MLB predictions 2023: Expert picks for World Series, division winners, MVP and Cy Young awards

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Major League Baseball's 2023 season begins with opening day on Thursday, March 30, the first games in what should be a memorable campaign filled with intrigue, star power, controversy and discourse around the new rules.

Among the USA TODAY Sports baseball experts surveyed, the San Diego Padres were the most popular pick to win the World Series this year. The franchise has never won a championship but enters 2023 with a loaded roster and sky-high expectations, coming off their first trip to the National League Championship Series since 1998.

Our experts see the reigning champion Houston Astros as a good bet to win the American League for the fifth time in seven seasons, but should face stiff competition from the New York Yankees, Cleveland Guardians and Seattle Mariners.

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Juan Soto and Manny Machado should have the Padres in the mix for a World Series title – and competing for an MVP award.
Juan Soto and Manny Machado should have the Padres in the mix for a World Series title – and competing for an MVP award.

Bob Nightengale

  • AL East winner: Blue Jays

  • AL Central: Guardians

  • AL West: Astros

  • AL wild cards: Mariners, Rays, Yankees

  • NL East: Atlanta

  • NL Central: Cardinals

  • NL West: Padres

  • NL wild cards: Phillies, Mets, Dodgers

  • AL champion: Guardians

  • NL champion: Phillies

  • World Series winner: Guardians

Awards

  • AL MVP: Mike Trout, Angels

  • NL MVP: Trea Turner, Phillies

  • AL Cy Young: Emmanuel Clase, Guardians

  • NL Cy Young: Zac Gallen, Diamondbacks

  • AL Rookie: Gunnar Henderson, Orioles

  • NL Rookie: Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks

Gabe Lacques

  • AL East winner: Yankees

  • AL Central: Guardians

  • AL West: Astros

  • AL wild cards: Rays, Blue Jays, Mariners

  • NL East: Atlanta

  • NL Central: Cardinals

  • NL West: Padres

  • NL wild cards: Dodgers, Phillies, Mets

  • AL champion: Yankees

  • NL champion: Padres

  • World Series winner: Padres

Awards

  • AL MVP: Kyle Tucker, Astros

  • NL MVP: Juan Soto, Padres

  • AL Cy Young: Kevin Gausman, Blue Jays

  • NL Cy Young: Spencer Strider, Atlanta

  • AL Rookie:Grayson Rodriguez, Orioles

  • NL Rookie: Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks

Steve Gardner

  • AL East winner: Blue Jays

  • AL Central: Guardians

  • AL West: Astros

  • AL wild cards: Yankees, Mariners, Angels

  • NL East: Atlanta

  • NL Central: Cardinals

  • NL West: Padres

  • NL wild cards: Dodgers, Phillies, Mets

  • AL champion: Blue Jays

  • NL champion: Atlanta

  • World Series winner: Atlanta

Awards

  • AL MVP: Shohei Ohtani, Angels

  • NL MVP: Juan Soto, Padres

  • AL Cy Young: Shohei Ohtani, Angels

  • NL Cy Young: Aaron Nola, Phillies

  • AL Rookie: Gunnar Henderson, Orioles

  • NL Rookie: Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks

Bobby Nightengale

  • AL East winner: Blue Jays

  • AL Central: White Sox

  • AL West: Astros

  • AL wild cards: Mariners, Yankees, Rangers

  • NL East: Atlanta

  • NL Central: Cardinals

  • NL West: Padres

  • NL wild cards: Dodgers, Phillies, Mets

  • AL champion: Mariners

  • NL champion: Atlanta

  • World Series winner: Mariners

Awards

  • AL MVP: Shohei Ohtani, Angels

  • NL MVP: Freddie Freeman, Dodgers

  • AL Cy Young: Luis Castillo, Mariners

  • NL Cy Young: Aaron Nola, Phillies

  • AL Rookie: Gunnar Henderson, Orioles

  • NL Rookie: Garrett Mitchell, Brewers

Stephen Borelli

  • AL East winner: Yankees

  • AL Central: Guardians

  • AL West: Astros

  • AL wild cards: Blue Jays, Rays, Mariners

  • NL East: Atlanta

  • NL Central: Cardinals

  • NL West: Dodgers

  • NL wild cards: Padres, Mets, Phillies

  • AL champion: Astros

  • NL champion: Padres

  • World Series winner: Padres

Awards

  • AL MVP: Jose Ramirez, Guardians

  • NL MVP: Ronald Acuña, Braves

  • AL Cy Young: Gerrit Cole, Yankees

  • NL Cy Young: Yu Darvish, Padres

  • AL Rookie: Gunnar Henderson, Orioles

  • NL Rookie: Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks

Scott Boeck

  • AL East winner: Yankees

  • AL Central: White Sox

  • AL West: Astros

  • AL wild cards: Blue Jays, Angels, Guardians

  • NL East: Atlanta

  • NL Central: Cardinals

  • NL West: Padres

  • NL wild cards: Dodgers, Mets, Phillies

  • AL champion: Astros

  • NL champion: Padres

  • World Series winner: Padres

Awards

  • AL MVP: Shohei Ohtani, Angels

  • NL MVP: Manny Machado, Padres

  • AL Cy Young: Framber Valdez, Astros

  • NL Cy Young: Spencer Strider, Atlanta

  • AL Rookie: Gunnar Henderson, Orioles

  • NL Rookie: Miguel Vargas, Dodgers

Jesse Yomtov

  • AL East winner: Yankees

  • AL Central: Guardians

  • AL West: Astros

  • AL wild cards: Rays, Mariners, Twins

  • NL East: Atlanta

  • NL Central: Cardinals

  • NL West: Dodgers

  • NL wild cards: Padres, Mets, Phillies

  • AL champion: Astros

  • NL champion: Padres

  • World Series winner: Astros

Awards

  • AL MVP: Julio Rodriguez, Mariners

  • NL MVP: Trea Turner, Phillies

  • AL Cy Young: Framber Valdez, Astros

  • NL Cy Young: Julio Urias, Dodgers

  • AL Rookie: Josh Jung, Rangers

  • NL Rookie: Garrett Mitchell, Brewers

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB predictions 2023: Expert picks for World Series, MVP, standings