With Spring Training only six weeks away, we look at five teams who have had a good winter with new signings and look prepared to challenge for honours in Major League Baseball.
|What||MLB 2023 season|
|Where||Various venues across the USA|
|When||30th March - 1st October|
|How to watch||BT Sport|
|Odds||LA Dodgers , HOU Astros 6/1, NY Mets 7/1, NY Yankees 8/1|
Houston have won the World Series twice in the past six years, while they have also landed the American League Championship four times in this period and claimed the American League West Division title five times out of the last six years.
Now, they may have lost their veteran pitcher Justin Verlander, who opted for free agency and will now play for the , but they are still a pretty strong outfit. They brought back reliever Rafael Montero and experienced outfielder Michael Brantley who were out of contract.
The Astros also managed to sign former AL MVP Jose Abreu to a three-year deal. The 35-year-old has shown some wear and tear over the past few seasons, but manager Dusty Baker has filled a hole where he thought there would be an issue, and who can argue with him.
The were, for a long time last season, the best team in baseball but despite winning a franchise-record 111 games in the regular season, they fell short in the playoffs. Losing the National League Division series to the San Diego Padres must have hurt the Dodgers, given the fact they play in the same division.
Los Angeles haven't been involved in the same blockbuster deals that have been banding around MLB since December. They have lost Trea Turner, who has moved back East to the , but they have added J.D Martinez and pitcher Noah Syndergaard.
While this may not have you on the edge of your seat, just remember that the Dodgers don't need to add too much, they are already challengers. LA have won the NL West title nine years out of the last 10, with their only blip in 2021 when the stole their crown.
The were consistent enough down the straight to win their fifth successive National League East Division and pip the Mets to the title from right under their nose, sweeping them in a three-game series.
However, it didn't quite pan out from then on for the Braves, as they were denied in the playoffs by the resurgent Philadelphia Phillies who had momentum on their side as they went all the way to the Fall Classic, only to fall at the final hurdle.
The Braves may have lost Dansby Swanson, however they have locked in catcher Sean Murphy to add to their already stable roster. Most of their young players are now established and have signed long-term contracts and have experience in winning.
Having come through the Wild Card series against the Mets, the defeated the Dodgers in the NLDS and were expected to reach the World Series, but they were pulled in by the Phillies and lost in the NLCS.
San Diego will be a force this season as they challenge the Dodgers first for the NL West Division and then in the playoffs themselves.
The Padres have been linked with every major signing in the offseason and they eventually got one in Xander Bogaerts. The addition of the five-time silver slugger award winner gives arguably the most powerful top of the lineup in MLB, especially when Fernando Tatis Jr returns with Juan Soto and Manny Machado.
The signings of Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana and Kodai Senga add to a roster that already included Max Scherzer and Carlos Corrasco, all which makes for a pretty decent rotation.
The Mets won 101 games last season and fell short, but if they can replicate that type of form again then surely they will have the NL East over the Braves.