MLB playoffs 2023: Passan's team breakdowns, World Series pick

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

In baseball, the best team doesn't always win the championship. In fact, it rarely does. Over the 54 seasons since MLB went to divisions, only 14 times has the team with the top record won the World Series.

Baseball is egalitarian enough that World Series winners from the wild-card round are no longer an anomaly, and the knowledge of this gives hope to each of the dozen teams that earned a playoff berth. They want to believe they can be the next 2006 St. Louis Cardinals, championship winners at 83-78.

Every team can proffer a good argument on why it's going to win this season. And in that spirit, we've made that case for all 12 teams, listed in ascending order of regular-season wins. This is Why Your Team Can Win the World Series, In 200 Words or Less -- followed by my round-by-round predictions of the entire 2023 MLB playoff bracket to prognosticate which of the dozen actually will win it.