Here are the first Power Rankings of 2023

January 2nd, 2023

While it’s still the offseason, the New Year provides a perfect mile-marker for baseball fans.

It’s almost the halfway point between the World Series ending, and Spring Training games beginning.

At, we produce two way-too-early Power Rankings during the offseason. The first one lands before the confetti has even been vacuumed up following the World Series parade, and the second arrives just as the calendar turns, when we have a little better idea of how the upcoming season might shake out but still are far from being able to predict anything with anything close to pinpoint accuracy.

The general consensus among our small and mightily confused voting body is that it’s been a dizzying offseason of deals so far, there’s still more work to be done and the best teams on paper often don’t even make it to the postseason.

With that, here’s our way-too-early Power Rankings, New Year’s edition:

1. Astros (106-56 in 2022 regular season)
Repeating as World Series champions isn’t easy, but the Astros probably deserve the benefit of the doubt. They’ve played in six straight AL Championship Series. They’ve won the World Series twice in that span. They have a starting staff that is six deep, which enabled them to let Justin Verlander, the AL Cy Young Award winner, leave for the Mets -- simply because they don’t really need him. The “World Series hangover” likely won’t apply this year, considering Houston played two games over the minimum in the postseason and had multiple days of rest between each round. Though the AL West has improved in some areas -- the Mariners will be strong again, and the Rangers took measures to improve -- the Astros, again, will be the favorites to nab another division title.

2. Mets (101-61)
This ranking is somewhat based on the assumption that eventually Carlos Correa will come to an agreement with the Mets, but as we’ve watched this play out, there’s really no way of knowing where the shortstop (or is he a third baseman?) will land. Let’s just say the Mets are our No. 2 pick based on a few seemingly strong free-agent signings and the fact that they were just really good in ’22, despite how sourly the season ended. But be warned: Things can unravel for an older team, and the Mets are going to employ a starting rotation with a lot of miles on some of their arms.

3. Braves (101-61)
The Braves didn’t need to make a ton of offseason moves, they just need to get healthy and stay healthy. And assuming that happens in ’23, they should be in good position to contend for the NL East title, again. After trading for catcher Sean Murphy, the Braves roster looks strong. If Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuña Jr. return to top form and the pitching staff, led by a stable of strong, young starters, performs to expectations, Atlanta will be plenty frustrating for the other teams in the NL East, which is becoming one of the toughest divisions in baseball.

4. Padres (89-73)
It’s been a while -- years, really -- since the Dodgers did not crack the Power Rankings' top five. There’s clearly a lot of confidence among our voters in the Padres’ ability to take a huge leap forward in ’23, given they lost the division to Los Angeles by a whopping 22 games last year. Yes, the Padres “slayed the dragon” by bouncing their division foes from the postseason, but expectations this season appear loftier. The Padres have a loaded lineup, buoyed by the offseason signing of Xander Bogaerts, and this may be the last-best chance for a starting rotation that will see some defections to free agency next winter. Could ’23 be the year?

5. Yankees (99-63)
The Yankees addressed one of their bigger issues this offseason when they added left-hander Carlos Rodón to a rotation that, based on past performances and assuming health (which is never guaranteed), could be one of the strongest in baseball. There will be more uncertainty around a lineup that still could use some tweaking. That may arrive without having to make any outside moves, if middle infielders Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe are able to provide substantial production.

The rest of the field of 30:

  1. Phillies (87-75)
  2. Dodgers (111-51)
  3. Mariners (90-72)
  4. Blue Jays (92-70)
  5. Rays (86-76)
  6. Cardinals (93-69)
  7. Guardians (92-70)
  8. Rangers (68-94)
  9. Brewers (86-76)
  10. Orioles (83-79)
  11. White Sox (81-81)
  12. Angels (73-89)
  13. Twins (78-84)
  14. Cubs (74-88)
  15. Giants (81-81)
  16. D-backs (74-88)
  17. Marlins (69-93)
  18. Red Sox (78-84)
  19. Rockies (68-94)
  20. Reds (62-100)
  21. Royals (65-97)
  22. Tigers (66-96)
  23. Pirates (62-100)
  24. Nationals (55-107)
  25. A’s (60-102)