MLB

MLB Power Rankings: 2023 spring training is here, and Astros are still No. 1; Yankees slot in ahead of Mets

I’ve been doing the official Major League Baseball strength here at CBS Sports since spring 2012 training. Sometimes it’s nice to talk to some of you. Loyal readers who have been here for a long time are familiar with my pre-spring version of the rankings, in the sense that I usually spend most of my time here explaining that yes, last year’s champion is the defending champion, but also not the right to start spring with first place. We’ve had a few years (think two in the 2021 Dodgers and 2017 Cubs) where a champion actually started in first place, but it wasn’t based on some weird notion that champions should be dethroned. on the field.

However, as a general rule, our No. 1 in the first version of the strength rankings is not the defending champion, and this is a very simple reason: it’s a new year, and we’re judging how the team looks in the new year, not what happened. last year.

All of which is to say that this time I think the Astros have a chance to keep the top spot.

The most obvious downside for the team is that ace Justin Verlander, reigning AL Cy Young winner, is gone. In the regular season, he started 28 games for the Astros and won 20 of them. They will obviously miss him. How can any team not miss out on a player of Verlander’s caliber when he leaves?

They were also not What depends on him. The Astros were 86-48 when Verlander didn’t start, which is 162 games out of 104 wins. In other words, they were one of the best teams in baseball when he didn’t pitch. However, there is a residual indirect influence of aces. Think of those 175 pitches that weren’t relief pitchers. Think about how confident the team feels when the ace takes the mound, how much less stress there is on offense, defense, and the bullpen. It really adds up.

However, the Astros rotation looks just fine right now.

Framber Valdes is a first line player, now he is in his prime. He played over 200 innings last season and can count on that load again. Christian Javier is about to turn 26 and is poised to throw around 175 innings. He is a fine No. 2 with his high level of talent that we saw in his World Series start. which led to the know-hitter. Lance McCullers only started eight games last season with an injury, so his full-season return also helps mitigate the loss of Verlander.

This is the first three, and this is a very good group. Luis Garcia was 15-8 with a 3.72 ERA and 1.13 WHIP last season. Jose Urquidi was 13-8 with a 3.94 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. These are back-end starters. On many teams, they would be in the middle of the rotation. Top prospect Hunter Brown provides organizational depth.

It may sound silly, but it’s true: The Astros didn’t need to hold onto Verlander.

The bullpen is still loaded. The offense looks set to have a full season of Michael Brantley and added Jose Abreu. We have a better idea of ​​what they can expect from Jeremy Peña, who replaced Carlos Correa as a rookie last season.

I mean: A curse.

Are they better?

May be. Probably no. Starting spring training, they deserve to keep the first place.

Biggest driving forces

9

Rangers

7

Phyllis

Rk
Teams
Change
Rcrd

1

Astros

I will take Jordan Alvarez, who ended the season better than Aaron Judge in 2023.

106-56

2

Parents

This is their time. I said a few weeks ago that the Dodgers are still the “team to beat” in the NL West, and they are. In gambling betting, the Dodgers are the favorites. However, Padre is the best choice. They will be better.

1

89-73

3

Withstands

I call my (his?) shot. Ronald Acuña Jr. is the 2023 NL MVP.

2

101-61

4

yankees

The Yankees can’t be “underrated”. It’s just the nature of a franchise. I’ll say don’t sleep on their talent. This is a very strong team. However, the less we see of Josh Donaldson, the better.

2

99-63

5

Metz

This rotation is both dangerous and disturbing. However, if they’re all healthy and shooting when it’s playoff time, they could take those hands to a World Series title.

2

101-61

6

Dodgers

They still have Mookie and Freddie (and Will!), but the bottom end of that lineup can be pretty bad.

2

111-51

7

Blue Jays

They were more versatile this time around and last year they were talented enough to make the playoffs. It’s far from the only question, but a big one: can they fix Jose Berrios?

2

92-70

8

Rays

To be honest, I don’t think they are that good, but the last few years have taught me not to underestimate them.

4

86-76

9

Phyllis

Ranking them is an interesting task. On the one hand, they had just 87 wins last season, finishing third in their division and advancing to the playoffs with only six seeds in one game. Perhaps their best player could miss about half of the season too. On the other hand, they are definitely better in terms of staff and they have a few areas where internal improvements could be expected. I am intrigued.

7

87-75

10

Mariners

I love this pitching. A full year with Luis Castillo, another year under the belt of Logan Gilbert, George Kirby and Robbie Ray could do more. Oh, and it’s a bullpen 🔥.

2

90-72

eleven

Cardinals

The rotation is loaded with land mines. How will rookie Wilson Contreras handle them as he tries to take the place of a Cardinals legend?

93-69

12

Brewers

This rotation is great and the offense has enough potential for the Brewers to take NL Central again. They definitely can’t be counted. Sneaking into Shaun Murphy’s deal between the Braves and Aces to get William Contreras could be a coup.

1

86-76

13

guardians

I really thought Shane Bieber was going to be taken off the payroll during the offseason. Kudos to the front office for keeping it. I’m not sure if they’ll be division champions again, but I can guarantee that I won’t be such an idiot as to pick them last again.

3

92-70



Source: www.cbssports.com

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker