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MLB 2023 Halftime Predictions: Predictions Behind the All-Stars

The All-Star break is the perfect time to make predictions for the second half of MLB 2023. A look at the table shows that the first half of the season has not gone as expected.

For example, the Rays are the best team in baseball. The Reds, Marlins and Diamondbacks are all in the playoff chase. Also, the Mets and Padres are fourth in their divisions while the Cardinals are last. In other words, win totals and preseason projections can all be thrown overboard.

MLB Predictions for the Second Half of 2023

With that in mind, we thought we’d make some post-All-Star predictions. What will happen when the second part begins? In all likelihood, the second part will be as unpredictable as the first. However, let’s be a little bold and make some predictions for the second half of MLB in 2023.

Rays lose in ALCS

Tampa was the best team in the American League in the first game of the season. But it’s not hard to believe that the Rays peaked too soon.

They had already gone on a seven-game losing streak just before the All-Star break, so they’re not quite the undefeated team they were in April and May. Also, unlike in previous seasons, the Tampa bullpen is not one of the team’s strengths, which is an issue that could be revealed in October.

While the Rays are too good not to find a way past the ALDS, they won’t survive a seven-game ALCS given some of the other teams in the American League.

The Orioles win the trade deadline

The Orioles have long had one of the most comprehensive farm systems in baseball, which means they are poised to do some big things by the trade deadline. Even if Baltimore doesn’t trade top contender Jackson Holliday, the Orioles have plenty of potential players who could be moved to improve their roster.

The Orioles need a deeper rotation and players with postseason experience. Look for them to take two starters and possibly a veteran utility player to the final day, putting them out there more than any other team.

Juan Soto’s exchange

In the midst of a disastrous season, the Padres could roll over and become sellers and shock the league by dumping Juan Soto. Despite not being a free agent until after the 2024 season, Soto could still be one of the best candidates for the trade deadline this summer since he would not be a loanee.

Remember, the Padres traded for Soto before they knew they had to move Fernando Tatis Jr. to the outfield. As such, it’s not certain that Soto is an integral part of San Diego’s long-term plans. That could inspire the Padres to trade Soto and begin rebuilding their farm system.

Has lost 120 games

Admittedly, this isn’t MLB’s most daring prediction for the second half of 2023. However, the 1962 Mets are the only team in modern times to lose 120 games in their inaugural season. So if Oakland did, it would be historic, but not surprising.

At the break, the A’s are on track for a 44-118 record this season. They are not far from hitting a 120-loss pace. The second half is unlikely to get any better for Oakland, especially if the A’s make a few more trades in the final day, making the A’s the worst team in MLB history in 2023.

The Mets make the playoffs

The Mets have had a terrible season, but they still have a chance to make amends and qualify for the playoffs. Francisco Lindor entered the offense before the break, while Francisco Alvarez is having a historic season among rookies.

The key is the starting rotation, though Justin Verlander and Kodai Senga have done well, Carlos Carrasco is playing better and Max Scherzer has won eight games in the first half despite some ups and downs. This group is more than capable of pulling together and allowing the Mets to secure a wild card spot with a late season push.

Astros miss the playoffs

The Astros haven’t missed the playoffs since 2016, so it would be shocking to see the defending champs left out of the 14-team postseason. But it’s certainly a possibility for the Astros this season.

While the Rangers don’t have a huge lead over the Astros, Texas is arguably the best team in this division and is poised to make significant moves by the deadline, having already acquired Aroldis Chapman. That leaves the Astros in a tough race with four teams from the AL East, not to mention the Mariners and possibly the runner-up from the AL Central.

Houston doesn’t have the same rotation depth as in years past. The same can be said for Houston’s lineup, especially with Alex Bregman and Jeremy Pena underperforming and Jose Altuve playing IL again. In the end, the Astros may not have enough to get back to the playoffs.

Reds win NL Central

In one of the biggest upsets of the season, based on preseason projections, we expect the Reds to win the NL Central. For once, the Cardinals won’t be a part of this contest, leaving a head-to-head between Cincinnati and Milwaukee.

Behind Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee certainly has what it takes to win the division title. But the Reds added several young pitchers from their farm system to complement a group of young positional players led by the dynamic Elly De La Cruz. It will be an intriguing contest, but make sure the future Reds stay at the bottom.

Gerrit Cole finally wins the Cy Young

It’s shocking that Gerrit Cole hasn’t won a Cy Young since he’s been one of the league’s elite pitchers for so long. But this will finally be the year Cole wins the Cy Young.

The American League race remains uncertain, and with a strong second half for a team that needs it, Cole will step up beyond the defense. The fact that he’s ahead of the competition in strikeouts will ultimately help cement his reputation as a 2023 American League pitcher.

Freddie Freeman passes Ronald Acuna as MVP

For most of the season, Ronald Acuna Jr. was the National League’s all-time MVP leader. But his former Atlanta teammate, Freddie Freeman, could press in the second half and rob him of that honor.

Freeman isn’t far behind Acuna in batting average and actually has more extra base hits and RBI than Acuna at rest. While Acuna’s stolen bases are something Freeman can’t replicate, Freeman can make a breakthrough in the second half of the season and help the Dodgers win the NL West and become the National League’s Most Valuable Player.

Dodgers win the World Series

With Freeman having a great second half, the Dodgers will ride that wave to their second World Series title in four years. This wasn’t the best regular season Los Angeles has ever had, but that won’t matter in the playoffs.

With shortstops Bobby Miller and Emmet Sheehan emerging, and Clayton Kershaw and possibly Walker Buehler healthy, Los Angeles’ October rotation will be dangerous. Stars like Freeman, Mookie Betts and JD Martinez will lead the lineup and help the Dodgers beat the Braves and beat every team in the American League.

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