As we head into the final weeks of the 2023 MLB regular season, we can begin to assess the bigger picture for each team and how well they’re doing relative to the preseason predictions: Did they do what we thought they’d do? Do they exceed even our highest hopes? Or are they Mets and Yankees?
On this week’s episode of The Bandwagon, we go team by team and decide if each MLB squad performed below or above the level we expected them to do this year. For more thoughts and discussion on each section, check out the episode below.
New York Yankees: below
On Opening Day, the Yankees’ playoff odds were 81.2%. That number has now fallen to 0.5%. Really bad Yankees.
Boston Red Sox: At
Sox okay but frustrating. They’re really good when they play against the Yankees, the only team worse than them in the division.
Toronto Blue Jays: below
The Jays fall short of everyone’s expectations, unless you expect them to do what they’ve done in the last couple of years, which falls short of expectations. Something happened with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and this team has a great way of being a little worse than it looks like it should be.
Tampa Bay Rays: formerly above, now at
They were above expectations, but now that the Orioles are ahead of them, it’s hard to say the Rays are above expectations. The team now has a lot of injury problems and Wanderer Franco, but in terms of how the season went overall, this is still a win.
Baltimore Orioles: above
Wow, it’s so good! Nice job, Orioles. Bad job, team owner John Angelos.
Kansas City Royals: At
The royals are pretty badass, as might be expected. But Bobby Witt Jr. It was amazing and seems to be a cornerstone of the franchise.
Chicago White Sox: below
Not only is the team bad, but the feelings are horrible as well. AL Central as a whole is really terrible. Of the five teams, only the White Sox ranked higher than 15 on the Opening Day payroll. They spend more than other teams, but they’re still pretty bad.
Detroit Tigers: AT
The Tigers are bad too, but Tigers fans should keep watching the last few weeks for Miguel Cabrera and for the guys: Spencer Turkelson, Riley Green, Parker Meadows and Kerry Carpenter. Just don’t get your hopes up about Javy Baez.
Cleveland Guardians: At
They’ve had the same problem forever: They have 12 good pitchers and nobody can hit, except Jose Ramirez. And they try to solve that by not spending money.
Minnesota Twins: In — or is it below?
The Twins did nothing by the deadline, and their postseason odds went up because everyone else just got worse. They live up to expectations but in a strange and disappointing way.
Oakland A: At
They are as bad as expected.
Los Angeles Angels: below
Angels fall far short of expectations. They were supposed to be good, but they aren’t. Then again, it’s exactly what the Angels do every year. However, the post-trade deadline period was brutal.
Seattle Mariners: At or above
They weren’t great the first three months, but they’ve been on a total tear since July 1 and are currently on a seven-game winning streak. And Julio Rodriguez did it all.
Houston Astros: At or Less
The Astros are the ultimate leader of baseball. They only meet expectations if they win a division by a mile. They’ve been really good since they got healthy and might still win the World Series, but they’re probably just disappointed with this season so far.
Texas Rangers: Way above
Good for you, Rangers.
Washington Nationals: above
They are the last team in the division, but they are exceeding expectations. 600 winning percentage in the second half, and their young prospect is doing well in the minors.
New York Mets: Way Down
Mets is a huge disappointment. Francisco Lindor was excellent, and Pete Alonso hit a lot of home runs, but other than that, they’re already preparing for next year.
Miami Marlins: Way above
Why are they good? Set up. Their rotation is very good, and their moves have worked on deadline. The fact that they will be playing a meaningful baseball game in September is a win.
Philadelphia Phillies: At
The Phillies have been really good lately – or at least in the second half. They live up to expectations and could go further in the post-season than their current situation might indicate.
Atlanta Braves: at or above
We expected them to be the best team, and they are the best team. But they may even exceed expectations. They are 80-44, 12.5 games ahead of the Phillies for the largest division in baseball. Watching this regular season, it’s hard to see how a team other than the Braves will reach the World Series from the NL.
St. Louis Cardinals: Below
They are finally out and angry about everything. Nobody wants to watch this team.
Pittsburgh Pirates: At
They are not good, and this is in expectations. Their early run was fun, but it wasn’t real. They’re also very young, and they feel like things are going to get better in Pittsburgh.
Cincinnati Reds: Much higher
No one thought the Reds would be in competition, and they’re seriously playing for the house money. Their best prospects from spring are now…the lineup, and they’re on the hunt for wild cards. Excellent feelings.
Chicago Cubs: At
they are good. They came out of nowhere after the deadline, but they were also trying to be good, and this lived up to expectations. The Cubs got good at just the right time.
Milwaukee Brewers: At
They lead the department, which is always expected of a homebrewer. It’s Christian Yelich and a bunch of guys you can’t name in crime, and then a really good cast with Devin Williams and some other guys you’ve never heard of.
Colorado Rockies: At or Below
The Rocky Mountains may be even worse than we ever imagined. They are doomed. They will be terrible for years.
San Diego Padres: below
The Padres are shockingly disappointing. They’ve returned 17.5 games in the division and 5.5 home runs in the wild card race, even if their playoff odds remain strong (14%). Everything says this team should be solidly in the wild card race – everything except their actual record.
Arizona Diamondbacks: above
They only returned half a game in the NL wild card. They exceed everyone’s expectations except for Zack’s. Corbin Carroll is a superstar.
San Francisco Giants: At or above
They currently hold the last wild card spot, half a game below the Cubs and half a game above the Diamondbacks. We didn’t think we’d need to take care of them, but we do.
Los Angeles Dodgers: at or above
They are really good. once again. This is as expected because they are Dodgers. Then again, this was expected to be a relaxing season for the team, and they’ve had a lot of injuries, but they’re still in first place.