MLB Opening Day is on the horizon. Most initial fantasy baseball drafts are in the books. But it's still beneficial for fantasy managers to get an idea of who the best teams will be — and who could go all the way — when they're on the clock. Our analysts reveal whom they think will be holding the Commissioner's Trophy at season's end.
The winner will come from the (NL) West
The San Diego Padres have pretty much everything you could possibly ask for in a World Series favorite, including one of the most formidable lineups in recent memory. The Pads' rotation features three aces, the bullpen is loaded — anchored by an often unhittable closer — and the team has made clear that it's willing to spend.
If San Diego has midseason needs, those issues are absolutely going to be addressed. The Dodgers are a problem atop the division, sure, but the Padres seem every bit as dangerous. Gimme a ticket at +900.
— Andy Behrens
Why deny the Brew Crew?
I prefer a longer shot in a season that looks like a wide-open race without any team projected to win more than 92 games. Give me Milwaukee at 35/1. The Brewers get to play in baseball’s easiest division and could easily upgrade their offense at the trade deadline. And in a short series, Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, (hopefully) Aaron Ashby, Matt Bush and Devin Williams offer as much upside as any front/back end of a staff in baseball.
There shouldn’t be a dozen teams more favored to win the 2023 World Series than Milwaukee, which will also benefit from traveling the fewest miles this season. — Dalton Del Don
2-for-1: A favorite and a deep shot
If you would prefer a favorite ticket, punch the Atlanta Braves at +750. They have the deepest lineup in baseball, they have a handful of ascending talents who could get better (I see at least three MVP candidates here), and they have legitimate star pitchers who belong at the front of a playoff rotation.
If you're looking at a deeper shot, though, I'm interested in the White Sox.
They could certainly advance from what's probably the weakest division in baseball; all they need is reasonable injury luck and perhaps a boost from a new manager. Chicago is the sleeping giant in baseball right now. — Scott Pianowski