Predicting the five MLB teams most likely to improve in 2023


It’s the time of year: Prediction systems for the 2023 MLB season have been released and baseball analysts are divulging their secret prophecies, so let’s dive into the five teams most likely to step up and possibly show up as playoff surprises. in 2023.

And yes, no matter how busy the top teams look right now, there will be one or two surprise teams in the postseason in October. When making predictions, I tend to focus too easily on the results of the previous year, although the logical part of my brain that studied these things understands that this will not happen. This is called the Law of Competitive Balance or the Plexiglas Principle: Teams that improve in one season tend to fall in the next, and vice versa.

It’s really just a fancy way of describing regression to the mean that applies to players as well. Aaron Judge probably won’t hit 62 home runs again. Jarred Kelenick is likely to hit better than .141. The Dodgers won’t win 111 games. Nationals – well, Nationals could lose again 107. Projection systems follow this model. As a result, while they will be more accurate in sum than someone who is just looking at things and making assumptions, they are also inherently more conservative than the actual results we might see.

For example, PECOTA’s latest Baseball Prospectus prediction shows that the Yankees are the top team with 96.9 wins. In 2022, five teams have surpassed this total number of wins, including four with at least 101 wins, three have surpassed that figure in 2021, and six in 2019, so unless there is a drastic change in the competitive balance of the league, we are likely , we will see at least a couple of teams with 100 wins in 2023.

At the same time, each season we usually get at least one losing team from the previous season that advances to the playoffs. There were three in 2022: the Mets went from 77 to 101 wins; Guardians increased from 80 to 92; and the Padres went from 79 to 89 (and that’s not counting the Orioles, who went from 52 to 83, one of the biggest single-season improvements in MLB history). The Mets and Padres weren’t necessarily big surprises as New York spent a lot of money on free agents and San Diego was a strong team in 2020 (although it improved despite the loss of Fernando Tatis Jr all season). There were four such playoff teams in 2021, one in 2019 (we’ll skip 2020), two in 2018 and three in 2017. The last season without a losing team in the year before reaching the playoffs was in 2016.

Okay, let’s pick five teams under .500 that could break through in 2023…


Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker