Predictions for 2023 World Series

This September sees what will be the 118th playing of baseball’s World Series. First competed for back in 1903, when the Boston Americans (as the Red Sox were then called) beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3.

A lot has changed since then, including the fact that the fight for the title is now played over seven games. But it still remains the ultimate prize in the sport and one which every MLB team would dearly love to win.

But sadly there can only be one winner of the Commissioner’s Trophy each season and this year it looks to be hotly contested with at least five teams in serious contention for the prize.

Atlanta Braves

As we head towards the end of the season and look at the World Series odds it’s the Atlanta Braves who are out in a clear lead.

For some time they have been sitting at the head of the National League East. They have also enjoyed the highest winning percentage of all the teams in the league at well over 0.60 and approaching 0.65.

Among the stellar line-up of players who have put them there are pitcher Max Fried and batters, and home run experts, Ronald Acuna Jr., Austin Riley and Matt Olsen. If the Braves do pull it off it will be their second victory in three years, having defeated the last year’s winners, the Houston Astros, in 2021.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Over in the National League West it’s been the LA Dodgers who have been dominant all season long and stand some way ahead of their nearest rivals the San Francisco Giants.

They have featured heavily in the World Series over the last few years winning in 2020 and losing in 2017 and 2018.

This season’s team has seen strong performances from batters like Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts whose 27 home runs by early August had been matched by Max Muncy. But their final push is going to depend heavily on the return of star pitcher Clayton Kershaw from injury with a shoulder that can see him through to the end of the season.

Texas Rangers

The Rangers have also been plagued by late-season injuries with Jonah Heim, Corey Seager and Nathan Eovadi all sidelined. And, no sooner had Seager regained fitness, the rookie Josh Jung picked up a fractured thumb.

Nevertheless, they’ve managed to stay at the top of the American League West with the Astros hot on their tails and a win percentage of a fraction over 0.59.

All eyes are certain to be on Max Scherzer who can be as inconsistent a pitcher as you could ever find. But if he hits his best form just when it’s needed most then the Commissioner’s Trophy could well headed down Texas way this Fall.

Houston Astros

It would be a bold person who would dismiss the chances of the Astros making it two years in a row. They’ve been involved in the World Series in four of the last six seasons and there’s no reason why they can’t do it again.

Like all the other contenders, they have a very strong line-up of players that they bolstered still further with the return of Justin Verlander from the Mets. At the age of 40 he may well be approaching veteran status. But sometimes it’s experiences that separates the winners from the also-rans.

Alongside Verlander other key members of the team who are more than good enough to propel them to the finals are Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez and Hunter Brown.

Tampa Bay Rays

For a slightly longer shot it could well be worth taking a look at the Tampa Bay Rays. Admittedly they’ve not featured in the World Series since way back in 2008 when they were beaten 4-1 by the Philadelphia Phillies but signs this season have been promising.

Second only to the Orioles in the American League East, their win percentage is a very respectable 0.59.

They do, however, have significant injury concerns with Shane McClanahan Drew Rasmussen, Jeffrey Springs and Shane Baz all out of action at this crucial pert of the season. Overcome these and they could also be in the running.

How about the MVP?

When it comes to the season’s MVP it’s going to be more a question of who’s not going to win it.

The Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. is so far out in front of the field that it seems like a foregone conclusion. Very few batters have achieved to the same levels of performance as he has this season and certainly none of them are still playing today.

Plus, if he can also see the Braves to a World Series victory then this will be a season that he, and the fans will never be able to forget.