have done — record a 40/40 season (40 home runs, 40 stolen bases).

If Acuña does it, he’s NL MVP. The MVP part isn't so much the overreaction. He might be the best player on a team that might be the best in the National League. I don’t care if it was only three games, anyone who watched the Braves this weekend knows how electric (and more importantly, healthy) Acuña looked at the plate, on the bases, and in the field. Give us that all season long. 

Believe it?

I'm only saying yes because a 40/40 season is one of the rarest things to see in baseball. So let's see some history be made!

Adley Rutschman will carry the Orioles into the playoffs

J.T. Realmuto who? Adley Rutschman had an opening day performance that has him in the record books, as he logged five hits, four RBI and a home run.

Three games in and I am prepared to say that Adley has made the leap and stands alone as the catcher any team should be willing to ditch their own for. If you couldn’t tell, I’m big on Adley and the O’s this year. The 25-year old is entering his second full season as the O’s catcher and the 2019 No. 1 pick is playing an integral part in turning the franchise around. The Orioles had a winning season last year after many projected them to be amongst baseball's worst teams. With most guys returning, the emergence of prospects like Gunnar Henderson and Grayson Rodriguez, and Rutschman going nuclear, Baltimore will make the postseason.

Believe it?

Heck yeah! The Orioles are a fun team to root for and if their young core players can take that next step and continue to perform at the MLB level, look out.

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will combine for 100+ home rruns

The Bronx was boppin' over the weekend after the Yankees took two out of three from the Giants and hit seven home runs — tied for the Major League lead. Both of these giants of human beings already have two long balls a piece. Judge went deep in his first at-bat of the season, while Stanton hit the second-furthest home run of his career on Sunday at 485 feet.

Judge is coming off of a 62-home run season and Stanton has hit as many as 59 in a single season before. So it’s definitely possible for them to clear 100! If you took the average height and weight of both Judge and Stanton you get 6-foot-6 and a half, 262 pounds... Watching these guys turn baseballs into souvenirs this weekend was fun, and I'm the furthest thing from a Yankees fan.

Believe it?

Duh. These two were made in a lab. Engineered to hit home runs.

Trayce Thompson will hit 20+ home runs

Trayce, Klay Thompson’s brother, has been on five different big league organizations over his seven-year career and has never hit more than 13 home runs in a season. But none of those years have gotten off to a start like this.

Thompson is leading the league in home runs after going deep not once, not twice but THREE times in the same game. Yes, you heard that correctly. He's tied for the MLB home run title (for now).

While some may consider this streak an outlier, let’s not forget that he hit a home run against team USA for Great Britain in the World Baseball Classic and swung a decently hot bat throughout that tournament. Although an extremely small and unreliable sample size, it seems Thompson may have figured something out at the plate which would make for a perfect time to overact.

Unfortunately, 20 dingers in an MLB season still ain’t moving the needle at a dinner table conversation when there’s a four-time NBA champ, five-time all-star sitting cross from you.

Believe it?

Ya know what, why not. We're Trayce Thompson fans this year. He is the more important Thompson brother this year. A 20-home run season would certainly catapult him into an everyday starting role for a team in the future. Something that you'd love to see happen for a guy who has only appeared in 299 games over seven seasons.

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