- Opening Day for the 2023 MLB season is March 30.
- The Guardians will play their season opener against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park.
After exceeding expectations by advancing to the Division Series in 2022, the Cleveland Guardians are returning to the field with the confidence only a playoff win can provide.
A young team focused on player development, the Guardians only had a few holes that needed to be addressed. So, have they done enough to win the AL Central two years in a row?
Cleveland Guardians Offseason Transactions
The Guardians didn’t make a lot of roster moves during the offseason, but they also didn’t really need to. The team’s only glaring needs were a catcher and a strong hitter, and they took care of both before Christmas.
On Dec. 12, 2022, the Guardians signed first baseman Josh Bell to a two-year, $33 million contract. They secured catcher Mike Zunino three days later on a one-year, $6 million deal.
Players exiting Cleveland included Austin Hedges, Nolan Jones, and Luke Maile.
Cleveland Guardians Odds
- Odds to Win AL Central: +160
- Odds to Win American League: +1300
- Odds to Win World Series: +2500
All odds are as of Feb. 15.
Cleveland Guardians Win Total
The Guardians’ win total for the 2023 season is 87.5.
I think a season with at least 88 wins is very likely for Cleveland.
The Guardians have recorded at least 90 wins in five of their last six full-length seasons (excluding the shortened 2020 season). In 2022, they posted a record of 92-70, and that was supposed to be a development year.
With their young roster having a full season until their belts, plus a few new pieces to fill holes, I think 88 wins is very doable for the Guardians in 2023.
Cleveland Guardians Predictions
Prediction: The Cleveland Guardians will win the AL Central.
After proving themselves in 2022, Cleveland is back even better this year.
The White Sox and Twins haven’t done enough to improve this offseason, and the Guardians were already better than them last year. I don’t expect there to be too much resistance to the Guardians winning the AL Central in 2023.
Stop us if you've heard this before:
— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) October 1, 2022
Another slightly riskier prediction is I think José Ramírez will finish at least in the top two for the AL MVP award. The star third baseman routinely ranks high in MVP voting, despite playing for a smaller-market team, and I think 2023 might finally be his year.
The Guardians’ starting rotation will feature the usual suspects — Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie, Cal Quantrill, Aaron Civale, and Zach Plesac. Cody Morris will likely also be worked into the rotation, having made his MLB debut at the end of the 2022 season, especially if any injuries or availability issues crop up.
All eyes will be on Civale and Plesac to prove they can stay healthy and improve on their 2022 ERAs if they don’t want Morris or another Triple-A pitcher taking their place in the rotation.
Overall, I think the Guardians are in a good position going into 2023. There may not have been a lot of offseason moves, but all roster holes were addressed. As for the rest? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.