2023 MLB Season Week 1: Biggest Under and Overreactions

The MLB season has kicked off and we are one week in. It is nearly impossible to predict how the season will go after watching just one week’s worth of games, but I will give opinions on what I see. I will look at each division and provide a few takeaways and predictions for what we may see come October. I fully expect to look back at this article in October and ask myself “What was I thinking?” I have listed the divisions with teams in order of their place within that respected division. Now, let’s get into some overreactions and underreactions for the 2023 MLB season so far!

2023 MLB Season Overreactions: American League

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AL East: (Rays, Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles, Red Sox)

Biggest Overreaction: “This division runs through the Bronx,” which we hear year in and year out. The Rays have started white hot with a 6-0 record and the largest run differential in all of baseball at +31. They are getting it done at the plate and on the mound. If the Rays can maintain their composure when they hit the wall that every team does, they should be seeing the Yankees in their rearview come October.

Biggest Underreaction: The Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles have the #1 farm system heading into the 2023 season, which they have already benefited from. They had their top prospect Grayson Rodriguez make his first start on Wednesday against the Rangers. He went 5 innings with 5 K’s, 2 ER’s, and 4 hits. Along with all their other upcoming talents, the city is full of hope to see the Orioles at the top of the division within the next 1-2 seasons.

AL Central: (Guardians, Twins, White Sox, Tigers, Royals)

Biggest Overreaction: There are few things to have overreactions about in this division so far in the 2023 MLB season. I don’t see much changing in the current standings when the season is over.

Biggest Underreaction: The Guardians and Twins are both strong, veteran teams. I would not be surprised to see both teams with 88+ wins and making deep runs in the playoffs. Dare I say the Guardians have what it takes to make it to the World Series?

AL West: (Rangers, Angels, Astros, A’s, Mariners)

Biggest Overreaction: “Jacob DeGrom will lead the Rangers to their first division title since 2016.” I am weary to think that DeGrom will stay healthy since he hasn’t pitched 100+ innings in a season since 2019. I hope DeGrom can pitch 200+ innings this year, because watching him pitch is amazing as a baseball fan.

Biggest Underreaction: Luis Castillo and the Seattle Mariners. As a Reds fan, watching Luis Castillo has been the one bright spot in my fandom. Seeing him dominating in Seattle is no shock to me. The Mariners have been building momentum, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them making noise in the playoffs this season.

I can’t talk about the AL West and not bring up Shohei Ohtani. I don’t expect to see him in an Angels uniform after 2023. More than likely he will be in Dodger Blue or Yankee Pinstripes.

2023 MLB Season Overreactions: National League

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NL East: (Braves, Mets, Marlins, Phillies, Nationals)

Biggest Overreaction: “The Mets will win the division with ease.” While trying to buy their way to a championship with a hefty free agent bill around $500 million, it doesn’t guarantee anything. We rarely see teams succeed in baseball when they try to buy a team of superstars, and I don’t see this going differently. With a 3-4 record and being swept by the Brewers, things don’t look great.

Biggest Underreaction: The Braves are still dominant. Who doesn’t love watching Ronald Acuña Jr. play baseball? The Braves are just fundamentally sound with a veteran team and look to winning their second World Series in three seasons.

NL Central: (Brewers, Pirates, Reds, Cubs, Cardinals)

Biggest Overreaction: “The Pirates and Reds are good.” Check back with me in August, when these two teams are fighting for 4th place in the division. I see them both showing an improvement from last year, but give these teams about two more years and we will see them both fighting for 1st place. Both have top 10 farm systems. Once they develop or trade for veterans, both fan bases will have something to root for.

Biggest Underreaction: The Cardinals will win the division for the second season in a row. With a star-studded infield anchored by Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, they will have no issues scoring. They have something to prove after losing early in the playoffs to the Phillies.

NL West: (Dodgers, Padres, Diamondbacks, Giants, Rockies)

Biggest Overreaction: “Money will solve all problems in the Golden State.” With San Diego currently wheeling and dealing for the best lineup money can buy, it has not amounted to much besides a huge upcoming tax bill. The Dodgers will be okay because they still have a top-five farm system, but they are starting to feel the hangover of all their spending.

Biggest Underreaction: The Diamondbacks will make things interesting with a star-studded, third-ranked farm system and a Rookie of the Year front runner Corbin Carroll. I see them finishing third in the division, but fighting for second. Give the Diamondbacks another season or two, and it could feel like 2001 all over for them.

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