Dutch Lion’s 2023 MLB Preview

Dutch Lion’s 2023 MLB Preview

Here at Dutch Lion Sports, we feel the same as the great Mickey Mantle. We’re here to hit a home run. In our case, it’s to knock the ball out of the proverbial park in regards to our preview and predictions. Can we hit a home run with our picks this year? Well, we’re gonna swing hard in case we hit it.

Last year we chose the Chicago White Sox over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a rematch from 1959. (We were wrong. In case you forgot, the Houston Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games). This year, we’re taking the New York Mets over the New York Yankees in a Subway Series rematch from 2000.

The “Subway Series” in 2000 was won by the dynastic Yankees with their fourth Championship in Derek Jeter’s first five seasons (1996, ’98, ’99, ’00). Since then, the Yanks have only won one World Series, in 2009. Meanwhile, the Mets are going “all in” behind Owner Steve Cohen. Last year, the Mets payroll was second behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers at $268 million (LA spent $270 million). This year, we expect New York to overcome the Dodgers in this category.

The Mets payroll is way up there, up in the rafters, up in the clouds, high in the atmosphere. In fact, the Mets should have the highest payroll in baseball history this season, at about $336 million according to Spotrac. The only sports franchises with higher payrolls in the world are a few international soccer teams over in Europe. Here in the USA, Cohen will likely break the bank this year.

Now, does money guarantee success? Of course not. It only guarantees that the Mets are trying. As a sports fan, that’s what you want to see. The Mets should be fun to cheer for this year, and likely for as long as Cohen is in charge. He’s worth tens of billions of dollars, and unless he loses it in some bad bets on Draftkings, he’ll be fine. And thus, the Mets fans should be happy. Will it lead to the Mets’ first World Series championship since 1986?… to the city of New York’s first baseball championship since 2009?

  • Each team’s prediction for 2023 is listed first, followed by last year’s predicted record, actual record, and difference from prediction to actual record. Note how Dutch Lion’s predictions were spot-on in a couple of cases and way, way off in others. We correctly called three out of six AL Playoff teams and five out of six NL Playoff qualifiers. However, we were so disappointed in our pick of the White Sox as World Champs. Everybody was surprised at the lack of fire on the Southside last season. Despite all the injuries, roster problems, and managerial malaise, the Sox still finished at .500. I expect a return to success this year under first-time manager Pedro Grifol. The talent is there. The focus, health, and hunger need to improve.

AL East

  1. New York Yankees (2023 Prediction: 100-62) (’22 Prediction: 93-69, ’22 Actual: 99-63; +6)
  2. Toronto Blue Jays (’23: 94-68) (’22 Prediction: 95-67, ’22 Actual: 92-70; -3)
  3. Tampa Bay Rays (’23: 85-77) (’22 Prediction: 81-81, ’22 Actual: 86-76; +5)
  4. Baltimore Orioles (’23: 76-86) (’22 Prediction: 67-95, ’22 Actual: 83-79; +16)
  5. Boston Red Sox (’23: 72-90) (’22 Prediction: 85-77, ’22 Actual: 78-84; -7)

AL Central

  1. Chicago White Sox (’23: 95-67) (’22 Prediction: 101-61, ’22 Actual: 81-81; -20)
  2. Cleveland Indians/Guardians (’23: 92-70) (’22 Prediction: 69-93, Actual: 92-70; +23)
  3. Minnesota Twins (’23: 83-79) (’22 Prediction: 82-80, ’22 Actual: 78-84; -4)
  4. Kansas City Royals (’23: 74-88) (’22 Prediction: 75-87, ’22 Actual: 65-97; -10)
  5. Detroit Tigers (’23: 63-99) (’22 Prediction: 80-82, ’22 Actual: 66-96; -14)

AL West

  1. Texas Rangers (’23: 92-70) (’22 Prediction: 70-92, ’22 Actual: 68-94; -2)
  2. Houston Astros (’23: 91-71) (’22 Prediction: 93-69, ’22 Actual: 106-56; +13)
  3. Los Angeles Angels (’23: 84-78) (’22 Prediction: 87-75, ’22 Actual: 73-89; -14)
  4. Seattle Mariners (’23: 77-85) (’22 Prediction: 84-78, ’22 Actual: 90-72; +6)
  5. Oakland A’s (’23: 57-105) (’22 Prediction: 58-104, ’22 Actual: 60-102; +2)

AL MVP : Shohei Ohtani/SP/DH/Los Angeles Angels – “ShoTime” is the likely favorite to win the AL MVP every year for the foreseeable future. Ohtani might become the first billion dollar player when he becomes a free agent at the end of this season. Think about it. He’s worth two $500 million contracts since he plays at an elite level as both a hitter and pitcher. He could win a Cy Young AND an MVP in the same season. It’s probably one of his goals, along with leading the league in stolen bases and winning games for the Angels, of course.

“The Uncle Glen” AL Cy Young Award: Dylan Cease/SP/Chicago White Sox

  • For the full story about “The Uncle Glen” Cy Young Award, please see last year’s 2022 MLB Preview

AL Rookie of the Year : Gunnar Henderson/SS/3B/Baltimore Orioles

AL Manager of the Year :  Bruce Bochy/Texas Rangers

AL Breakout Player : Adley Rutschman/C/Baltimore Orioles

AL Comeback Player of the Year : Yoan Moncada/3B/Chicago White Sox

AL Postseason Playoff Seeds

  1. N.Y. Yankees (AL East Champ) – BYE
  2. Chi. White Sox (AL Central Champ) – BYE
  3. Texas (AL West Champ) – #3 hosts #6 in 3 game Wild Card series
  4. Toronto (Wild Card #1) – #4 hosts #5 in 3 game Wild Card series
  5. Cleveland (Wild Card #2)
  6. Houston (Wild Card #3)

AL Wild Card Series (ALWC: Best-of-3)

  • #4 Toronto Blue Jays over #5 Cleveland Indians/Guardians
  • #3 Texas Rangers over #6 Houston Astros

AL Divisional Series (ALDS: Best-of-5)

  • #1 New York Yankees over #4 Toronto Blue Jays
  • #2 Chicago White Sox over #3 Texas Rangers

AL Championships Series (ALCS: Best-of-7)

  • #1 New York Yankees over #2 Chicago White Sox

NL East

  1. New York Mets (’23: 95-67) (’22 Prediction: 93-69, ’22 Actual: 101-61; +8)
  2. Atlanta Braves (’23: 94-68) (’22 Prediction: 90-72, ’22 Actual: 101-61; +11)
  3. Philadelphia Phillies (’23: 90-72) (’22 Prediction: 87-75, ‘22 Actual: 87-75!; EXACT)
  4. Miami Marlins (’23: 78-84) (’22 Prediction: 69-93, ’22 Actual: 69-93!; EXACT)
  5. Washington Nationals (’23: 57-105) (’22 Prediction: 72-90, ’22 Actual: 55-107; -17)

NL Central

  1. St. Louis Cardinals (’23: 101-61) (’22 Prediction: 94-68, Actual: 93-69; -1)
  2. Milwaukee Brewers (’23: 85-77) (’22 Prediction: 88-74, ’22 Actual: 86-76; -2)
  3. Pittsburgh Pirates (’23: 78-84) (’22 Prediction: 67-95, ’22 Actual: 62-100; -5)
  4. Chicago Cubs (’23: 72-90) (’22 Prediction: 65-97, ’22 Actual: 74-88; +9)
  5. Cincinnati Reds (’23: 68-94) (’22 Prediction: 76-86, ’22 Actual: 62-100; -14)

NL West

  1. San Diego Padres (’23: 99-63) (’22 Prediction: 91-71, ’22 Actual: 89-73; -2)
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers (’23: 97-65) (’22 Prediction: 103-59, ’22 Actual: 111-51!; +8)
  3. San Francisco Giants (’23: 83-79) (’22 Prediction: 85-77, ’22 Actual: 81-81; -4)
  4. Colorado Rockies (’23: 72-90) (’22 Prediction: 65-97, ’22 Actual: 68-94; +3)
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks (’23: 68-94) (’22 Prediction: 65-97, ’22 Actual: 74-88; +9)

NL MVP : Trea Turner/SS/Philadelphia Phillies – Possibly the best overall player in the world right now when you include the combination of his power, speed, defensive range, and batting average.

NL Cy Young Award : Sandy Alcantara/SP/Miami Marlins – Overlooked in Miami, Alcantara is dominant.

NL Rookie of the Year : Kodai Senga/SP/New York Mets – The 30-year-old Japanese import brings a “ghost forkball” over to the States after dominating in Japan for the past 11 seasons. Senga baffles hitters and has tons more experience than your typical “rookie”. Nonetheless, he’s eligible.

NL Manager of the Year : Buck Showalter/New York Mets – There’s just something about Buck’s old-school managing style. He motivates players and keeps them in line.

NL Breakout Player : Bryan Reynolds/OF/Pittsburgh Pirates – Like Alcantara in Miami, people don’t know about Reynolds because he’s in a small-market town in Pittsburgh, but hey… look at this dude. He’s good!

NL Comeback Player of the Year : Kris Bryant/OF/Colorado Rockies – Played only 42 games last year. If healthy he might put up big power numbers in Coors Field.

NL Postseason Playoff Seeds

  1. St. Louis Cardinals (NL Central Champ) – BYE
  2. San Diego Padres (NL West Champ) – BYE
  3. New York Mets (NL East Champ) – #3 hosts #6 in a 3 Game Wild Card series
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers (Wild Card #1) – #4 hosts #5 in a 3 Game Wild Card series
  5. Atlanta Braves (Wild Card #2)
  6. Philadelphia Phillies (Wild Card #3)

NL Wild Card Series (NLWC: Best-of-3)

  • #3 N.Y. Mets over #6 Philadelphia Phillies
  • #4 L.A. Dodgers over #5 Atlanta Braves

NL Division Series (NLDS: Best-of-5)

  • #3 N.Y. Mets over #2 San Diego Padres
  • #4 L.A. Dodgers over #1 St. Louis Cardinals

NL Championship Series (NLCS: Best-of-7)

  • #3 New York Mets over #4 Los Angeles Dodgers

2023 World Series

New York Mets over New York Yankees – Oh how the Big Apple would love this! Steinbrenner’s ‘big boys’ versus Cohen’s ‘big buys’! The way we look at it is this: It will be hard for anyone to beat a playoff rotation of Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and Carlos Carrasco. The wealth of experience would be the difference in the Mets getting revenge against the Yankees for their Subway Series triumph over the Mets back in the 2000 World Series. The MVP will be Francisco Lindor. The Mets fans will finally have a Title to rave about for the first time since 1986. Of course, they will never forget the ’86 team. That was a special group that will never be duplicated, but this 2023 bunch will add on to the legacy of the New York Mets franchise. Exactly 50 years ago, Tug McGraw and the 1973 Mets won the National League Pennant. So it will be really special – to not only win it all on the anniversary of that fan favorite team, but to beat the hated rival Yankees in the process. “Ya Gotta Believe”!


  1. I remember well the 1959 Dodger-Whitesox World Series. I was 12 and a big Dodger fan. You are not holding the Mariners crummy start against them, are you? Remember to factor in a 14 game winning street for Seattle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, the ’59 Series. My mom went to Game 6 with her dad. She’s been a big Sox fan ever since, and so I’m a Southside fan too.

      I was big on the Mariners last year but now I’m bumping them down a notch or two because of the continued improvement by the Rangers and Angels. Who knows?… maybe Seattle will win the division.

      Thanks for reading and the comments.


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