With over a quarter of the MLB season in the books, how do the 2023 standings compare to the last? While many of the same teams are among league and division leaders again this season, there are some surprises we need to be aware of.
Let’s break down a few more interesting division races and compare the current standings to last season on this date.
Mets in an Early Hole
The New York Mets have a tendency to start strong and maintain a lead in the NL East, and just when you think they are heading for a first-place finish, they collapse. Last season at this time, the Mets held a solid seven-game lead over the Atlanta Braves for the division lead.
The Mets failed to capitalize on their lead last season and now have no lead to speak of, as they are 5.5 games behind the Braves and tied with the Miami Marlins. Unfortunately, the Mets also have the worst MLB betting record at 17-33.
It’s safe to say that having the highest payroll in league history is not paying off for the Amazin’s this season. The same can be said for those betting on them with the fewest wins on the MLB spreads.
WALK IT OFF, OZZIE!!!@ozzie | #ForTheA pic.twitter.com/PmyTcySObD
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 25, 2023
While the Braves were in a seven-game hole this time last year, they hold a 5.5-game lead right now and own the only positive run differential (+55) in the NL East. Their .612 winning percentage is the best in the National League and third-best in the MLB behind the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers.
O’s Challenging for AL East
The New York Yankees are another Big Apple team not living up to their lofty payroll or expectations. Last season at this time, the Yankees held a 4.5-game lead over the Rays, and both the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles were 10 or more games off the pace.
However, the tables have turned in 2023, with the Rays up three games on the Orioles with New York six games back from the top spot.
Best MLB teams by run differential
1. Texas Rangers +112 (!!!)
2. Tampa Bay Rays +107
3. Los Angeles Dodgers +57
4. Atlanta Braves +54
Time to start talkin’ some Rangers baseball!
— Talkin’ Jake (@TalkinJake) May 24, 2023
Despite this, the Yankees have been solid on the MLB odds board with a 28-23 record against the spread. The Bombers have the fifth-best ATS road record at 14-9 and a return on investment of 11.64%.
Their betting record does little to ease the stress of players, coaches, and fans as a team with one of the biggest payrolls in the league struggles to keep pace in their own division. Especially after having a lead in 2023 and still failing to make it to the World Series despite Aaron Judge hitting 62 home runs.
Tampa Bay got off to a historic start, and while the Rays have cooled significantly after starting 13-0, they maintain a firm grip on the NL East over an unlikely second-place team. The Rays have the fifth-best betting record against the MLB lines at 30-21, while bettors are up +10.30 units.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the AL East race is how well the Orioles are playing. With a 6-4 record in their previous 10 games, it’s clear that their hot start was not a total fluke. They are three games ahead of the Yankees as of this morning, just a year after trailing them by six games. The O’s were in last place on May 25 of last year, but just one good week away from first as we head into play on Thursday.