2023 Fantasy baseball and real-life predictions for the National League

2023 Fantasy baseball and real-life predictions for the National League

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NL East

  1. Atlanta Braves

  2. New York Mets (wild card)

  3. Philadelphia Phillies (wild card)

  4. Miami Marlins

  5. Washington Nationals

Comments/fantasy predictions

Atlanta Braves:

Ronald Acuña Jr. becomes the fifth player in MLB history (and first since 2006) to go 40/40, while Spencer Strider finishes as fantasy’s No. 1 pitcher and wins the Cy Young awardOzzie Albies (Yahoo ADP #51) has a better fantasy season than Marcus Semien (#31), while Charlie Morton out-pitches teammate Max Fried yet is available 80 picks later … A.J. Minter has top-three fantasy closer potential should Raisel Iglesias’ shoulder injury prove serious, as the Braves have a loaded roster primed to win the World Series.

New York Mets:

Brandon Nimmo is a fantasy bust, while Edwin Díaz is sorely missed ... Helped by one of the most favorable pitcher’s parks in baseball, José Quintana's injury and Tylor Megill’s reduced velocity, David Peterson cracks New York’s rotation; he has emerged as a real fantasy sleeper … The Mets have the upside to win the World Series but enter with their two best players an average of 39.5 years old and in a tough division, so things could go south.

Philadelphia Phillies:

Bailey Falter is a fantasy sleeper who quickly becomes a popular waiver wire add even in shallow leagues, while Darick Hall becomes a popular draft target with Rhys Hoskins out for the season … No reliever reaches 15 saves in Philadelphia’s pen … Alec Bohm is being drafted outside the top 15 at his position in Yahoo leagues but finishes as a top-10 fantasy third baseman in 2023 … I bet Kyle Schwarber (25/1) to record the most RBIs this season.

Miami Marlins:

Jazz Chisholm Jr. goes 25/40 and is a first-round fantasy pick in 2024 … A.J. Puk records the most saves in Miami, but Sandy Alcantara disappoints fantasy managers drafting him as a top-five starter … Edward Cabrera is a top-35 fantasy starter being drafted outside the top-65 SPs in Yahoo leagues … Only health (and a lack of run support preventing wins) can stop Jesús Luzardo from putting up a big fantasy season.

Washington Nationals:

Keibert Ruiz finishes as a top-10 catcher, but Joey Meneses and CJ Abrams disappoint fantasy managers … The Nationals quickly became a rough roster after winning the World Series just four years ago, but never forget Stephen Strasburg posted a 14:0 K:BB ratio during his MLB debut.

NL Central

  1. Milwaukee Brewers

  2. St. Louis Cardinals

  3. Pittsburgh Pirates

  4. Chicago Cubs

  5. Cincinnati Reds

Comments/fantasy predictions

Milwaukee Brewers:

Rowdy Tellez finishes as a top-10 fantasy first baseman but isn’t being drafted inside the top 20 at the position … Brice Turang is a deep fantasy sleeper who’s a former first-round pick with a strong glove and 25-plus stolen base potential. Second base is open in Milwaukee with Kolten Wong gone, and Milwaukee boosts power for lefties. Turang has typically remained available after Round 25 in NFBC Main Event drafts …. With Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, (eventually) Aaron Ashby and a dominant closer, the Brewers are intriguing at 40/1 (or better) to win the World Series. Playing in baseball’s easiest division certainly helps, too.

St. Louis Cardinals:

Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt disappoint fantasy managers coming off career-best seasons in their 30s, but Tyler O’Neill bounces back in a big way … Ryan Helsley is a top-five fantasy closer, while fast-riser Jordan Walker finishes outside the top 15 fantasy third basemen (behind Anthony Rendon and Josh Jung) … Steven Matz is going undrafted in Yahoo leagues, but he out-pitches Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty — both of whom are being drafted inside the top 20 rounds.

Pittsburgh Pirates:

Pittsburgh has a weak offense and bullpen and will likely trade talent at the deadline during its perpetual rebuild, but the Pirates' top of the rotation is sneaky good. Roansy Contreras and Mitch Keller are ready for breakouts in 2023 (same could've been said for JT Brubaker before he suffered a forearm injury), though Pittsburgh’s lack of run support will hurt their fantasy value … Bryan Reynolds is overvalued, but Ke’Bryan Hayes finishes as a top-10 fantasy third baseman.

Chicago Cubs:

Nick Madrigal is a deep fantasy sleeper, while Jameson Taillon emerges as Chicago’s best starter … Dansby Swanson isn’t a top-15 fantasy shortstop in his first season with the Cubs, but Seiya Suzuki is a top-20 outfielder after he returns to action.

Cincinnati Reds:

Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo both pitch like top-20 starters, though their fantasy values don’t quite reflect it, thanks to poor run support and having to play in one of the best hitter’s parks in baseball. Greene is going 30 picks higher in Main Event drafts, but I slightly prefer Lodolo even at the same ADP … Tyler Stephenson, Jonathan India, Wil Myers, Jake Fraley and TJ Friedl all provide huge fantasy profits, while Joey Votto hits 25-plus homers … Noelvi Marte is someone to target in keeper leagues.

NL West

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers

  2. San Diego Padres (wild card)

  3. San Francisco Giants

  4. Arizona Diamondbacks

  5. Colorado Rockies

Comments/fantasy predictions

Los Angeles Dodgers:

Dustin May is drafted in the first round of 2024 fantasy leagues, while Gavin Stone receives ROY votes and is a top-25 fantasy starter once he’s called up … Evan Phillips easily out-pitches Brusdar Graterol, while Max Muncy finishes as a top-five fantasy second baseman … J.D. Martinez records 100-plus RBIs, while David Peralta going undrafted in most Yahoo leagues turns out to be a mistake … Chris Taylor hits sub-.230 again, but 2B prospect Michael Busch eventually emerges as a strong waiver wire add.

San Diego Padres:

Fernando Tatis Jr. is a top-10 player on my board, and a loaded Padres team enters as one of the favorites to win the World Series … Jake Cronenworth and Ha-Seong Kim are better fantasy picks than Xander Bogaerts, who’s still being drafted as a top-10 SS despite a significant downgrade in parks ... Yu Darvish finishes as a top-five fantasy starter.

San Francisco Giants:

Platooning and the Bay Area climate limit the upside of Giants hitters, but San Francisco’s rotation is loaded with fantasy options. After dealing with bad defense and even worse luck last season, Giants pitchers figure to regress in BABIP in 2023. Alex Cobb, Ross Stripling and Sean Manaea are all going after SP70 in Yahoo leagues, but each could easily finish as a top-30 fantasy starter. Kyle Harrison is also going to be a must-add in shallow leagues once he’s called up … Thairo Estrada disappoints, but Camilo Doval finishes as a top-three fantasy closer.

Arizona Diamondbacks:

Christian Walker finishes as a top-10 fantasy first baseman, while Ketel Marte is the best hitter going 200-plus picks into Yahoo drafts … Kyle Lewis surprises with 25-plus home runs, and I bet Corbin Carroll (40/1) to record the most stolen bases this season … Maybe it’s nothing, just a tiny sample — you never can tell if a pitcher is working on things or battling an injury — but Zac Gallen has arguably the worst peripherals among all starting pitchers during spring training … Brandon Pfaadt ends 2023 as Arizona’s ace.

Colorado Rockies:

It’s too bad Colorado doesn’t have more hitters to take advantage of Coors Field, but Ezequiel Tovar, Jurickson Profar and Mike Moustakas are intriguing fantasy sleepers thanks to their home park. And Germán Márquez would become a must-add in shallow formats should he ever be traded … After failing to hit a homer in Coors Field last season, Kris Bryant bounces back with 30 long balls, while Dinelson Lamet emerges as the Rockies’ closer.

AL Rookie of the Year: Hunter Brown

NL Rookie of the Year: Corbin Carroll

AL Cy Young: Gerrit Cole

NL Cy Young: Spencer Strider

AL MVP: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

NL MVP: Ronald Acuña Jr.

ALCS: Rays over Astros

NLCS: Braves over Brewers

World Series: Braves over Rays