The Tenth Inning
 The Tenth Inning Blog
Periodically, I will post new entries about current baseball topics.  The posts will typically be a mixture of commentary, history, facts, and stats.  Hopefully, they will provoke some  of your thoughts or emotions. Clicking on the word "Comments" associated with each post below will open a new dialog box to enter or retrieve any feedback.
2023 MLB Predictions


The 2023 MLB season kicks off on Thursday. A lot of the preseason banter has been about the rules changes that are being implemented. It should make for an interesting beginning of the season. I saw on social media that some fans want ticket price reductions because the games will now be 25-30 minutes shorter. Go figure.

I’m not forecasting a lot of change from last year’s playoff teams, although I’m picking a few new division-winners. The Central divisions of both leagues are the most in flux for picking a clear winner.

I didn’t foresee the Phillies making it to the World Series last season. I don’t think many people did. Will there be another “surprise” team in 2023?

Oh, yeah, I’d be remiss in not making my annual case for MLB’s Opening Day to be a national holiday. Go to a ballpark if you can. Or stay at home to watch a game or two. Have a great season!


AL East

The Blue Jays will finally win the division title after eight seasons in which the Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox were winners. All the pieces on offense and pitching will come together for them....The Yankees are getting old again and Judge won’t be able to carry them single-handedly, like he did in the second half of last year....The Rays don’t have any punch in their offense, while their ace Tyler Glasnow will start the season on the injured list.....The Orioles will improve again, although only slightly this season (after a whopping 31-game improvement last year), and hence are not yet ready to contend for a wild card berth..... Boston has lost its way since trading away Mookie Betts....The Yankees, who wish they had the Orioles’ youth, will claim a wild card spot.

AL Central

This might be the most uncertain division for predicting its winner. The Guardians, White Sox, and Twins will contend.....The Indians showed how to win by playing “small ball” last season. Will that work again in 2023?....The White Sox have the best pitching staff of the three and are hoping Andrew Vaughn will offset the loss of slugging first baseman Jose Abreu to free agency. Losing 77-year-old manager Tony La Russa to retirement is a good thing for the White Sox.....The Twins are counting on Carlos Correa to lead its offense again. (He returns to the Twins after he initially decided to accept free-agent offers from the Giants and Mets.) The White Sox will prevail as the division-winner.....Detroit and Kansas City are trying to rebuild, but with little talent.

AL West

The Astros will take the division again, but not by as much of a margin as last year. Their roster is very stable from last year’s World Series-winning team. Losing Verlander won’t be as costly as it may seem.....Seattle, led by last year’s Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez, will get a second-place finish again and a repeat wild card appearance.....The Angels are an enigma with the two best players in baseball today (Ohtani and Trout), but they can’t seem to supplement the two superstars enough to become winners.....Texas is poised to become a better-than-.500 club (their first since 2016) but is still a couple of years away from contending.


NL East

The Braves will slip past the Mets for first place, despite losing shortstop Dansby Swanson.....Not having Edwin Diaz for the entire season is a huge loss for the Mets. Verlander and Sherzer re-unite again, but keep in mind they were much younger when they joined forces to get the Tigers to the World Series in 2012. But the Mets will still claim a wild card berth.....Last year’s pennant-winning Phillies won’t make the playoffs this year. Trea Turner was a huge pickup by them, but Bryce Harper being out for much of the season and Rhys Hoskins getting injured this week will make a big difference. Pitching remains a concern.....Miami may actually pass up the Phillies in the standings.....Washington will still be trying to find its “lost ball in high weeds.”

NL Central

Like the AL Central, this division will be a toss-up. The Cardinals, Brewers, and a potentially upstart Cubs team will challenge for the division title.....The Cardinals lost sentimental favorites Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols to retirement, but that’s just fine. Good-bye and best wishes. New catcher Willson Contreras is an all-star. Jordan Walker may be the new Pujols. Goldschmidt and Arenado anchor the team offensively.....The Brewers have a pitching staff that makes them competitive and they have a bunch of grinders as position players who can sneak up on teams.....The Cubs are the really interesting team in this division. They picked up shortstop Swanson, who’s a winner. Also Cody Bellinger, Eric Hosmer, and Trey Mancini, who might appear to be washed up, but also could be the stabilizing force for the young team.....The Reds and Pirates are still the Reds and Pirates of last year. They haven’t figured out they have to spend their own money on players to win. They’ll always be bottom feeders.

NL West

The Dodgers won’t have the advantage of piling up wins against weak division opponents, since the schedules have been re-structured for 2023. Their traditional lineup depth has weakened. They will finish second (behind the Padres) in the division for only the second time in 11 years, but still make the playoffs as a wild card..... Everything finally comes together for the Padres, who have one of the most potent (and expensive) lineups in the game with Soto, Machado, Bogaerts, Tatis Jr., Croneworth and Nelson Cruz....Arizona, San Francisco, and Colorado will bring up the rear as usual.


American League: Blue Jays, White Sox, and Astros are division winners; Yankees, Mariners, Indians are wild cards.

National League: Braves, Cardinals, and Padres are division winners; Mets, Dodgers, and Cubs are wild cards.

World Series: Blue Jays over Braves


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