The start of the 2023 Major League Baseball season is once again upon us, and after a 2022 edition nearly derailed by a lockout and the two prior seasons hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, fans are hoping for some long-awaited normalcy.
However, the season is already off to an unpredictable start thanks to significant injuries suffered during the recent World Baseball Classic: New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz blew out his knee, and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve broke his thumb. Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins also tore his ACL during a spring training game last week and will miss the entire campaign.
SPIN has gathered a group of musicians who double as baseball fanatics to share their thoughts on what’s to come, and it’s no surprise that they’re all optimistic about their favorite team’s chances. Don’t run to your favorite sports book just yet, though. Last year, none of our participants predicted that the Houston Astros would defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in six games to win the World Series. In fact, in the history of this series, only one person has correctly predicted the outcome.
Still, if you want to feel good about your favorite team, you’re in the right place. Batter up!
Chuck McKissock, Classless Act – San Francisco Giants
What’s your prognosis for this year?
I honestly think this season will be similar to last season. There’s so much competition in that division now, with the Dodgers and Padres, so around third place.
What are your reasonable hopes?
Last year, I believe we were exactly at .500 — we won 81 games and lost 81 games. So I’m hoping we can be better last year and hopefully get a wild card spot.
What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
We picked up outfielder Michael Conforto who was with the Mets in 2021 and entered free agency last year, as well as pitcher Taylor Rogers, who was with the Padres. The Giants always need good pitching, and adding a solid outfielder who can produce at the plate is a boost to the lineup.
What’s the ceiling/floor?
I would say that the ceiling is first place in the division (the Dodgers lost some big guys this past off-season). And the floor would be under .500, and maybe fourth in the division.
Who’s your player to watch this year?
Outfielder Michael Conforto. He missed all of 2022 after having shoulder surgery, so I think having a player who’s hungry to get back at it after sitting out for a whole year is going to be very exciting.
What’s your record prediction?
The Giants will probably play .500 again, but I’d like to see them win more than 85 games, so, 86 -76.
Will they make the playoffs?
What’s your World Series matchup?
Mets vs. Yankees. The Yankees have been so good for so long and have gotten the short end of the stick the past few years, and the Mets have literally everybody right now. They’ve got Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander in the rotation, and they have so many good hitters, so we’ll see what happens this year.