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MLB: 2024 Preview


Spring training is coming to a close, and Opening Day 2024 is just days away. After quite the eventful offseason, baseball fans are excited to see the big names back in action, some of them in new uniforms. Most notably, Shohei Ohtani signed a record breaking $700 million deal with the Dodgers this past December. Not long after his fellow countryman, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, signed with the Dodgers as well.

Some other important roster changes regarding star players on different teams include Juan Soto (now a Yankee), Blake Snell (the newest big-name Giant), Corbin Burnes (traded to Baltimore), and more. For fans of these teams, like the Dodgers and Yankees, it has been a fun offseason. For fans of teams under the radar, such as the Mariners or Marlins, not so much. However, spending big does not always translate to success, as we have seen time and time again. So despite not being able to predict baseball, here are some predictions for the 2024 divisional champions that may very well turn out to be true.

AL East

Division winner: Baltimore Orioles (100-62)

From losing 110 games in 2021 to winning 101 games in 2023, despite getting swept by the eventual 2023-World-Series-champion Rangers, the Baltimore Orioles have proven themselves to be an elite team in Major League Baseball. After signing Corbin Burnes, the Orioles looked to have one of the best rotations in starting baseball—which did not last long, after Kyle Bradish suffered an injury setback. Even with an inconveniently thinned rotation, the Orioles have the talent (and the #1 overall prospect in the league) to put together an impressive season and win the most competitive division in baseball.

AL Central

Division winner: Minnesota Twins (84-78)

As it transitions from the most competitive division in baseball to arguably the least competitive division, the AL Central should see the same winner as last year. Despite losing a key piece to their roster when Sonny Gray went to St. Louis, the Twins still look promising, especially after an exciting playoff series win against the Blue Jays in 2023. The up-and-coming 24-year-old Royce Lewis looks to break out after an impressive regular season in 2023 and a clutch performance in the playoffs. The AL Central division itself is seen by many as not the most competitive, but I’m predicting that the fight for the division title will most definitely exist, or at least more than it was last year. In 2023, the Twins were nine games up on the second-place Detroit Tigers for the division title. This year, especially after the Royals offseason additions, I’m predicting that the young and promising Detroit Tigers and the more sophisticated Kansas City Royals—predicted to place second and third in AL Central—will give the Twins more of a run for their money this year.

AL West

Division winner: Texas Rangers (99-63)

The Texas Rangers will win this division, and the Astros won’t. It’s time for a new sheriff in the AL West, and beating the Astros in the ALCS and winning the World Series was the best possible way for the Rangers to display their dominance. Now in terms of the upcoming season, the race for the AL West title will be anything but a given for the Rangers. With Max Scherzer and Jacob DeGrom both expected to come back in July, it is a big task to rely on the offensive production of the Rangers for winning games. However, even without their two best starting pitchers (or good luck charm Will Smith), the Rangers offensive lineup looks extremely promising, especially with the anticipation of a breakout season for youngster outfielder Evan Carter. So when it comes down in the final weeks of the season, expect a clash between two titans for who takes home the division title. 

NL East

Division winner: Atlanta Braves (106-56)

Like last season, this won’t be close. The Braves have too good of a roster to even think about seeing the Phillies as a threat to the division title. With the reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. still in his prime, the Braves look to have another dominant season and power their way to yet another divisional title. With other names such as Matt Olson, Michael Harris II, Austin Riley, Spencer Strider, and more, this Braves roster is, simply put, a recipe for success. Success in the playoffs, however, won’t come as easily. After being traumatized by Bryce Harper in 2023, Braves fans can only hope that they see a different result when October rolls around. The path to get there, however, is nothing to worry about. 

NL Central

Division winner: St. Louis Cardinals (88-74)

Yes, the Cardinals had fewer wins than the Pirates in 2023, and may or may not have finished last in the division. But with (what is expected to be) the lack of competitiveness in the NL Central and the strengthening of their pitching rotation with the addition of Sonny Gray and Kyle Gibson, it is very possible for the Cardinals to win this division. They certainly have the talent, with players such as Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado still putting up numbers. It will also be interesting to see how 23-year-old Nolan Gorman and 21-year-old Jordan Walker will perform after making themselves known in 2023. Similar to the AL Central, I predict that the race for the divisional title in the NL Central will be very tight, and will have to come down to the very last games of the season. The main contender for the division title, the Chicago Cubs, re-signed Cody Bellinger this offseason, as they are looking to recreate and expand on the smallest bit of success that they experienced in 2023. Plus, the Reds and the Brewers have serious chances at challenging for the divisional title.

NL West

Division winner: Los Angeles Dodgers (110-52)

This shouldn’t surprise anyone at all. It’s very possible for the Dodgers to lose less than 50 games in 2024, and it’s even more possible for them to have over a 20-game lead on whoever is in second place for the divisional title. We’ve all heard about their historic offseason and how some are calling this team the greatest team ever assembled since the “Core Four” of the New York Yankees in the 1990s. There is no doubt in my mind that this team will win regular season games, and lots of them. But the doubt in every baseball fan’s mind, especially after last postseason, is their ability to produce in October. After getting swept by Arizona Diamondbacks on their way to becoming National League champions last year, nothing that the Dodgers can do this season will prevent their fans from becoming paranoid when it’s time for the postseason. But with a roster of Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Tyler Glasnow, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and even more than that, it’s hard to imagine them not winning a playoff game in 2024. As for competition among the NL West divisional title, if the Dodgers play their cards right and avoid injuries, they should have nothing to worry about. The Diamondbacks look to come in second in the division and steal a playoff spot, but even coming within ten games of the Dodgers seems like an extremely tough task for the defending National League champions.

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