Unanimous AI Predicts the 2023 MLB Season

Anyone who follows Unanimous AI knows we used our Swarm AI technology to predict every football game in the 2022-2023 NFL season and finished with a remarkable 65% accuracy against the Vegas spreads (see full stats).  As context, the top professional handicappers in the world rarely exceed 55% accuracy against the spread over a full season.  But of course, football is old news, so we are now turning our attention to baseball and the upcoming 2023 MLB season.

“Change” is the watchword for the 2023 Major League Baseball season. Rules changes putting pitchers and hitters on clocks will be implemented, dramatic infield shifts will be banned, and larger bases may encourage more steals in the upcoming campaign. The new season also finds plenty of familiar faces in new places: Jacob deGrom is a Texas Ranger; Justin Verlander is a Met; Trea Turner plays for the Phillies, and Xander Bogaerts is now a Padre.

This week a Swarm of baseball fans went through every team in the Major Leagues to predict the standings and even the postseason. This is the kind of task that Swarm AI is uniquely well-suited for, as it involves a large generalized subject (Major League Baseball) and many unique specific factors (30 different baseball teams). Individual swarm participants may have in-depth knowledge about the teams they follow closely, but feel less certain about other clubs that other participants have strong information on. Working together in much the same ways that bees form swarms or fish make schools in nature, Swarm AI is able to work through complex problems to find consensus solutions.

The chart below shows how a swarm of baseball fans think the 2023 MLB season is likely to end up, division by division.

As the charts show, the swarm felt the New York Yankees – of all division winners picked – were the ones most likely to finish first. That’s despite the normally loaded American League East division looking as difficult as ever. And in the hotly contested National League West, the swarm of baseball fans thinks the Padres still aren’t quite ready to dethrone the mighty Dodgers. And while the swarm doesn’t see an easy path for any team in the National League East, they like the Braves to best both the Mets and Phillies.

But what about the postseason in 2023? The MLB swarm also had some strong – and maybe controversial – opinions there. Here’s the swarm’s ranking of likeliest contenders for the American League pennant, with the Yankees and defending champion Astros sitting in the top tier, Toronto in a kind of middle tier to themselves, and then a drop-off to Central rivals in Cleveland and Minnesota (with Seattle a distant 6th choice.)

It’s never easy for the swarm to pick against a defending champ like the Astros, especially given the abundance of young, quality pitching arms that Houston can call upon. But the swarm thinks that maybe in 2023 the Bronx Bombers will emerge as the pennant winner in the American League.

In the National League, things get interesting. Despite the big money splashed around by the Mets, Phillies, and Padres, the swarm thinks that the road to the National League pennant goes through Atlanta. The Braves, behind a quality young rotation (and hopefully full healthy seasons from Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies) and newly acquired All Star catcher Matt Olson are the pick as the team to beat. They just barely edge the always-contending Dodgers in the swarm’s forecast.

Once the swarm had picked the clubs most likely to win the American and National Leagues, it was a given that Unanimous AI researchers would ask which of the two clubs – the Yankees or the Braves – would win a hypothetical 2023 World Series matchup. As expected this was a close call.

Soon enough, there will be swarms of MLB fans picking the outcomes of individual games that happen during the season. But first, the staff at Sportspicker AI will be spending a few weeks monitoring the effects of rules changes on MLB games and outcomes, collecting and outlining data to make our individual game picks this year our most accurate predictions yet.

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