Who's legit, and who's not? Ranking the 2023 wild-card contenders

Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

We need a new term to describe a certain kind of baseball fan: a modern traditionalist. It's a person who loves and respects the game's traditions but can also accept the changes the sport presents in 2023. Like three wild cards in each league! Don't be grumpy about it. Embrace it and enjoy the fact that at least the races in both leagues this year are fun and competitive, with surprise teams to watch and plenty of storylines to follow.

Let's break down the current state of all the wild-card contenders, separating them into three tiers and making some predictions on which teams will ultimately make it. (All stats are through Saturday's games.)

Tier I: Could end up winning their division

Tampa Bay Rays