The 2023 MLB season is almost approaching, which means the postseason race has already begun. From February’s spring training sessions all the way through October’s World Series games, the teams are at war.
Every fan’s attention will soon shift from the last days of Spring Training to Opening Day, the first official game of the 2023 MLB season. Baseball’s return to our daily schedules will mark the start of the 162-game regular season.
As the new playoff structure is still in its infancy, generalizations regarding the yearly turnover rate cannot be made. Nonetheless, historical data suggests that at least three teams and usually five teams will be eliminated from the bracket each season. CBS Sports have ranked the top three teams that could fail to repeat the success.
3. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals strengthened their roster most by adding catcher Willson Contreras, who, let’s be honest, doesn’t have the same defensive reputation as Yadier Molina. It might have a domino effect on the rest of St. Louis’ pitching staff, especially the rotation, which is already precarious due to Adam Wainwright’s diminished velocity and Jack Flaherty’s physical volatility.
They won’t be able to bulk up by beating up on the weaker teams in the NL Central because of their well-matched schedule.
2. Cleveland Guardians
The Guardians’ success was largely predicated on the performance of younger or less-established players who surprised by doing better than expected. The issue that matters most for Cleveland is whether or if Steven Kwan, Oscar Gonzalez, Andrés Giménez, and the rest of the team can replicate their previous successes.
The Guardians spent big on first baseman Josh Bell and are hoping for a comeback season from catcher Mike Zunino in order to provide stability for their youthful core. Each has shown a degree of unpredictability, thus the results they produce remain to be seen.
1. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays’ management has shown interest in acquiring hitting talent this summer after the team finished in the bottom 10 in runs scored and in the middle of the pack in wRC+. After that, they didn’t bring in any new hitters from the outside, so any changes will have to come from the inside.
Tyler Glasnow is already out with an injury, while other important players like Wander Franco and Zach Eflin have faced durability issues of their own. Runs may be hard to come by once again in St. Petersburg, but Tampa Bay has some potential young players on the way, including infielder Curtis Mead and righty Taj Bradley.