2023 MLB Season First Impressions

2023 MLB Season First Impressions

Erich Packer, Sports Editor

The 2023 MLB season arrived this year with a lot of controversy. Due to the new rule changes including a pitch clock, bigger bases, and a shift ban, many fans were worried about the quality of this year’s game. But only a few weeks in, the season has yielded mostly positive feedback from the fans.

Here’s how the league has shaped up so far this season:

Beginning in the NL Central, the Brewers and Pirates have been off to a hot start. Milwaukee was not expected to be a top team in the league this year after their 2022 campaign ended in missing the playoffs for the first time in 4 years. But The Crew has started hot, with new bats William Contreras and Brian Anderson leading the team in batting average, followed by an early Rookie of the Year favorite, Garrett Mitchell, who has gotten into injury trouble recently. The Pirates have found success for the first time in a while following the homecoming of veteran Andrew McCutchen. The Cubs have gotten off to a surprising start, sitting at third in the division. The additions of Dansby Swanson and Cody Bellinger have proved beneficial as they have complimented the young batting order well. The Reds continue to disappoint, finding themselves fourth in the division race. Finally, coming in last place the St. Louis Cardinals have been greatly underperforming. While they have one of the best lineups in the league, the pitching has been disappointing for St. Louis, leading to more losses than what was expected of them.

Moving to the NL East, where the Braves have found success to kick off the season. The Braves lost a few players in the offseason but have found success in their stars. Ronald Acuna and Matt Olson have continued to shine leading the team with new acquisition Sean Murphy. The New York Mets trail the Braves starting the season off well despite being swept in Milwaukee. Brandon Nimmo leads the team in average and Pete Alonso leads the team in home runs. The Marlins are off to a surprising start, with Luis Arraez continuing to be an on base machine. The Phillies have had a disappointing start with their pitching not being able to hang on to games. The Phillies will look to bounce back with Bryce Harper returning to the lineup, playing first base. The Nationals have had a poor start to the season as expected, and will likely not find much success in the 2023 season.

In the NL West, it’s a tight race between the Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Padres. The Diamondbacks have been off to a hot start behind a young lineup. Corbin Carroll highlights this young lineup, leading the team in average and home runs. The Dodgers are following them closely, having a disappointing start for their standards. Max Muncy leads the team in home runs. with a league leading 11. The Padres trail the Dodgers following the return of star Fernando Tatis Jr. off of a suspension. Finally, the Giants and Rockies are off to a slow start, both having not much to brag about.

Heading to the AL, the AL East has been extremely competitive. The Rays have been off to an outstanding start. They tied the MLB record for 13 straight wins to start off the season. Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena have highlighted the offense. In second, the Baltimore Orioles have found success this season. After many poor season, Adley Rutschmann and the Orioles look like they could contend in the playoffs. The Blue Jays are in third place, continuing to produce great offense. In fourth, Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees have not found the success they were hoping for. But, the division has been tougher than expected. Finally, the Red Sox are in last, not having a terrible season, but not able to keep up with their division foes.

Unlike the AL East, the AL Central has been struggling this year. The exception to that is the Minnesota Twins, who have had great pitching this year. Sonny Gray has been one of the best pitchers in the league this season. Behind the Twins is the Guardians, who are below .500 in the early parts of the season. Jose Ramirez has still been great, but the rest of the squad has not been able to keep up. The Tigers are in third, having a bad season. Miguel Cabrera is in his final season and their is not much to look forward to for Detroit. Coming in fourth is the very disappointing White Sox. Chicago’s South Side team has not been able to compete they usually do despite their star power. The team will look to pick it up, but playoffs are unlikely. Coming in last, the Kansas City Royals have had a terrible season, only winning 6 of their first 26.

Lastly, the AL West has found moderate success in the early season. As expected, the Houston Astros lead the division off to a pretty good start. Yordan Alvarez is off to another good start, leading the team in home runs. Following the Astros, their cross-state rivals, the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are off to a good start with Adolis Garcia hitting the ball well. The Angels are in third, with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani playing great as always, but the rest of the team is underperforming. Seattle is in fourth, having an unexpected slow start after clinching the playoffs last year, ending their drought. Last and least, the Oakland A’s have been terrible this year. The team recently bought property in Las Vegas, and are expected to move the franchise in 2027.

The MLB season has been off to an exciting start, and it looks like that will continue for the summer and into the fall!