Miami Marlins news: 2023 MLB season predictions
By Neil Raymond
It's that time of year again... Spring Training is over and so are its meaningless team standings. They never correlate to actual season standings so it's a fresh new start for the Miami Marlins. It's also a fresh start for farm season rankings, as they will change as the season goes on. Enough previewing however, let's get this going! Every season there are surprisingly good teams, surprising disappointments and unpredictability. Remember that as we begin with the AL East. I list teams in order of their projected finish.
Will the Miami Marlins do better than last season?
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
The Bronx Bombers look absolutely loaded. A healthy rotation fronted by Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes and Luis Severino is easily the best in the division with tremendous upside. RF Aaron Judge should take a step back, but only because his numbers in 2022 were so historic.1B Anthony Rizzo will benefit from the new shift rules and likely have a strong year himself. Of course Rodon, Cortes and Severino are starting the season injured, but neither seems to be seriously hurt so as long as the team isn't terrible out of the gate, they should be able to hold on until theu're back.
CP Clay Holmes and 2B Gleyber Torres are players to watch as either struggling will cause the team some significant issues, especially if DH Giancarlo Stanton is injured as usual. All of that said this is a division winning team when healthy.
Toronto is New York's biggest competition for the division and if they end up being affected by injuries, Toronto will likely be the ones to win it. Toronto's ace Alek Manoah overachieved quite a bit last season with a 2.24 ERA but a 3.97 xFIP and 3.35 FIP. Fangraphs projects him for a 4.06 ERA in 2023, which along with a questionable defense and injury-prone players such as CF Kevin Kiermaier, RF George Springer and DH Brandon Belt, makes me lean towards New York.
The Tampa Bay Rays can compete with the above two in pitching, but you just can't get past the weak lineup. If SS Wander Franco doesn't bounce back along with 2B Brandon Lowe, this is going to be a very low scoring unit. Even with them doing good, it's just a weak lineup and there's no going around that. I wouldn't be surprised if they found a way to win the division, as they always seem to find a way to do better than expected, but it's just hard to see with that lineup.
I debated between them and the Baltimore Orioles, but I feel that it's ultimately a coin toss. I like Boston's rotation a bit more than Baltimore's and their bullpen looks better too. The lineup depends heavily on LF Masataka Yoshida delivering and the likes of 1B Triston Casas breaking out. So much has to go right for this team, that it would have to be a miracle for them to have any chance at the playoffs with this mess of a team.
Fangraphs projections give them one of the worst rotations in the entire Major Leagues. The lineup might be on the rise and the bullpen has bright spots, but this team well overachieved in 2022, and like the 2021 Detroit Tigers will almost certainly crash the following season. They do have a chance to pass Boston for fourth place in the division, but that's as high as they're going to go.
AL Central is next...