2023 Season Preview: Part II

March 29th, 2023 by Kevin

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Happy Opening Day Eve!  Let’s get one more part of the 2023 season preview out of the way before the first pitch of the season.  The remaining parts will probably have to wait until at least Friday as I will be attending the Braves/Nats opener tomorrow afternoon and will likely be watching baseball all evening as well.

Tonight, we’re going to cover two more teams.  It is interesting that these two particular teams fall into this section of the preview series together because, with the exception of the champion Moonshiners, these were probably 2022′s two most pleasant surprises.  So a fall down to the seventh and eighth places where these projections have them would be a bit disappointing.  At the same time, it also sets them up to be pleasant surprises again this season if they were to contend for the title again.  Not to spoil what’s to come later this week, but these two teams are within 10 projected standings points of every team but one.  So we’re already looking at teams that could very conceivably be in the championship hunt.  Here are the teams projected to finish in seventh and eight place in 2023.


Dom’s Demigods

Category – Projected Rank (2022 Rank)

  • Batting Average – 10th (6th)
  • Home Runs – 2nd (7th)
  • Runs Batted In – 7th (6th)
  • Runs Scored – 4th (3rd)
  • Stolen Bases - 1st (7th)
  • Earned Run Average – 7th (2nd)
  • WHIP Ratio – 8th (2nd)
  • Wins – 7th (5th)
  • Saves - 4th (6th)
  • Strike Outs - 9th (2nd)
  • Total Batting Points – 3rd (5th-T)
  • Total Pitching Points – 8th (2nd)
  • Total Points – 8th (3rd)


The first thing that sticks out when looking at the Demigods projections is how wildly different the rankings are compared to their ’22 finish in a wide variety of categories.  Last year, the Demigods rode an elite power pitching staff to the second most pitching points in the league.  This year, they are projected to be near the bottom in their best pitching categories from last year (ERA, WHIP, Ks).  Meanwhile, they were a below average team in both power and speed on offense a year ago, but are now projected near the top in home runs and first place in stolen bases.  All of this would make sense if they underwent a massive roster retooling in the offseason and draft, but that didn’t really happen.  Although, the return of Fernando Tatis Jr from injury and suspension will undoubtedly give their offense a boost.  Tatis returns to an infield that remains quite potent with Freddie Freeman and Francisco Lindor.  They will be without Jose Altuve for the first quarter of the season though after he broke his thumb getting hit by a pitch in the WBC.  First round draft pick Corbin Carroll should give a nice boost to an outfield that could use it.  His speed alone does give some credence to the stolen base ranking surge.  If the Demigods could ever get a full season out of Byron Buxton, that could be a game changer.  These projections do have him as their top outfield producer.  The pitching staff is essentially unchanged from last year, at least among the most important guys, making the fall in projected points quite peculiar.  The rotation brings back Max Fried, Aaron Nola, Joe Musgrove, Zac Gallen and Robbie Ray, all of whom had good seasons a year ago and are projected to be well above average again this year.  They even added Kyle Wright to supplement this core.  As long as most of these guys stay healthy, I do not see them falling near the bottom of the league in ERA, WHIP and strikeouts.  The bullpen is decent, but perhaps in a precarious spot with a couple closers on bad teams in David Bednar and Kyle Finnegan.  I think there is good reason for the Demigods to be optimistic following their third place finish a year ago, despite these projections.  This is a solid roster top to bottom.


Kat’s Komodos

Category – Projected Rank (2022 Rank)

  • Batting Average – 4th (4th)
  • Home Runs – 7th (2nd)
  • Runs Batted In - 2nd (2nd)
  • Runs Scored – 8th (2nd)
  • Stolen Bases - 6th (6th)
  • Earned Run Average – 5th (7th)
  • WHIP Ratio – 10th (9th)
  • Wins - 1st (4th)
  • Saves - 9th (5th)
  • Strike Outs – 4th (7th)
  • Total Batting Points – 5th-T (3rd)
  • Total Pitching Points – 6th (6th-T)
  • Total Points – 7th (4th)


The Komodos have a pretty exciting young core of hitters returning this season.  Much like the Demigods pitching staff, the Komodos have basically the same offense as last year.  Jose Ramirez remains one of the most dependable stars in the game and could be a legit 30/30 threat this season with the expected increase in steals across the league.  With a full season under his belt, Wander Franco could be on the verge of breaking into the upper stratosphere of players in ’23.  He is paired with another consistently solid shortstop in Corey Seager.  Meanwhile, Willy Adames has quietly become a force at that position as well.  The newcomer to the infield is Thairo Estrada, who has a chance to become an elite power/speed guy too.  The Komodos probably have the best outfield of any team covered so far, led by Yordan Alvarez.  The duo of Luis Robert and Starling Marte are coming off injury plagued seasons, but both remain elite talents when healthy.  If Cody Bellinger were to return to his old form, this would be a tough outfield to beat.  The pitching staff has some question marks going into the season, but it is worth noting these projections already take into account that Walker Buehler is likely to miss the entire season recovering from Tommy John surgery.  Luckily for the Komodos, their two breakout pitching stars from a year ago, Shane McClanahan and Framber Valdez are back for more this season.  The Komodos pitching staff will probably go as the Astros go, because after McClanahan, their top three hurlers all play in Houston:  Valdez, Luis Garcia and first round pick Cristian Javier.  I can think of worse teams to be saturated with than the defending World Series champs.  It is hard to project what the Komodos will get from their relievers.  Devin Williams is the only sure thing closer on the roster.  Jhoan Duran and Rafael Montero (another Astro) have nasty enough stuff to help ERA, WHIP and strikeout totals even if they don’t get many saves.  The Komodos will look to build off of their first ever top half finish a year ago.


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