The MLB postseason can be extremely random, and almost anything can happen when a 162 game regular season decides its champion in a short 3 to 7 game series.
That being said, having a talent advantage is still a favorable edge most of the time, and can definitely outweigh luck in the postseason. Let’s rank who’s most likely to win it all.
1: Atlanta Braves
It’s pretty clear to anyone who has watched baseball in 2023 that the best team in the league is the Atlanta Braves. They have the likely NL MVP in Ronald Acuna Jr., one of the best lineups in the league that just tied an MLB record 307 home runs in a season, and a loaded pitching staff behind them.
Despite a 3.86 ERA, ace Spencer Strider is a strikeout machine, and can be the best pitcher in baseball on any given night. Matt Olson set a Braves record for home runs with 54 in a season. Almost every player that will get a chance to contribute to this team is above average. They should be the clear favorites to win it all this postseason.
2: Los Angeles Dodgers
Right behind them is the second best record in the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are a 100 win team once again, and were led by great seasons from likely future Hall of Famers Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Clayton Kershaw.
Despite letting a lot of good players go last offseason, they replaced them with standouts like J.D Martinez, Lance Lynn, and David Peralta. They have a reputation for choking in the playoffs and may have an injured rotation, but I would find it difficult to bet against the Dodgers.
3: Baltimore Orioles
At third we have the best team in the AL, the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles won 101 games with a strong young core led by Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson, but shocked everyone with the other additions they made. Not many people expected Adam Frazier, Aaron Hicks, and Kyle Gibson to seriously contribute to teams this year.
The Orioles didn’t get swept in a single regular season series, and therefore they are never out of it. I have them at third simply because a lot of this group is unproven, and they haven’t been here in past years.
4: Houston Astros
At 4th I have the reigning champion Astros. They have a lot of seasoned veterans who have made several playoff runs like Jose Altuve and Justin Verlander, but also some struggling bats in their lineup like Jose Abreu and Martin Maldanado.
Their pitching and bullpen is not as good as the group that won the title last year, and it showed as they barely squeaked out the AL West. Nonetheless, experience is important and it’s impossible to bet against this team in any playoff series.
5: Minnesota Twins
The Twins might be the dark horse pick of the postseason, as they just came off their first series win in years. They won the weak AL Central and therefore were slept on by many, but I think this team has juice. Pablo Lopez and Sonny Gray are the best first two starters the Twins have had in a long time, and their lineup is loaded with young bats who want to make an impact.
Veteran Carlos Correa has struggled this year, but has knowledge of what it takes to win in the postseason. If they get past Houston, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Minnesota win it all.
6: Philadelphia Phillies
Their wild card record never seems to show it, but the Phillies have serious juice for the postseason. They aren’t the deepest team, but with Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola as their first two starters and Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, and J.T Realmuto as key bats, the Phillies can match almost anyone in top end talent.
In a short series, that plays really well, and that’s why it’s reasonable to think they can match the Braves. The question is if their depth holds up in a longer series.
7: Texas Rangers
The Rangers looked like a true contender for most of the first half of the year, but seriously tapered off in July and August before recovering in September. They have lost many key starters to injury, and are no longer viewed as an elite team.
But there is a chance that the group that made a run to a 7 game lead in the AL West is still in there, and with Marcus Semien and Corey Seager up the middle they can match almost anyone there. The Rangers have a chance to look like an elite team, but they could also fall off a cliff. That’s why they are so low.
8: Arizona Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks had an impressive series against the Brewers, hitting many home runs with most of their key players contributing.
That being said, their pitching held up just alright against a middling Brewers lineup, and they are probably one of the youngest teams in the playoffs. They could make some noise, and we have seen teams with their profile do so against the Dodgers before, but they are the underdogs.
Given these rankings, I am going to predict the Braves against the Twins in the World Series. I think the Braves are just clearly better than everyone in the NL, and although I had the Twins ranked third in the AL, I just have a feeling they will squeak it out.
Regardless, anything could happen and it should be a fun postseason!