Ranking all 30 MLB teams by most pressure to win 2023 World Series: Big payrolls lead to bigger expectations
The 2023 Major League Baseball regular season is coming up. Spring practice games are fun in their own way, although the novelty wears off quickly and I think we’re all striving for meaningful MLB baseball. Justin Verlander in New York, Jacob de Grom in Texas, Trea Turner in Philadelphia, Xander Bogarts in San Diego… there are a lot of new faces this season.
As always, every MLB team will face different pressures in 2023. The pressure is not quantifiable, but you know it when you see it, and you definitely know when you feel it. Some teams feel pressure to win. Others feel pressured to simply make progress and get out of the recovery phase. And other teams are under completely different pressure.
With the 2023 season just around the corner, let’s rank the 30 MLB teams based on the amount of pressure they’re under to win this year’s World Series.
30. Washington Nationals
29. Oakland Athletics
28. Cincinnati Reds
27. Kansas City Royals
26. Colorado Rockies
25. Pittsburgh Pirates
24. Detroit Tigers
23. Miami Marlins
These teams are in the rankings because we have to count to 30. Expectations are very low this season (except maybe in the walls of Colorado headquarters) and no one really expects these clubs to play in the World Series. For them, a successful season involves steps towards rivalry, mainly through the inclusion of young players in the squad. Pressure to win the World Series? No, not at all. Pressure to make progress? Definitely.
22. Arizona Diamondbacks
21. Baltimore Orioles
Three teams have improved by at least 20 wins from 2021 to 2022, and two of them are the D-Backs and the O’s (the third-placed top in this ranking). They are two up-and-coming clubs with a lot of young talent who, unfortunately for them, are stuck in divisions with a few big spenders making it hard to compete. I would like to see these two teams do more in the offseason, especially the Orioles, but they are moving in the right direction. If all goes according to plan, these teams will rise in this ranking next year.
20. Tampa Bay Rays
The beams are on a separate level. They are judged on a curve – the Rays don’t have to do anything other than show up and spell their name correctly to be hailed as geniuses – and are touted as consistent winners despite two of the most successful seasons in franchise history. ended with the loss of the World Series. Tampa should win the title at some point. I don’t think the Races feel a lot of pressure to do it right now, but they should. “Look how smart we are!” the action lasts as long as the trophy box is empty.
19. Chicago Cubs
18. Chicago White Sox
It feels like the two Chicago teams are heading in opposite directions, doesn’t it? The White Sox were favorites for the AL Central last season and then went on to hit an 81-81 record. A disappointing offseason followed. The Cubs went 74-88 last year but won 40 of their last 71 games and had a very active offseason. I don’t think you can sign Dansby Swanson. seven year contract and not feel some pressure to win. As for the White Sox, they traded pick Chris Sale as part of a rebuild to get to where they are now, and the results were a bit disappointing. In any case, they should be higher.
17 Minnesota Twins
16. Milwaukee Brewers
15. Cleveland Guardians
We are now on teams that are being legally pressured to win the 2023 World Series. In the case of the Minnesota, they just invested heavily in Carlos Correa and his questionable ankle, and most of their core (Correa, Byron Buxton, Pablo Lopez, Jorge Polanco, etc.) is exactly in this peak age range ( 28–31). The division can be won, and we can’t forget that the Twins have an 18-game postseason losing streak. This is Derek Falvey’s seventh year in the front office, and it’s fair to wonder how hot it gets in his place. It was expected that Falvey & Co. by now, at least, will break a losing streak in the postseason.
The Brewers traded Josh Hader last year, and Willie Adams, Corbin Burns and Brandon Woodruff are all free agents in just two years. If owner Mark Attanasio doesn’t raise wages to levels they never had, Milwaukee won’t be able to keep everyone. Similarly, Shane Bieber is two years away from becoming a free agent for the Guardians, and Jose Ramirez is now in his 30s. The best chance for the Brewers and Guardians to win a World Series is with all these players on their roster and in their prime. How long it will be going on? The clock is ticking.
14. Texas Rangers
Give the Rangers credit, they’re trying their best to get back in the fight. Last offseason, they gave $500 million to Corey Seeger and Marcus Semien, and this offseason, they brought in Jacob de Grom, Nathan Eovaldi, and Andrew Heaney to boost the rotation. They try, which can’t be said for several teams in the league. Either way, you don’t spend that much money on leeway and expect to win, so yes, Texas is under pressure. DeGrom turns 35 this summer and will be the best pitcher in baseball (when he’s healthy), only for much longer.
13. Houston Astros
It was difficult to accommodate the Astros. On the one hand, they just won the World Series, so it goes without saying that there is less pressure this year to win the title. They have earned a grace period. On the other hand, Houston still has a prime age backbone built to win right now and I’m sure the front office wants to confirm talk of a dynasty is a little premature. There’s no reason to think the Astros won’t be among the top teams in baseball this summer, and when you’re that good, you should be thinking about a title. However, last year’s championship eased the tension a bit.
12. San Francisco Giants
God, what a terrible offseason for the Giants. They were rejected by Aaron Judge and they had Carlos Correa, he agreed to the contract, set up a press conference, and then flunked his physical. The end result was an 81-81 team that suffered many minor losses in the off-season (Michael Conforto, Mitch Haniger, Ross Stripling, etc.). Attendance has fallen by about a million fans over the past six years. IN What stadium? It’s incomprehensible. The Giants are definitely out of the World Series and not out, but there’s no doubt the pressure is starting to mount.
11. Seattle Mariners
The off-season drought is finally over. The Mariners made the playoffs last year for the first time since Ichiro’s rookie season, and their offseason has been more sensible than flashy. Julio Rodriguez arrived, Luis Castillo stayed, and the supporting cast is quite strong. Strong enough to beat the Astros in West Alabama? Eh, I’m not sure about that. However, he is strong enough to see Seattle enter the season with the World Series as their target. The surprise win that the Mariners sort of did last season is the easy part. Winning when you are expected to win is harder.
10. Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays had the talent to win the AL East over the past two years, but overall it was less than the sum of the parts. In an attempt to break through, they revised their line-up this winter and brought in some much-needed left bats (primarily Brandon Belt and Dalton Warshaw), as well as overhaul of the Rogers Center itself. With homegrown stars Beau Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Alec Manoa firmly established as main players, and some recent playoff upsets left them with a bad taste in their mouths, this group is under pressure to win. It is no longer about building the future.
9. Boston Red Sox
Ben Cherington was fired in his fourth year as CEO. Dave Dombrowski was fired in his fourth year as president of baseball operations. Chaim Bloom is now entering his fourth year as head of baseball and doesn’t have a World Series ring to hang his hat on like Cherington and Dombrowski. Perhaps Bloom is under more pressure than the Red Sox, although I see them as one and the same. The Red Sox Nation is deeply unhappy and there’s really only one way to win back the favor of a fan base so dedicated, and that’s the duck boat parade in November.
8. St. Louis Cardinals
Cardinals were hard to find. Franchise icons Yagye Molina and Albert Pujols retired after last season, while Adam Wainwright will retire after this season, and MVP nominees Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt are in their 30s. to win this year and they do, but they also have so much young talent that their windows are designed to stay open for a few more years. However, their best chance of winning is right now with Arenado and Goldschmidt performing like stars and others like Miles Mykolas and Jordan Montgomery still under the control of the team. The Cardinals want to give Wainwright another ring, while Arenado and Goldschmidt get their first rings. Another division title and an early exit from the postseason would have been completely unsatisfactory.
7. Atlanta Braves
As a recent World Series champion with nearly all of his core locked up for the long haul and at an affordable price, it can be concluded that the Braves should drop slightly in this ranking. Their window isn’t closing anytime soon, you know? Although this is a very dangerous way of looking at things. Just ask the Cubs 2017-20. Complacency is the enemy of progress, and every year it gets harder to win a championship. Even with…