As the 2023 MLB season kicks off, fans are eagerly anticipating a historic and exciting year. For the first time in MLB history, each team will face all other teams at least once this year. 

Additionally, Year 2 of the new 12-team postseason format is upon us, along with several new rule changes aimed at improving play speed and generating more action.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the most intriguing predictions for the 2023 MLB season, including new rule changes, breakout players, and championship favorites.

New Rule Changes

One of the most significant changes this season is the implementation of a pitch timer. The introduction of a pitch timer era has been marked by the implementation of two distinct time limits: 15 seconds when no runners are on base and a 20-second clock when there are runners.

It has led to better flow during games and a decrease in the time of games played. This spring, Grapefruit League and Cactus League games have averaged 2 hours and 36 minutes, down from 3 hours and 1-minute last spring and 3 hours and 6 minutes last regular season. 

Anticipating the impact of the pitch timer, we expect that the average duration of a nine-inning game will decrease to 2 hours and 45 minutes this season, marking the shortest game time since 1985.

Pitchers are also restricted to two disengagements per plate appearance, and the bases are now 18 inches by 18 inches. 

These changes have given base-stealers the green light, and stolen bases are expected to increase by 30% this season, with a projected 3,232 stolen bases compared to the 2,486 stolen bases in 2022.

With all these changes, it's no wonder that baseball fans are eagerly checking today's MLB odds to see how their favorite teams will fare this season.

Star Breakout Players

Every season, some players exceed expectations and establish themselves as stars in the league. Here are some breakout players to keep an eye on this season:

Aaron Judge (OF, New York Yankees)

After hitting 62 home runs and winning the MVP award in 2022, Judge is poised for another impressive season. While we predict he will hit "only" 45 home runs this year, he remains one of the game's top power hitters.

Shohei Ohtani (DH/P, Los Angeles Angels)

Ohtani is a rare talent who excels both at the plate and on the mound. This season, we predict he will win the AL MVP award while leading the league in home runs.

Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS, San Diego Padres)

Tatis Jr. is a rising star in the game and is expected to continue his impressive play this season. We predict he will hit 50 home runs, further cementing his status as one of the game's top power hitters.

Mike Trout (OF, Los Angeles)

Mike Trout is one of the best players in baseball history, and he is not done yet. This season, we predict he will win his fourth MVP award, further cementing his status as a legend of the game.

Championship Favorites

The start of the season brings optimism for all teams, but some are more favored than others to make a deep playoff run. Here are some championship favorites this season:

Los Angeles Dodgers

With a strong team and plenty of talent, the Dodgers are always a threat. They are favored to win the World Series this year.

New York Mets

The Mets have made significant moves in the offseason and are positioned to win the NL East this season. With a strong pitching staff and talented position players, they are a team to watch.

Other Predictions

In addition to the above predictions, we also foresee some other changes happening this season:

The St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins are expected to surprise fans and make a push for the playoffs this season, despite being relatively overlooked by analysts and experts.

The usage of analytics will continue to grow in the game, with more teams relying on data-driven strategies to gain an edge over their opponents.

Overall, the 2023 MLB season is shaping up to be an exciting and historic one, with new rule changes, breakout players, and championship favorites to watch out for. Fans can look forward to a season full of surprises, drama, and unforgettable moments on the diamond.


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