The 2022 MLB season is over and the Houston Astros have been crowned champions. Award season is now in full swing, but we basically know who’s going to take home the hardware already this season. So, let’s turn our attention to next year.
Below, our MLB betting expert lays out his predictions for the 2023 MLB season, including the World Series champs, the major award winners and futures picks. Are they hot takes or informed selections? That’s for you to decide.
2023 World Series Pick: St. Louis Cardinals
To be more specific, the Cardinals will beat the White Sox in six games.
The Cardinals are perfectly positioned to take the jump from playoff contender to title favorite this winter.
They have a few serious MVP candidates on the roster (Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado) and some high-upside pitching options (Jack Flaherty when healthy, Miles Mikolas, Adam Wainwright). As well, they have a great bullpen and some top prospects and young players who could push the ceiling of this team higher.
Add to all that, the Cards are expected to be serious players in free agency this offseason and a great fit for top players like catcher Willson Contreras and the top shortstops — Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson and Trea Turner.
The Cards won 93 games last year despite a disastrously injured rotation, and next year they’ll only get better. If you’re buying this prediction, you can snag the Cardinals as the 10th team in 2023 World Series odds right now, at +1600.
You can bet on the Cards to win the 2023 World Series over at Sportsbook:
2023 AL MVP: Shohei Ohtani, Angels
Betting on Ohtani to win AL MVP for the rest of his career is going to be one of the safest MLB bets around.
We’ve basically set the precedent that it takes an outrageously historic season to top Ohtani in MVP voting and we can’t expect that to happen every year. Ohtani is an all-star with his bat alone and a legit Cy Young contender on the mound. As long as he stays healthy, he’s the MVP favorite.
NL MVP: Aaron Judge, Giants
Yankees fans, avert your eyes.
The big man is going home, and he’s going to take his 62 homers with him. The Giants have a need in the outfield, money to spend, and Judge is a Bay Area guy. If the Yankees can’t persuade Judge to stay, he’ll head over to the NL and swat another 50-plus homers to win MVP in that league, too.
AL Cy Young: Kevin Gausman, Blue Jays
Kevin Gausman led the American League in Fielding Independent Pitching this season with a pristine 2.38 mark. His peripheral numbers (strikeouts, walks and homers) were all pristine, but what held him back in his first year with the Blue Jays was some tough luck (.364 BABIP) and dubious shifting.
Lucky for Gausman, the shift is banned next season and his batted-ball luck is certain to regress back to his career norms. If the Blue Jays hurler’s 2023 numbers look anything like his FIP and expected stats this year, he’ll be at the top of Cy Young voting, for sure.
NL Cy Young: Max Fried, Braves
Now it’s hardly a hot take to predict a 2022 Cy Young finalist to win the ’23 award in the NL, but Fried has just been getting better for the last few years. He has the perfect mix of solid strikeout totals, great expected stats and a team that’s willing to let him log innings. If he can take the same kind of jump he took between 2021 and 2022 next year, Fried will solidify himself as one of the best in baseball.
AL Rookie of the Year: Anthony Volpe, Yankees
Shortstop was basically a black hole for the Yankees this year, with Isiah Kiner-Falefa not really providing the contact skills or defense he was brought in for. But the Bronx Bombers have the best shortstop prospect in baseball waiting in the upper minors.
One of the keys to win the Rookie of the Year is opportunity, and Volpe should certainly have that chance to break camp with New York next year. Winning the award also requires production, though, and Volpe has been pretty solid with the stick in AA and AAA, posting a .802 OPS with 21 homers and 50 steals in 132 games this year.
NL Rookie of the Year: Ezequiel Tovar, Rockies
This one’s more of a deep cut than Volpe. Only Rockies fans and prospect lovers will know who Tovar is, but this Venezuelan infielder has torn up the minor leagues and even made a brief debut in the big leagues this year.
He’s one of the best defensive prospects in baseball, and his shortstop glove alone will keep him in Colorado’s lineup next year. If his solid offensive numbers from the minors carry over to MLB, the thin air in Colorado could boost his numbers enough to make him a household name in 2023 and the NL Rookie of the Year.