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Just as the sports events we like to call March Madness are winding down, the 2023 Major League Baseball season is starting up with Opening Day. In the spirit of the hoops tournaments so many love so dearly -- notably filling out brackets -- making predictions is always a great form of entertainment. Part of the fun is that sports are totally unpredictable (ahem, the men's NCAA basketball tournament!), which means there will inevitably be some bad misses. 

Here at CBS Sports, our MLB staff has put together our 2023 season predictions. Last season brought plenty of surprises, so what will happen this season? Here are our individual attempts to nail it down. 


RJ Anderson: As always, my goal is to not look stupid rather than to look smart. (Amusingly, I still end up looking stupid.) I think this is as wide open a field in the National League as we've had in some time, and I'm excited to watch that three-team race in the East play out. I'm also intrigued by the American League West -- not because I think the Astros are in real danger, but because this is the best this group has been after them in a while. Anyway, I went with the Padres over the Astros in the end, but I can foresee any number of other teams making it to and winning the Fall Classic. It should be a fun season.

Mike Axisa: I think the Astros are the best team in the AL but, honestly, I'm bored of picking them to go to the World Series every year, so I'm going with Toronto. They have a strong 1-2-3 punch atop the rotation (Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman, Chris Bassitt) and they added a few much-needed lefty bats (Brandon Belt, Daulton Varsho) this offseason. I like the way they're built for a short postseason series and believe this is the year they break through and advance in October. As for the NL, the Dodgers have clearly taken a step back and the Mets have age-related risk, and less power than I'd like. The Braves have so much youth and upside, plus they're great already. They're the best team in the league for me. I'm expecting and looking forward to a Braves-Padres NLCS, and then Atlanta besting Toronto in a 1992 World Series rematch.

Kate Feldman: I have no intention of looking at these predictions again as soon as I file this, so I'm winging it. I'm also going all in on the Angels. This probably way overestimates the talent Perry Minasian brought in to surround Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, but also how much more do you need behind those two? We'll find out. Beyond that, I think the NL East is by far the most interesting division and I think it's going to come down to the wire again, but I'm seeing Edwin Díaz make a triumphant return to the mound to finish out the season with the Mets on top. A Subway Series World Series is almost definitely not happening but we deserve a little chaos.

Dayn Perry: I still default to the Astros being the best team in the AL in absence of additional major injuries. The Padres have the most loaded lineup in baseball once Tatis returns, and my title expectations for them assume they'll be aggressive in fortifying the rotation leading up to the trade deadline. Ohtani will set the tone for his upcoming free agency by topping 40 home runs at the plate and 200 strikeouts on the mound. 

Stephen Pianovich: Is picking the Angels to make the playoffs so we get to watch Shohei Ohtani play meaningful high-stakes baseball again after his thunderous World Baseball Classic wishful thinking? Are the memories of last October still fresh enough to make a World Series rematch seem more likely than it really is? Will the Phillies actually win it all because Trea Turner puts them over the top? Probably.

Matt Snyder: So many of these were very close, whether we're talking about a fight for the division title (NL and AL Central), third place (Giants vs. Diamondbacks) or a playoff spot (3-5 in the AL East vs. the Guardians vs. 2-4 in AL West are all bunched so close for me). Oh, and yes, I'm a sucker for picking the Angels to make the playoffs. I'm aware. They always fail me, but I'm going back to the well. It might be reckless to throw the Phillies over the Mets for second in the NL East, but the Mets have plenty of questions in their own right. As for the championship rounds, I think the Astros are the number one team in baseball, but it's a bit boring to pick a repeat champ and I have the Padres as number two.