Which Division Winner From 2022 Has The Most Downside For 2023?

Image credit: Nolan Arenado (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

This is one of eight burning questions comprising Baseball America’s 2023 MLB Season Preview. To see the full preview, click here

Josh Norris—Astros. Losing Justin Verlander will understandably be painful. Even if Hunter Brown steps into the rotation and knocks everyone’s socks off, he is unlikely to fill the void left by Verlander’s departure to Queens. 

Carlos Collazo—Dodgers. You could probably make a compelling case for the Braves given the quality of competition in the division, but the Padres did a lot to get better and the Dodgers lost more 2022 production than any team in baseball as measured by WAR. It’s odd to not see the Dodgers among the top five in projections since they have pretty much lived there over the last decade, but here we are. 

Matt Eddy—Yankees. New York went 35-35 in the second half last season, appeared lifeless versus the Astros in the AL Championship Series and now returns largely the same team in 2023. Carlos Rodon is a nice rotation upgrade, Aaron Judge is all-world and rookie shortstop Oswald Peraza could inject energy, but otherwise this is a team that fell flat late in 2022 and is now a year older. 

Ben Badler—Cardinals. I don’t think there’s an easy pick for this category. The Cardinals won 93 games a year ago, but the underlying talent of the 2023 roster doesn’t look like a 90-win team. The good thing for them is the Brewers look like the only competition in the NL Central. 

Kyle Glaser—Guardians. The Guardians went 47-29 against AL Central teams last season and 45-41 against everyone else. While they have earned the benefit of the doubt, the new, balanced schedule and upgrades by the White Sox (manager) and Twins (pitching, bench) could make for a more challenging season in 2023.

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