January has arrived, along with a fresh slate for every major league baseball team. Everyone is undefeated and has the potential to have a successful season. Well, some more than others.
Several names, ranging from superstars to scrubs, have changed jerseys during the offseason. The annual transformation of rosters has tilted the scales, along with the expectations for each MLB team.
Below are our first MLB power rankings for the 2023 season. Throughout the year, we will highlight some of the biggest risers and fallers since our last update, followed by our full 2023 MLB Power Rankings (ranked from worst to first).
All MLB betting odds are current as of Jan. 3, from Caesars Sportsbook.
2023 MLB Power Rankings: Top 5
1. Houston Astros
As the “Nature Boy" Ric Flair once eloquently stated, “To be the man, you have to beat the man." The Houston Astros are the reigning World Series champions and have done nothing to lower expectations heading into the 2023 season.
The loss of AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander would be a severe blow to almost any team, but the Astros have one of the deepest pitching staffs in all of baseball and should be able to compensate for the void left by the future Hall of Famer.
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In fact, a starting five of Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr., Luis Garcia, and Jose Urquidy is expected to be among the best in baseball.
In addition, Houston signed former American League MVP Jose Abreu, who is slated to start at first base in the middle of a lethal Astros lineup.
2. Atlanta Braves
Due to their outstanding front office, the Altalant Braves are set to appear near the top of MLB Power Rankings for years to come if they stay healthy.
The Braves will look to run it back after a 101-win season on the back of a strong starting rotation led by Max Fried and Spencer Strider. Meanwhile, Atlanta acquired catcher Sean Murphy from the Oakland Athletics to join a star-studded lineup that includes NL Rookie of the Year Michael Harris, Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, and Austin Riley.
3. New York Yankees
The Bronx Bombers are once again near the top of the power rankings after re-signing superstar Aaron Judge and naming him team captain. However, the reason the Yankees are a threat to take a run at the championship is not their lineup, but their starting rotation.
Brian Cashman added left-handed Carlos Rodon to a starting five that already includes Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Nestor Cortes, and Frankie Montas.
4. New York Mets
The New York Mets have produced a historic offseason in terms of spending, raising the bar to heights never seen before in major league baseball. However, the end result looks to be an impressive roster that should be among the league favorites to win the World Series.
New York watched two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom leave town for the Texas Rangers and immediately replaced him with three-time Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander. The Mets also fortified their rotation by signing veteran southpaw Jose Quintana and Japanese superstar Kodai Senga.
Even after failing to secure Carlos Correa, the Mets will return with an impressive lineup that was fourth in the major leagues in runs scored last season, headlined by Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo, Starling Marte, and NL batting champion Jeff McNeil.
5. San Diego Padres
It may seem like a mistake to list the San Diego Padres above the Los Angeles Dodgers, but on paper, there is little argument to do otherwise.
San Diego added star shortstop Xander Bogaerts to a lineup that already includes Manny Manchado, Juan Soto, and Fernando Tatis Jr. You would be hard-pressed to find many teams with a more impressive top-four.