MLB Power Rankings: Astros The Team to Beat

By Mark Fordham
 |  7 mins
8E3DFB6F-93D4-478C-99D9-112C2BB6C04E  Fact Checked by Sean O'Neill
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MLB Power Rankings: Astros The Team to Beat

With Major League Baseball spring training set to commence, it’s time to look at where teams stand before the 2023 MLB season kicks off. It’d be very easy to rank sides based on how they fared in the playoffs last season, but some teams have strengthened via free agency or rookies who could be ready for the pros, and others have lost some key players since last season. Let’s look at all that and more in these pre-spring training power rankings, which could help influence your preseason MLB picks on MLB betting sites

30. Cincinnati Reds 

The last thing fans want to hear about is a transitional season, and the Reds have had too many of those in the recent past. They have some exciting players in Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft, Jose Barrero, and Elly De La Cruz. Their progression will be something to keep an eye out for.

29. Washington Nationals 

There isn’t a lot to say about the Nationals that wasn’t said last year. They’ve added Dominic Smith, Jeimer Candelario and Corey Dickerson – they are decent pros, but they aren’t going to get the Nationals out of this rut. 

28. Oakland Athletics

The days when the Athletics could overperform are behind them. Everyone has caught up to their methods. They’ve added Aledmys Diaz and Jace Peterson, but they aren’t going to move the needle. It looks like it’s going to be a long season. 

27. Detroit Tigers

The Tigers have changed the dimensions of Comerica Park, which should help them in the long run, but it’s unlikely to have a big effect immediately. It’s a sign of progress, but the fans will want more. 

26. Colorado Rockies

Kris Bryant has committed to a long-term contract, but the Rockies will need more if they want to become a playoff contender. Bryant is a decent player, but he’s not a miracle worker. 

25. Kansas City Royals

Signing a pair of veteran arms in Jordan Lyles and Ryan Yarbrough has never really been a sign of progress, and the Kansas City Royals have little to no rotation options. It’s hard to figure out what their plan is. 

24. Pittsburgh Pirates

Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Santana would have been exciting signings a decade ago, but the Pirates need some new blood. They can’t depend on these old pros in 2023. 

23. Miami Marlins

The Marlins have got a new manager in Skip Schumaker. There will be some excitement around the place, but he’ll take a while to get his methods across to the whole team, so it may be best to fade them on betting sites this season.

22. San Francisco Giants

The Giants don’t look like a team with any sense of direction. They spent so much time trying to capture Aaron Judge, but that hasn’t worked out. Planning your offseason around one player seems like a poor strategy and sums up the Giant’s issues in recent seasons. 

21. Chicago Cubs

The Cubs might just be on the way up. The signing of Dansby Swanson is a show of ambition. He won’t be able to turn things around immediately, but it’s a step in the right direction, and they may be fancied to make the playoffs when people make their picks on betting apps.

20. Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks are a decent outfit but in one of the toughest divisions in the NL West. It’ll be fascinating to see if youngsters Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, Geraldo Perdomo and Gabriel Moreno are up for the challenge. 

19. Boston Red Sox

Making the playoffs will never be enough for the Red Sox, but that’ll be seen as a positive this season. They are a team in transition now, and they’ll just have to live with that this season. 

18. Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles took a bit of a risk by looking past the free-agent market. Kyle Gibson and Adam Frazier will stabilize them, but we’re not sure they’ll be enough to take them to the playoffs. 

17. Texas Rangers

The Rangers have a new front office, but the talent on the pitch isn’t there yet. Their farm system will produce talent in a year or two, but they’ll most likely fall short of a playoff spot this season. 

16. Los Angeles Angels

In Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, they’ve got two of the most talented players in the MLB who will always be among the favorites for the MVP award with US betting apps, but they can’t lift a team on their own. A potential change in ownership might see the Angels live up to their potential, but it looks like a season too soon for that, which would likely be a season too late to keep Ohtani next year.  

15. Chicago White Sox

The players they’ve brought in have the same issues that the players they let go have. White Sox fans will hope that Lucas Giolito, Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada and Yasmani Grandal have more to them than they showed last season. 

14. Minnesota Twins

The Twins have a lot of game-changers, but they need a few players who can perform consistently. Kenta Maeda, Chris Paddack, Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff are exciting talents, but at least two need to be up for it game after game for the Twins to compete this season. 

13. Milwaukee Brewers

Jesse Winker is a better player than the one we saw last season, when he had a batting average of just .219, but he has to prove it now. Winker is just 29 and has time on his hands. He’ll also be a bit more settled now. The Brewers will have a good season if he can return to his best. 

12. Cleveland Guardians

The Guardians have a solid team but didn’t make many changes in the winter. They’ve added first baseman Josh Bell in a position of need, but we’re not sure this will be enough to push them closer to the elite. They’re still a decent side and will be hopeful of making it to the playoffs. 

11. St. Louis Cardinals

Willson Contreras is a big upgrade on Yadier Molina at catcher. This side already has the services of Paul Goldschmidt, and Nolan Arenado. The Cardinals could easily surprise us because they certainly have the talent but may need to gather momentum to go deep in the playoffs if their preseason odds on MLB betting apps are to be believed.

10. Seattle Mariners

The Mariners have been quite busy in the winter, and we’ll have to wait and see if the additions of A.J. Pollock, Teoscar Hernandez and Kolten Wong can propel them to the postseason again. Their primary objective should be qualifying for the playoffs – anything else will be a bonus. 

9. Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays will need Wander Franco to play many more games than he managed last season. This is a team with a low payroll, which is why the stars have to perform, and Franco was a significant investment when he signed an 11-year $182 million contract in 2021. When he’s healthy, the Rays can go toe-to-toe with the best of them and could be a dark-horse contender for the World Series on USA sports betting sites this season. 

8. Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies made a surprise run to the World Series last season, but we doubt they’ll repeat the feat. Playing in the same division as the Mets and Braves meant the Phillies got overlooked last season, but they’re a strong team. They’ll also be without Bryce Harper for a few months after Tommy John surgery, which isn’t great news. The addition of Trea Turner should help while Harper’s out. 

7. Toronto Blue Jays

Although they finished fourth in runs scored last season, it felt like the Blue Jays underwhelmed. They’ve made some clever additions to the roster this time by adding Brandon Belt and Kevin Kiermaier to the lineup. They’ve added some lefties to the lineup because teams attacked them with right-handed pitchers. The team should have more balance, but we won’t know until they enter the diamond. 

6. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are used to being a lot higher on power rankings, but losing Justin and Trea Turner is a big blow, even though they’ve still got stars like Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, along with the talents of Will Smith, Max Muncy and J.D. Martinez.  

There are a few question marks surrounding the Dodgers. Muncy had a season to forget last time out, and Gavin Lux is yet to explode. We can’t put them any higher without getting an answer to all these questions and what the pitching staff will look like.

5. New York Mets

The Mets have been one of the busiest teams in the winter. They had a strong team last season and have added Justin Verlander to the roster. They’ll also be heading into this season with the highest payroll in MLB history. Some might question signing hardened players like Verlander and Max Scherzer, but there’s no doubting their previous quality.

4. San Diego Padres

Before making big claims about the Padres, we’ll have to see how things play out with Fernando Tatis Jr. following his wrist injury and PED-related suspension. They’re a team overflowing with talent on offense but underperformed based on expectations last season. 

If everyone in the lineup plays to the best of their ability, like Manny Machado, there’s no reason why they can’t win it all. They’ve got the star power to knock any team off their perch with the likes of Juan Soto, Xander Bogaerts and Jake Cronenworth, but matches aren’t played on paper. It’s time to live up to the hype. 

3. New York Yankees

The Yankees’ spectacular collapse last season shouldn’t detract from the frightening talent on their roster. They still have Aaron Judge, and they won the AL East which is no easy task. They’ve also got Carlos Rodon in the pitching department. If they can get some consistency out of Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres and Giancarlo Stanton, there’s no reason why they can’t win the World Series. 

2. Atlanta Braves

The 2021 MLB champions have strengthened in the offseason with the addition of Sean Murphy. They should be able to compensate for the loss of Dansby Swanson by getting Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuña Jr., Matt Olson, Michael Harris and Vaughn Grissom to gel together. Many of their stars weren’t available for most of last season, but that shouldn’t be a problem this time. The Braves should top the runs scored stat this season, but they’ll want more than just that.

1. Houston Astros

There’s no hard and fast rule that a defending champion should top the power rankings, but the Astros are hard to look past. Most teams would find it hard to stay around the top after losing a pitcher like nine-time All-Star Justin Verlander, but the Astros aren’t one of those teams. They had an 86-48 record without Verlander last season, but it will be fascinating to find out if there’s a bit of fragility in the squad after his departure.

Knowing that you have a pitcher of that caliber in your pitching staff can have a calming effect on the entire team. They’ve also added Jose Abreu at first base and should have Michael Brantley available for most of the season. They also still have plenty of power in their MLB lineup with the likes of Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez. They remain the team to beat, and they can be backed at +600 with some sportsbooks.

Mark spent over a decade as a sports reporter and editor with and Bleacher Report. He is now a Content Editor at covering all manner of sports from the Premier League and cricket to the NBA and NFL.

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