The Middle of the Pack: Teams 20 Through 11 in WBN’s Major League Baseball Power Rankings

Felix Bautista of the Baltimore Orioles is an underrated reliever, but will he be enough to lift the O’s out of the AL East cellar? (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network

The 2023 Major League Baseball regular season starts Thursday, March 30. It was a very busy offseason that saw stars like Jacob deGrom, Trea Turner, and Xander Bogaerts — amongst many others — switch uniforms. 

With non-stop MLB action from now until the end of October, it helps to know where teams are positioned compared to their competitors. World Baseball Network has ranked all 30 MLB teams for the season ahead, and predicts their win-loss record. Surely they will all be spot on. 

20. Chicago Cubs 

2022 Record: 74-88 (3rd in NL Central) 

No Cub remains from the 2016 World Series team besides manager David Ross. That era is behind them, and the Chicago Cubs should be excited for new players such as shortstop Dansby Swanson and outfielder Cody Bellinger. The addition of Jameson Taillon to the rotation could help bring the team ERA down. 

2023 Record Prediction: 79-83

19. Baltimore Orioles 

2022 Record: 83-79 (4th in AL East) 

Baltimore shocked the baseball world last season, after notoriously losing 100 games the last three years or so. The 2023 team has the difficult task of making this year as exciting as 2022. There is plenty to be excited about in Baltimore, including catcher Adley Rutschman and closer Felix Bautista, who remains severely underrated. 

2023 Record Prediction: 80-82

18. Chicago White Sox 

2022 Record: 81-81 (2nd in AL Central) 

The White Sox left a lot to be desired after a disappointing 2022 regular season. They were expected to win the AL Central with ease, but throw those expectations out of the window for 2023. On paper, they are a very talented team, but need to play with some fire and desire to make it past the Cleveland Guardians in the central. 

2023 Record Prediction: 80-82 

17. San Francisco Giants 

2022 Record: 81-81 (3rd in NL West) 

San Francisco had a strange winter. After signing Carlos Correa, the team revoked his contract due to a failed physical. Giants fans thought Aaron Judge had signed with the team for about 15 minutes, and instead landed Mitch Haniger, a solid outfielder but definitely not Aaron Judge. How much offense they are able to produce in their pitcher friendly ballpark will be a huge question mark as always. 

2023 Record Prediction: 82-80 

16. Texas Rangers 

2022 Record: 68-94 (4th in AL West)

Texas made huge upgrades to improve their pitching staff, but there is cause for concern. Jacob deGrom was injured most of the 2022 season, and Nathan Eovaldi has had Tommy John surgery twice in his career. If other Rangers not named Marcus Semien or Corey Seager can hit well fairly consistently, this could be a team to watch out for. 

2023 Record Prediction: 83-79 

15. Los Angeles Angels 

2022 Record: 73-89 (3rd in AL West) 

Angels fans must be banging their heads against the wall, patiently waiting for them to return to the playoffs. As it stands, they are still a middle-of-the-pack team even with Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, etc. The offense should have no problem scoring runs… whether or not the pitching can back that up is another question yet to be answered. 

2023 Record Prediction: 83-79 

14. Minnesota Twins 

2022 Record: 78-84 (3rd in AL Central) 

The Twins were viewed as the AL Central favorite heading into 2022, but Cleveland took the division. Retaining Carlos Correa will be massive for clubhouse morale, and Pablo Lopez is a good addition to the rotation. If Minnesota gets off to a hot start in April and May, it can help them keep pace with Cleveland and Chicago in the dog days of summer. 

2023 Record Prediction: 85-77 

13. Milwaukee Brewers 

2022 Record: 86-76 (2nd in NL Central) 

The Brewers always seem to be one or two pieces away from making a serious World Series push, but they never get their guy. Shortstop Willy Adames is a budding star, and newcomer Jesse Winker is just two years removed from an All-Star season. If Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff continue to dominate on the mound, there is no telling how far those two can carry them.  

2023 Record Prediction: 86-76 

12. Tampa Bay Rays 

2022 Record: 86-76 (3rd in AL East) 

The notorious Tampa Bay Rays bullpen will once again feature five to six pitchers you have never heard of throwing 100 miles per hour. Third baseman Yandy Diaz is an underrated backbone of the club, and could make his first All-Star game this year. Tampa deserves a lot of credit for the product they are able to put out without the payroll of other clubs. 

2023 Record Prediction: 88-74 

11. Cleveland Guardians 

2022 Record: 92-70 (1st in AL Central) 

Cleveland almost pulled off an upset over the New York Yankees in the ALDS in 2022. There is much to be excited about, including the rise of outfielder Steven Kwan, who hit .298 last year as a rookie. Adding Josh Bell at first base gives them a much needed power bat in the heart of the lineup. 

2023 Record Prediction: 87-75 

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