For some fans, the 2022 Major League Baseball season being over is a relief. When your team is performing well below the levels you expect or even hope they can hit, the end of a disappointing season is a welcome sight. But with a whole new season starting on March 30th 2023, there could be a lot to look forward to for some of these teams who maybe didn’t quite achieve what they were hoping for, let’s face it, lifting the trophy at the end of the season isn’t a realistic target for every team, just a dream.
Today, we’re going to be taking a look at two teams in particular. Both of these teams represent Ohio. Those teams are the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Guardians. The Guardians had a pretty solid 2022 season, finishing top of the American League Central division, 3rd overall in the American League with a 92-70 record. They made a run into the postseason, making it to the Division Series where they lost 3-2 to the Yankees.
The same can’t be said for the Cincinnati Reds however, the less said the better. No run into the playoffs for them, just a massively disappointing season where they ended with a record of 62-100, yes that is 100 losses. That record had them propping up the National League Central division, only two teams had a worse record, the Oakland Athletics at 60-102 and the Washington Nationals at 55-107. They were also tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates who also had a 62-100 record. Yikes.
With that being said, the topic we’re here to discuss today is this. What can we expect from these two teams this season, can Guardians fans expect another postseason run? Perhaps a deeper postseason run in 2023? Perhaps even another World Series, but potentially even a win this time, unlike the 2016 season. Then for Reds fans, I guess anything would really be an improvement wouldn’t it? Even a nice mid table finish, just to see signs that there’s something there and the guys really want it.
Starting off with the Guardians, what can we expect from them? Honestly, the short answer is more of the same. On their day, they’re a challenge for any team in the league. But they are missing a few things. Bobby Bradley and Franmil Reyes haven’t quite been at their best at times this season, IF the Guardians can get a solid and consistent batter that can perform when it matters most, their fortunes could seriously change.
Then there’s their first basemen, Gabriel Arias and Owner Miller. Realistically, that’s a position that could seriously hold the Guardians back moving into the 2023 season. Unfortunately, they don’t really have a first baseman in the minors right now that you could say is capable of making that step up and there aren’t any on the market really either, so if they’re stuck with the options they have it could be a tough one. I think this season the Guardians at least make it to the Championship Series but it's a tough call.
As for the Cincinnati Reds, you’re looking at a team where the only way is up. The Reds have a pretty solid history and a fan base that really does deserve better than a 3 digit loss season. Do I think they have it in them to make the playoffs as they are? Probably not but, after cutting their payroll a lot and focusing a lot of effort on the offensive side of their game, improvements are certainly visible for the upcoming season.
"We’re trying to look at the entire offense. How can we get better?" Reds general manager Nick Krall said on Monday during the Winter Meetings. "Now it’s trying to figure out how can we use what money we have available to get better. We still have some money available. A little bit of money. We don’t have a ton," It’s going to take a lot to get the Reds back up into playoff contention, but, the work they’ve put in so far, alongside the work they’re still doing will likely see them at least in the middle of the pack for the 2023 season.
Now, with the 2023 season starting in a little over 3 months, it seems like this is as good a time as any to check out what sort of a chance the experts are giving both of these Ohio-based teams to go all the way. I think it’s fairly obvious which of the 2 teams would be the favorite to win a World Series next season, but what odds could you get right now, bare in mind these odds are subject to change given the fact these teams could change a lot in the next few months!
So, time for some odds. If you’re looking to make the most of your early registration benefits from Caesars Ohio sportsbook and stake it on one of the Ohio-based teams to win the World Series, starting with the team that has been performing relatively well in recent years, the Cleveland Guardians, you could find yourself getting +3000 for them to win the 2023 World Series, which would see a $155 return from a $5 stake. If you think the Cincinnati Reds could pull off the shock of a lifetime and jump so far up the table they take home the gold, you can see odds of around +12500, which would return $630 from $5. Wild, but not impossible.
Since we’re here we may as well take a look at some of the favorites for the season, starting off with the Houston Astros, you can get them at +550 which is a $32.50 return from $5. Funnily enough their partners in the 2022 World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies are tied 6th favorite at +1600 returning $85. The Astros are currently tied as favorites with the Los Angeles Dodgers, however, coming in at +550 again. Just behind these 2 teams you have the Yankees at +800 returning $45 and the Atlanta Braves coming in at +900 returning $50, not a bad roundup.
So, Guardians fans, how much are we looking forward to the 2023 season? Are we expecting big things? Do you think this roster has what it takes to go all the way and maybe win their first world series since 1948? If not, what roster changes would YOU make if you were in charge? On the other hand, if you think the boys are good enough as they are, what do you think they need to improve to make that last charge and get their name in lights?
Finally, Reds fans. After such a disappointing season, what is the first thing we really need to see change for the Reds to get back on track? Their playoff history hasn’t exactly been worthy of bragging since they last won the World Series way back in 1990, only making the playoffs in 5 seasons since. Is it the roster? Is it the coach? Is it the work ethic? What is the real issue here for the Reds? Saying they’re just not good enough seems like the easy way out here, there must be a solution for the Reds to get back up there, they’re a long way away from being the 75 & 76 back-to-back World Series winning team they once were.