With focus shifting to the MLB postseason in less than 10 days, the majority of fanbases are looking ahead to 2023 with hopes they can be in this position next year.
This season was full of surprises, from the Baltimore Orioles emerging from worst in the AL to above .500 playoff contenders, to the Cleveland Guardians emerging as the AL Central's best.
There will be more surprises next year or, at the very least, different teams factoring into the playoff picture.
So with that in mind, let's take a look at some sleeper teams to watch in 2023.
San Francisco Giants
How exactly the San Francisco Giants remake their outfield this offseason will be key in whether they get closer to the 2021 version than 2022.
It was just one season ago when San Francisco made an improbable run with a franchise-record 107 wins, before losing in the division series to the archrival Los Angeles Dodgers.
Now, it's a team right around .500, eliminated from the postseason and about league-average in most relevant offensive categories.
Giants outfielders rank 18th in WAR, and this is arguably where they can get most creative with their spending.
They have to decide whether to bring back Joc Pederson, an All-Star and back-to-back World Series champion who is having a feast-or-famine type of season. His defensive limitations are well-known, but will his power and ability to reach base make him worth retaining?
There are also some intriguing free-agent options who could help the Giants improve, including Aaron Judge, Michael Brantley and Andrew Benintendi.
With a credible starting rotation mostly set, it's really about figuring out roles for position players who may have underperformed this year but could still contribute to winning in some capacity next year.
This is a disappointing season for the Miami Marlins after a couple of major signings in Avisaíl García and Jorge Soler, last year's World Series MVP.
Their record does not exactly reflect the talent on this team, something general manager Kim Ng noted when it was revealed earlier this week Don Mattingly would be out as manager after this year.
Miami has enough of a starting pitching surplus that someone is going to be on the trade block this offseason. But it's been one of the worst offenses in baseball for a second consecutive season.
Even in 2020, the pandemic-shortened season when the Marlins made the playoffs, they didn't hit the ball particularly well.