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The 2023 MLB postseason field has been set and high-stakes playoff baseball is tantalizingly just around the bend. To help set the scene for the month-long dramatics that will determine who wins both belt and title, we're here to rank the top players who will be participating in these playoffs. Specifically, we're about to rank the top 30 players chosen from the 12 teams making the 2023 postseason. 

As for the criteria, excellence in the current season and whether or not said excellence seems sustainable in the near-term is the leading consideration. As well, you're going to see some players on this list who missed significant time to injury this season. That's diminished their overall value in 2023, yes, but these rankings are more about who's primed and skilled-up enough to put up big numbers in October (and possibly November). 

Now let's begin.

Pablo Lopez Minnesota Twins SP
López this season struck out 234 batters in 194 innings and registered an FIP of 3.34. He and Sonny Gray give Minnesota a formidable one-two punch in the postseason.
Zack Wheeler Philadelphia Phillies SP
He's the Phils' ace going into the playoffs. Wheeler has a quite respectable ERA of 3.61, and his FIP is quite a bit lower. As well, he's once again struck out 200 batters, and he's put up a career-best K/BB ratio.
Justin Verlander Houston Astros SP
Verlander's 40 and no longer in peak form, but even in decline the future first-ballot Hall of Famer is one of the best in the craft. That figures to be case again in October as the reigning champs attempt to run it back.
Bryce Harper Philadelphia Phillies DH
Thanks to his Tommy John surgery, Harper didn't make his 2023 debut until May. Since then, though, he's been close to peak form, and that figures to continue in the playoffs. His regular season ended with a .293/.401/.499 line at the plate.
Kevin Gausman Toronto Blue Jays SP
The 32-year-old right-hander had an ace's turn for the Jays this season. In 185 innings, he put up an ERA+ of 133 and a K/BB ratio of 4.31. He was also second to only Gerrit Cole among AL starters in quality-start percentage.
Zac Gallen Arizona Diamondbacks SP
In his age-27 season, Gallen topped 200 innings – an increasingly rare feat in baseball – put up an ERA+ of 125 and placed fifth in the NL in K/BB ratio. His ace work was essential to Arizona's surprise playoff run.
Ozzie Albies Atlanta Braves 2B
Yes, the Braves' lineup is an embarrassment of riches. Albies provides high-level production at the plate all while pinning down a spot in the middle infield and running the bases well.
Bo Bichette Toronto Blue Jays SS
The Toronto shortstop once again put up strong numbers for the position. On the season, Bichette boasted a slash line of .306/.339/.475.
Kyle Bradish Baltimore Orioles SP
The Baltimore rotation looked questionable coming into the season, but Bradish stabilized things in a major way. In his age-26 season, he struck out almost a batter per inning, kept the ball in the park, and backed up his sub-3.00 ERA with a strong FIP.
Jordan Montgomery Texas Rangers SP
Montgomery, acquired from the Cardinals leading up to the trade deadline, has been a rotation godsend for the Rangers. In 11 starts for Texas, Monty has registered a 2.79 ERA with a 4.46 K/BB ratio. Throw in his work for the Cardinals, and he has an ERA+ of 137 for this season.
Gunnar Henderson Baltimore Orioles 3B
The standout rookie has, as expected, made quite an impact in his first full MLB season. The 22-year-old Henderson made a run at 30 homers during the regular season while also seeing time at short and third for the AL East champs.
Isaac Paredes Tampa Bay Rays 3B
The most underrated producer in baseball? That's a subjective matter, of course, but Paredes has a case. The Rays' third baseman this season cranked 31 homers with a 130 OPS+.
Corbin Burnes Milwaukee Brewers SP
Burnes has slipped a bit since his heights of 2020-21, but he remains a frontline starting pitcher in every sense of the term. The Brewers' hopes this October hinge on that imposing front of the rotation.
Sonny Gray Minnesota Twins SP
It might be tempting to argue that Gray has been a bit lucky to post a 2.79 ERA in his age-33 season, but his MLB-best FIP of 2.83 suggests otherwise. He's a playoff ace for the AL Central champs.
Austin Riley Atlanta Braves 3B
Riley is a plus fielder at the hot corner, has deceptive speed, and is a frontline power hitter at the plate. That combination of skills makes him an easy choice on this list. He's in line to receive some down-ballot MVP support for the second straight year.
Spencer Strider Atlanta Braves SP
Strider's run-prevention numbers have been "merely" good this season, but his underlying dominance has been on another level. His strikeout percentage of 36.8 leads all qualifiers by a huge margin, and he's in the 98th percentile when it comes to inducing swings and misses. Because of that elite success at a fundamental level, he's a strong bet to out-pitch his ERA moving forward.
Yordan Alvarez Houston Astros DH
Alvarez remains one of the most potent left-handed hitters on the planet. He missed a good chunk of time in 2023, but he's healthy now and boasts a sky-scraping 170 OPS+ for the year.
William Contreras Milwaukee Brewers C
Getting Contreras' production from the catcher spot was essential to a Milwaukee offense that didn't have much else going for it, aside from Christian Yelich. He gave them gap power, walks, and almost 1,000 defensive innings behind the plate. Contreras is also an underrated defender.
Corbin Carroll Arizona Diamondbacks LF
What a rookie campaign for Carroll. He can play all three outfield positions, and he's been one of baseball's best power-speed threats not named Ronald Acuña Jr.
Adley Rutschman Baltimore Orioles C
The "sophomore" star behind the plate notched a 20-homer season, threatened 100 walks, and had almost as many free passes as strikeouts. Like the other backstops on this list, Rutschman's offensive production looks even more special when you compare it to positional standards. He's also a plus fielder at catcher.
Sean Murphy Atlanta Braves C
The best all-around catcher in baseball? Murphy certainly has a case that he's just that. He was deservedly an All-Star for the first time this season.
Marcus Semien Texas Rangers 2B
Speaking of "best all-around," is Semien the top all-around second baseman at this moment in time? That's a question that can plausibly be asked thanks to his excellent fielding and strong production as a hitter.
Yandy Diaz Tampa Bay Rays 1B
Díaz claimed the batting title in the junior circuit and had a robust 158 OPS+ for the season. That's elite production, even at a bat-first position like first base. He's the best hitter in an exceptionally deep Rays lineup.
Luis Arraez Miami Marlins 2B
Arraez, the batting title winner in the NL, has the best bat-to-ball skills in all of baseball. He struck out just 34 times all season, which is a remarkable feat given the current strikeout rates in MLB. His slash line of .354/.393/.469 makes him a special hitter, especially as middle infielders go.
Jose Altuve Houston Astros 2B
Altuve has missed significant time with injury this season, first as he recovered from thumb surgery and then with an oblique injury. When healthy, though, he's put up some of the best rate-based numbers of his career with the bat. He's in peak form as a hitter going into the playoffs.
Freddie Freeman Los Angeles Dodgers 1B
Freeman continues to show no signs of any decline phase. In this, his age-33 season he threatened 60 doubles (!) and posted an OBP of more than .400.
Matt Olson Atlanta Braves 1B
Olson has, by a substantial margin, been the most abundant source of power in all of baseball this season. He's hit homers on the road and at home in almost equal measure.
Corey Seager Texas Rangers SS
Even with the substantial time lost to injury, Seager grades out as one of the top players of 2023. If he'd managed to be healthier, he might be in line for AL MVP honors this season even though he shares a plane of existence with Shohei Ohtani. His bat is elite by any standard but especially so among shortstops.
Mookie Betts Los Angeles Dodgers RF
Betts this season has authored the best offensive season of his career, and the veteran outfielder has put up those sky-high numbers while also seeing significant time at shortstop and second base. In terms of overall value in 2023, he's right there with Acuña.
Ronald Acuna Atlanta Braves RF
Acuña this season has proffered a historic combination of power and speed, and he's a very worthy choice as National League MVP, which he'll likely wind up winning. He's the best player on the best team, and here he is at the tip-top of the list.