Spring training is winding down, final roster cuts are being made and Opening Day is practically here for the 2023 Major League Baseball season.
Which means it’s once again time to renew those MLBTV subscriptions and curse at the league’s horrible blackout restrictions. But which teams should you pay attention to that are available in your region?
Allow us to help with the 2023 MLB Watchability Rankings. A complete list of all 30 teams to help you decide which games are worth your time and which are perfect for a midday nap.
MORE: All 30 stadiums ranked in 2023
The 2022 Watchability Rankings are available here. And you can find the 2021 list here. The BetFTW crew also gave their best guesses for which teams will hit their win total projections this season —putting money on a team instantly makes them more watchable when all else fails.
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Two years ago the Nats opened the season No. 10 in the FTW rankings. The list of players who have departed the roster since then include Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Juan Soto, Kyle Schwarber and Jon Lester. Stephen Strasburg will begin the year on the 60-day injured list while top pitching prospect Cade Cavalli spends all season recovering from Tommy John Surgery.
Tune in to watch Joey Meneses attempt to slug his way onto a contender’s wish list by the trade deadline.
This team is going to win 50 games and each one of those will be shocking. Starting pitcher Shintaro Fujinami was the big offseason acquisition and he’s expected to take the bump every six days as he transitions from Japan — which should be the only time you watch the A’s unless Shea Langliers or Ramon Laureano are on your fantasy team.
Kansas City Royals
The rebuild in Kansas City is getting another reset and it won’t be pretty for some time. That said, Bobby Witt Jr. and MJ Melendez will get better. Sal Perez will try to recapture his old form after playing most of 2022 with a damaged thumb and Zack Greinke will continue to be one of the most entertaining players in baseball.
The rest of the club, however, is big yikes.
The Rockies get a bump over the Royals solely because you’re virtually guaranteed to see a home run during any game at Coors Field. But more likely than not it’ll be hit by the visiting team.
Kris Bryant and Charlie Blackmon really need some help out here and it doesn’t seem like they’ll get it any time soon.
Another rebuilding team who is going back to the drawing board. On the bright side, it’s almost impossible for first baseman Spencer Torkleson to play worse this year than he did during his rookie campaign.
Javier Baez is good for a few highlights when he’s not swinging at pitches 50 feet in front of the plate.
What a bizarre offseason for the D-Backs. They traded for Kyle Lewis, traded away Daulton Varsho, signed Evan Longoria and then gave Corbin Carroll an eight-year, $111 million deal.
Anyways, they’ll battle with Colorado for the bottom of the National League West.
San Francisco Giants
Speaking of weirdly constructed rosters, San Francisco is trying its best not to venture into “full rebuild” territory by relying on Sean Manaea, Mitch Haniger and Michael Conforto alongside regulars Logan Webb, Joey Bart, Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Crawford.
They’ll play an aggravating brand of baseball, win 85~ games and stay in the playoff hunt until at least late July.
Fun baseball? In South Florida? In the Year 2023!?
Folks, I don’t know what to tell you. The top end of their rotation is elite. Jazz Chisholm plays with a ton of flash and both Jorge Soler and Luis Arraez can rake.
They won’t win a ton of games in a stacked NL East, but they will absolutely be fun to watch — especially when Sandy Alcantara is on the mound. More importantly: They are bringing back the 1993 teal jerseys for every Friday home game.
Flashback to the past. ✨
The Marlins will be fitted in Florida Marlins uniforms same as the 1993 team in the organization's inaugural season for Friday home games this season (excluding Lou Gehrig Day and Roberto Clemente Day).
🔗: https://t.co/5rOTQv6054 pic.twitter.com/wtElxbA7eT
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) March 24, 2023
It’s easy to feel good about Andrew McCutchen’s homecoming. The reality is — outside of some rather poor starting pitching — this team has notable talent ready to break through.
By now everyone is at least aware of Oneil Cruz. Ke’Bryan Hayes should take the next step and Bryan Reynolds could make a real star turn. But if Pittsburgh promotes minor leaguers Endy Rodriguez, Quinn Priester and Mike Burrows in the near future, the Pirates will move up this list rather quickly.
Don’t watch the Reds expecting to see a lot of wins. Watch because the raw talent is hard to look away from. Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo have tremendous stuff.
Plus, no one has ever watched Joey Votto and regretted it.
The additions of Trey Mancini, Cody Bellinger and Eric Hosmer to a team that plays at one of the most hitter-friendly parks around should make this offense fun, if inconsistent.
Boston Red Sox
Red Sox fans should be extremely excited after watching Masataka Yoshida consistently destroy pitches for Team Japan during the World Baseball Classic. There’s not too much else to be excited about, however.
Chris Sale’s health will remain a concern all year. Triston Casas will have some growing pains at first base. At least Rafael Devers is locked in long term now, but this lineup would look significantly better if Xander Bogaerts were still around.
Carlos Correa ended up staying in Minnesota after all! Please don’t look into why, Twins fans.
The rotation is suspect and not even banning the shift has stopped opponents from shifting on Joey Gallo. But everything Minnesota did this offseason will be irrelevant if Byron Buxton can’t stay healthy and perform at MVP levels. That’s asking a lot for an outfielder who has available for more than 100 games just once in his eight seasons.
The Twins should win the AL Central, but since when has that mattered in this division?
Another team that may vault up these rankings soon. That’s thanks to Gunnar Henderson’s arrival, Adley Rutschman’s continued improvement behind the plate and Cedric Mullins’ general awesomeness.
Baltimore has the No. 1 rated farm system in baseball and it’s starting to churn out Major League talent at a consistent rate. The O’s also have a closer in Felix Bautista who officially has the coolest entrance in baseball with Edwin Diaz is sidelined. Come to think of it, why haven’t the Mets traded for Bautista yet?
How does a team with Jacob deGrom, Corey Seager and Marcus Semien rank this low? Well, for starters, the Rangers have to prove they can keep everyone healthy before we get too excited about them.
Chicago White Sox
Can a new manager bring this team back to life after two disastrous years of Tony La Russa? Will Andrew Vaughn’s move to first base unlock his potential at the plate? How will Dylan Cease follow up a near-Cy Young campaign last season?
The White Sox are one of the most interesting stories in baseball more because of what they haven’t achieved yet. This feels like a make-or-break year for Tim Anderson & Co. Which means every game is going to be scrutinized to an absurd degree. The American League Central is there for the taking if the South Siders can figure it out.
The team that WILL win the AL Central.
Goodness this roster is stunningly fun. This is the year Triston McKenzie becomes an absolute star on the mound, Emmanuel Clase proves he’s the best closer in baseball (again, no Edwin Diaz) and the infield of Josh Naylor-Andres Gimenez-Amed Rosario-Jose Ramirez is in the running for the best in baseball.
There are a few weak spots in this roster (Cleveland needs a difference-making DH, namely) but nothing that can’t be addressed during the season.
There’s a lot to like about the Brew Crew this year — starting with the 1-2 punch of Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff on the mound. Putting together a lineup with Rowdy Tellez and Jesse Winker should produce plenty of runs to support them.
St. Louis Cardinals
Admire Adam Wainwright while you can, cause it doesn’t seem like he has much left in the tank. That’s fine as long as Jack Flaherty is healthy. Adding Willson Contreras behind the plate to replace Yadier Molina was a strong move.
Tampa Bay Rays
Do I even need to name any players for you to know this club is just going to scrap its way to 90+ wins? No, no I do not. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have Shane McClanahan anchoring the rotation and Randy Arozarena hoarding all the swag in the league.
I’m not convinced this team can rediscover the magic from last year’s postseason run, but the Mariners are too likable to root against.
See: Rodriguez, Julio.
Toronto Blue Jays
A matchup nightmare in the American League with a deep rotation and even deeper lineup.
The concern, as always, comes back to the health of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and George Springer, but that’s less worrisome with Brandon Belt, Daulton Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier in the fold.
New York Yankees
Aaron Judge can’t hit 60 home runs again, right?
No seriously, we’re asking. Because if so, we’re going to have to move the Yankees up quite a bit.
Los Angeles Angels
Postseason drought or not, when Shohei Ohtani is on the mound or at the plate, the Angels should be on your screen. The best baseball player in the world commands your attention.
Don’t let the departure of Justin Verlander fool you, the Astros can absolutely win back-to-back titles with a rotation of Cristian Javier, Framber Valdez, Jose Urquidy and Lance McCullers Jr.
The addition of Jose Abreu at first base has only made one of the most powerful lineups in baseball even stronger. This club may have some weaknesses exposed, but it’s hard to see Houston doing anything except running away with the AL West yet again.
Los Angeles Dodgers
It’s such a bummer Gavin Lux is out for the year, but it’s just another example of how well the Dodgers draft and develop talent that it shouldn’t really impact their play on the field.
Pencil Los Angeles in for another 100-win season.
San Diego Padres
This ranking does not mean the Padres are going to finish ahead of the Dodgers, it just means they’re more fascinating than their rivals to the north.
What can a full season of Juan Soto and Xander Bogaerts do for San Diego? How long does Fernando Tatis Jr. take to return to form after his suspension is up on April 20?
Does this team have enough arms to last a full year?
Payroll experiments that cost this much money are always wild to watch play out. The Padres, for better or worse, are no exception.
No offense to the back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back NL East champs, but they aren’t the most watchable team in their division this year. That’s mostly for the same reason the Padres are listed above the Dodgers.
There is too much money being spent by Atlanta’s rivals to take down the Braves to not focus on how those seasons play out.
All of that said: whew, what a team Atlanta has. Even with closer Raisel Iglesias set to miss time, the collection of talent up and down the roster is just silly. Keep an eye on Spencer Strider to take the next step.
Hopefully this is the year we see Mike Soroka play meaningful baseball again after some horrific injury luck.
Were you entertained by J.T. Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner during the World Baseball Classic? Of course you were!
Well, good news. You can see all three play on the same team again for another 162 games and probably into October, too. A season-ending knee injury to Rhys Hoskins is an absolutely brutal way to break camp, but the Phillies have more than enough talent to get back to the World Series.
New York Mets
No team has come close to spending the kind of money the Mets have on this year’s team. Their $336 million roster is only $23 million less than the combined payroll of the Athletics, Orioles, Pirates, Rays, Reds and Guardians.
That’s how badly chairman Steve Cohen wants to bring a World Series title back to Queens.
Expectations for these Mets are at an all-time high even after replacing Jacob deGrom with Justin Verlander and losing Diaz for the year. Either New York reaches ridiculous heights this year or they crash and burn along the way. Those are really the only two options for the Mets. So, yeah, there’s no way to take your eyes off this team.