The MLB playoffs are set to begin on Tuesday with the Tampa Bay Rays hosting the Texas Rangers to kick things off. There are a number of surprise teams in the 2023 postseason, while some usual contenders missed out in 2023. All season long we've been sharing full 30 team MLB Power Rankings. Today, however, we will be ranking each 2023 playoff team.
Without further ado, let's get into it.
12. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks finished with just 84 wins but still found a way to sneak into the postseason. They are the No. 6 seed in the National League and will play the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card round.
Arizona could pull off an upset. Zac Gallen is leading the charge for AZ while rookie Corbin Carroll won't back down despite the spotlight. Additionally, Brewers star pitcher Brandon Woodruff is out with an injury.
Diamondbacks fans shouldn't lose hope amid their team's ranking heading into the MLB playoffs. Plenty of ball clubs in the past have narrowly snuck into the postseason and still reached the World Series. For now, Arizona is our 12th ranked team though.
11. Miami Marlins
The Marlins could have easily been the 12th ranked team. They also won 84 games and are the No. 5 seed in the East thanks to a tiebreaker. They also have a difficult matchup, playing the Philadelphia Phillies.
With all of that being said, this Miami team has impressed throughout the season. Their offense is capable of surprising people while the pitching has held its own. Sandy Alcantara's injury obviously doesn't help, but people should not sleep on the Marlins.
Their odds of upsetting the Phillies aren't all that high. Still, look for the Marlins to give Philadelphia some trouble in the Wild Card round.
10. Minnesota Twins
Yes, the No. 3 seed in the American League checks in at No. 10 in our MLB Power Rankings.
The AL Central was abysmal this season. Minnesota was the only team to finish with a record of above .500. Teams in the AL Central tend to struggle in the MLB playoffs as well. In fact, an AL Central team hasn't won the World Series since 2015 (Kansas City Royals).
The Twins are playing a Toronto Blue Jays team with question marks in the Wild Card round. Nobody is saying Minnesota cannot win that series. However, it would be surprising to see the Twins reach the World Series.
Minnesota's pitching staff is decent, albeit far from spectacular. The offense can make some things happen without question, but there are more intimidating lineups. Perhaps the Twins will go on a tear and prove me wrong, but I'm not too confident in this ball club heading into October.
9. Texas Rangers
Rangers fans won't like this. After all, they finished with a better record than the Blue Jays. Bullpens are crucial in the MLB playoffs though, and the Rangers' relief core is lacking.
The Phillies proved last season that offense can carry a team. Fortunately for the Rangers, their lineup absolutely smashes. But Philadelphia also had a fairly reliable bullpen. Despite losing in the World Series, that balance helped them upset the National League.
The Rangers feature one of the worst bullpens in baseball on the other hand. Texas is going to need their offense and starting rotation to both perform at elite levels in order to overcome their atrocious bullpen.
8. Toronto Blue Jays
There are not a lot of people who believe in the Blue Jays heading into the 2023 MLB playoffs. Their roster does feature some question marks. But this team quietly has one of the more balanced rosters in baseball.
Their Kevin Gausman-led rotation will hold its own. The bullpen has some key arms who will lock things down late in games. And the lineup, which features stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and George Springer, is always going to keep the Blue Jays in games.
Toronto is a sneaky true contender. Will they upset the odds and reach the World Series? It won't be easy, but keep an eye on Toronto.
7. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers have one of the best pitching staffs in the game. Their offense is inconsistent though, and Woodruff's injury will prove to be detrimental.
That said, the Brewers pitching can still take them a long way. It will be the key to defeating Arizona in the first round and pulling off upsets throughout the MLB playoffs.
The difference-maker will be the lineup though. Milwaukee must find a way to score runs on a consistent basis in order to help the pitching staff. Otherwise, their October will be defined by extremely low-scoring affairs and heartbreaking defeats.
6. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays just find ways to win. Despite losing star pitchers like Shane McClanahan early in the season, Tampa Bay has held strong.
They failed to win the AL East. However, the Rays still finished with the second best record in the AL. In previous seasons, the Rays have been a team that featured great pitching and mediocre offense. In 2023, Tampa Bay has a good lineup though. That should prove to play a major role during the MLB playoffs.
The Rays should feel confident heading into their Wild Card round versus the Rangers.
5. Houston Astros
The Astros are the No. 2 seed in the AL, but No. 5 in our MLB Power Rankings.
Houston doesn't have the same amount of overall firepower as compared to recent seasons. They just did win the AL West, ultimately clinching a first-round bye. But this Astros team has a lot more uncertainty compared to last year's World Series winning ball club.
They do have postseason experience on their side, however. And it wouldn't surprise anyone if the Astros made another World Series run. It will be very intriguing to follow Houston during the 2023 postseason.
4. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies happen to play in the same division as the best team in baseball. But their performance should not be overlooked.
Philadelphia features a similar roster to the one that reached the World Series in 2022. Bryce Harper has proven to be one of the game's best clutch performers, and the rest of Philadelphia's ball club won't back down. They cannot afford to take the Marlins for granted in the Wild Card round, but I believe Philadelphia has the best odds of reaching the World Series aside from the Dodgers and Braves.
Orioles fans surely believe the team should be in front of the Dodgers. On paper, one could make that argument. After all, Baltimore finished with the best record in the AL.
However, they won 101 games and LA won 100. The primary reason for Baltimore checking in at No. 3 heading into the MLB playoffs, however, is experience.
The O's are leaning on an extremely young roster. Other teams have plenty of playoff experience. Baltimore still can make a World Series run without question. That would be fun to watch, but there is some reason for concern given that lack of experience. Plus, the pitching staff isn't exactly the best in baseball.
But I don't want to cause Orioles fans to worry too much. Baltimore's first-round bye will help matters and O's fans should remain confident heading into October.
The Dodgers are ready to roll. Max Muncy believes this team is different than last year's ball club that was upset in the NLDS.
LA will have a first-round bye and they still need to take care of business. However, most people around the MLB world expect a Dodgers-Braves NLCS. Nothing is guaranteed and upsets happen all of the time in October, so the Dodgers cannot afford to get ahead of themselves.
Los Angeles' biggest question mark is their starting rotation. Clayton Kershaw is set to lead the way, with young hurler Bobby Miller following him. The Dodgers will likely then turn to Lance Lynn, but there isn't much certainty beyond Kershaw and Miller.
The Dodgers' bullpen is strong though, and their Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman-led lineup will consistently provide them with opportunities to win in the MLB playoffs.
The Braves are the best team in baseball and it's almost impossible to argue against that. They broke no shortage of records this season, and Ronald Acuna Jr. had one of the best years ever.
As baseball fans know, however, the best regular season team doesn't always win the World Series. Every team is looking forward to playing the Braves as they want to upset the odds and shock the MLB world. That said, there isn't a single team that will be lucky to face the Braves. Atlanta is an extremely intimidating opponent.
The Braves are the top team heading into the MLB playoffs.