The 2023 MLB season is nearly upon us once again, and the Houston Astros will be looking to defend the title they successfully claimed in 2022.
Houston claimed their second ever championship with a 4-2 series win over the Philadelphia Phillies to put an end to their long wait to become champions once again, and they'll look to prove it was no fluke - but there will be plenty of competition after several top teams had years to forget last time around.
We'll take a look at the favorites to be crowned world champions come the end of 2023 and give you our best free MLB picks to see if we can earn you some extra cash from this baseball season.
|MLB World Series 2023|
|New York Yankees||+700||+700|
|New York Mets||+750||+700|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+775||+750|
|San Diego Padres||+1000||+1000|
Learn more about how to bet on the MLB world series here.
MLB Picks: World Series 2023
Houston Astros - (+625)
Houston will be looking to make it to a third consecutive World Series in 2023, having lost the 2021 series 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves before their success last season against the Phillies.
Much of the Astros’ core has loads of playoff experience and will be ready to have another shot at a ring. Their pitching staff, even without Verlander, is deep, and they may have the best pure hitter in the MLB in Yordan Alvarez.
Plugging Jose Abreu into the hole at first base was a good move, as his power potential tops that of Mancini’s and Vazquez’s combined. McCullers will be 100% ahead of Spring Training, and Framber Valdez has emerged as one of the league’s best.
With that said though and without even considering injuries, the Astros lineup consistency will be something to keep an eye on.
Altuve has posted solid numbers, but their age may become a factor. Then you have to consider a sophomore slump for Jeremy Pena, whose numbers cooled off down the stretch.
Their 1-6 is solid, but there is a tremendous drop-off with the back third of the lineup. If any of the 1-6 suffer lengthy or recurring injuries, that could hinder their ability to make a deep playoff run. As reigning champions though, they have to be one of the MLB picks of the season at this price.
Check out our review for BetOnline sports betting here.
Los Angeles Dodgers - (+775)
Losing Justin Verlander is going to hurt the Astros, but this team has lost superstars in years gone by and have remained World Series contenders. They’re almost certain to win the AL West once again, but could they go all the way again?
All the Dave Roberts naysayers do not know baseball, plain and simple. Roberts led his team to one of the best records of all time while managing a deep IL and putting players in unfamiliar positions, and it worked.
You would have no clue who Max Muncy or Chris Taylor were if it weren’t for their incredible transformations under Roberts and his staff.
They have money to spend to fill the holes in their roster, the prospects to move in trades, and the capabilities to turn an average role player into an all-star caliber player. It also helps that Freeman and Betts might be the best 1-2 in the league, so their position as favorites is legitimate.
However Buehler is out for the season, and the back end of their rotation leaves some questions. Dustin May had dominant outings and Tony Gonsolin came out of nowhere and posted some dominant numbers, but will they be able to repeat that?
Urias and Kershaw are solid, but neither will likely to get you deep into games. The bullpen has a lot of guys that can come in and fill the innings, but they don’t have “that guy” to rely on to close out games. They're still worth a bet at this price though and one of our MLB picks.
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Atlanta Braves - (+1000)
Acuna, Riley, Olson, Albies, Strider, Harris, Wright, Contreras, and Grissom will all rep the Braves for quite some time.
From top to bottom, the Braves had the best lineup in baseball, and it is likely to be one of the most dangerous again this season. Acuna and Ozzie missed much of the season, and the two will look to come back and be a dynamic 1-2 in the Braves lineup.
Sure, they are not likely to bring back Dansby, but Grissom showed some major flashes, and coach Ron Washington heavily favors giving him the job to start the year. Their pitching corps is returning with Fried, Strider, Wright, and Morton, and have tons of in-house options for the 5th spot, with former ace Mike Soroka looking to make a comeback, along with Kyle Muller and Ian Anderson.
The Braves will be asking Harris, Strider, and Grissom to do a lot again this season. We have all heard of the infamous Sophomore Slump, and these guys are all subject to that plague this season.
Not only that, but Kyle Wright also had a breakout season and is not looked at as a guy who can consistently win 15+ games.
The backend of the bullpen did not look like it did when they hoisted the trophy in 2021, and Matzek is out for the foreseeable. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding many facets of this Braves team heading into this season.
This is one of the best lineups in the league however and has a formidable pitching staff to rely on, so they're well worth a flutter and they're our favorite MLB pick for the season.
Check out our review for BetUS sports betting here.