MLB opening week is here -- and if you blinked this offseason, you missed a lot.

With some of the game's most recognizable faces in new places, it's time to reset the rankings for 2023. Will newcomer Xander Bogaerts, plus a full year from Juan Soto and the return of Fernando Tatis Jr., mean a parade for the San Diego Padres? What will Justin Verlander's move from the Houston Astros to the New York Mets mean for the defending World Series champs and his new team in Queens? Did the Los Angeles Dodgers make the right move by not breaking the bank this winter? Will Aaron Judge captain the New York Yankees to their first title in 14 years?

We asked our baseball experts to rank every team from 1 to 30 going into the new season for our first MLB Power Rankings of the year, while ESPN MLB writers Bradford Doolittle, Alden Gonzalez and David Schoenfield teamed up to provide a rundown of what the season could bring, along with Doolittle's win-loss projections and playoff odds for all 30 teams.

1. Houston Astros

  • Projected record: 92-70 (78% playoff odds | 8.2% World Series odds)

What's changed most since we saw them last: In this day and age, you don't usually find a defending champ with a young rotation, but that's the case with these Astros. Over the past couple of years, Gerrit Cole, Zack Greinke and Justin Verlander have left via free agency. What's left are no rotation members who are 30 or older. And yet this might be one of the most dynamic rotations in baseball, led by the filthy duo of Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier, with Hunter Brown looming as a potential ace. 

The season will be a success if ... The Astros become the first back-to-back World Series champions since the Yankees won three in a row from 1998 to 2000. Just as impressive would be a seventh consecutive trip to the American League Championship Series. 

Most likely 2023 award winner: Yordan Alvarez's age-25 season saw him post a 1.019 OPS and 37 home runs, good enough to finish third for the AL MVP. He might already be the game's best hitter; offense alone helped him reach 6.6 FanGraphs wins above replacement (fWAR) last season. If he contributes a little more on the defensive side, he should challenge the likes of Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Aaron Judge for the trophy. 

One (realistic) bold prediction: Alvarez chases the Triple Crown and leads the American League with 48 home runs but finishes second to Josh Bell in RBIs and second to Wander Franco in batting average.


2. San Diego Padres

  • Projected record: 93-69 (81% playoff odds | 8.7% World Series odds)

What's changed most since we saw them last: Once Fernando Tatis Jr. returns to the lineup next month -- and with plenty to prove -- the Padres will have a to-die-for top of the lineup consisting of offseason prize Xander Bogaerts, Juan Soto, Tatis and Manny Machado. It's an older group and pretty expensive, but in terms of sheer star power, we've never seen anything quite like this in San Diego.

The season will be a success if ... Downtown San Diego is packed with tens of thousands of Padres fans for a parade on Nov. 6. 

Most likely 2023 award winner: If you watched Soto's at-bats during the World Baseball Classic, you saw someone who was already locked in, clearly motivated to recover from a relatively down year that still saw him slash .242/.401/.452. Soto is not a .242 hitter. Not even close. And now that he has settled into a new environment, he'll prove, once again, that he is the best pure hitter on the planet and make a run at an MVP.

One (realistic) bold prediction: Blake Snell has started slow and finished strong in both of his two seasons in San Diego, but this year he starts strong -- and starts the All-Star Game in his hometown of Seattle. 


3. Atlanta Braves

  • Projected record: 94-68 (85% playoff odds | 10.5% World Series odds)

What's changed most since we saw them last: In a winter that was more about shuffling than improving, the Braves have a new long-term catcher in Sean Murphy but lost franchise shortstop Dansby Swanson to the Cubs in free agency. After young infielders Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake failed to win the job to replace Swanson in spring training, Atlanta will open the season with veteran Orlando Arcia at the spot after using him in a utility role the past couple of campaigns. 

The season will be a success if ... They win the NL East and make it back to the World Series. Last year's team was better than the 2021 team that won it all, which shows the unpredictability of the playoffs, but the Braves' chances of winning it all improve if they win the division title and avoid that wild-card series. 

Most likely 2023 award winner: There are so many options to choose from on this team, but let's go with Ronald Acuna Jr. getting back to being ... Ronald Acuna Jr. His magical 2019 was followed by the COVID-19-shortened season, then a 2021 season cut short by a torn ACL and a 2022 season in which he clearly wasn't himself just yet. He's still just 25 years old, and the Braves say he's fully healthy now. At his best, Acuna is one of the most electric players in the sport -- and a prime MVP candidate.

One (realistic) bold prediction: There have been 65 30-30 seasons in MLB history. Fifteen of those came from center fielders. Only six of those guys hit .300. Four of those six won a Gold Glove: Willie Mays, Dale Murphy, Matt Kemp (!) and Jacoby Ellsbury. Michael Harris II becomes the fifth member of the 30/30/.300/CF/Gold Glove club.