The 2024 MLB Season is Underway

The 2024 MLB Season is Underway

by Logan Bowe

Almost a month into the 2024 MLB season, let’s check out the standings, shocking stats, and top players.

Starting in the AL East, The Yankees lead the division with a 12-5 record, as Anthony Volpe dominates in his sophomore season as he’s built up an astonishing 1.5 bWAR in just 16 games, along with a 190 OPS+ and flashes of his Gold Glove-level defense he showed off last season. Stanton and Soto have also been busy putting away any doubts from fans, as they have each been off to hot starts for the Yanks. The Orioles stand in second with a 10-6 record, with Colton Cowser breaking out in big ways with a 217 OPS+ and Jackson Holliday finally nabbing his first MLB hit against Brewers in a 6-4 victory on Sunday. Boston, Toronto and Tampa are all tied at 9-8 on the season, with the Red sox throwing gem after gem with a combined 2.68 Team ERA. Toronto, on the other hand, revitalized the careers of Justin Turner and Jose Berrios, both leading the team in Position player and Pitcher bWAR respectively. Tampa is struggling with last year’s breakout star, Yandy Diaz, at a measly 65 OPS+.

“Surprising” is the only way to describe the AL Central’s top contenders each year, with this season being no different. The Royals and the Guardians have a combined stranglehold on the Central with 11-5 records from both sides. Cole Ragans has been phenomenal for the Royals with a sub-2 ERA in his 4 dominant starts, as his 0-1 personal record shows exactly why Pitcher Wins are a stat of the past. Cleveland, on the other hand, has been hit hard on the pitching side; not from opposing batters, but rather the injury bug as star pitcher Shane Bieber was declared out for the season needing Tommy John Surgery. Meanwhile, the Tigers have been off to a strong 9-7 start behind the work of lights-out closer Jason Foley. The Twins, off the cold bat of Byron Buxton, who has just a 52 OPS+, have a disappointing 6-9 record. The Chi-Sox have been nothing less than a disappointment since 2021. This season hasn’t started any better, as they have the worst record in baseball at 2-14 .

In the AL West, no team has more than 1 win above .500% this year, as a surprisingly weak division stays equally competitive. The reigning champion Rangers have a 9-8 record this season as rookie Evan Carter’s strong start may not be able to keep them atop the division for much longer. The Angels, despite the great resurgence of all-time great Mike Trout, have a modest 8-8 record as they attempt to claw themselves out of mediocrity and into the playoffs for the first time in a decade under the leadership of new manager Ron Washington. The Mariners and Athletics both shock the world with 7-10 records – the Athletics hurdling past everyone’s expectations towards a somewhat respectable season, and the Mariners’ Young star Julio Rodriguez struggling as he’s hitting just .190 with a 39 OPS+. As we round off the division, baseball fans around the world (except in Houston) jump for joy as the Astros start at a pathetic 6-12 despite having the first no-Hitter of the season coming from 30 year old Ronel Blanco. 

In the NL East, the Braves shock absolutely no one as they sit at 10-5 on the young season, despite superstar and newest member of the 40-40 club Ronald Acuna Jr. having a (for his standards) weak start with just a 109 OPS+. The Phillies had their ups and downs in April as they sit at 9-8 on the young season, with Stellar performances like Bryce harper’s 3 Home Run game, and some down performances such as anytime Connor Brogdan is on the field. The Mets, as always, remain a model of mediocrity as they sit at a perfectly average 8-8. Pete Alonso has 6 home runs and one appearance on stage with Zach Bryan, as Francisco Lindor shows why he’s second to Trea Turner when it comes to NL East Shortstops with a -.3 bWAR and 39 OPS+. The Nationals have shocked all with their young squad of Lane Thomas and CJ Abrams helping them to a respectable 7-9 record. Finally, The Miami Marlins had one of their worst starts in franchise history as they lost 9 straight before getting their first win, sitting now at 3-14 with their star pitcher Sandy Alcantara out for the time being.

The NL Central has been up for grabs for years, and it stays that way with three teams, Brewers, Pirates and Cubs, practically tied for first place with 10-5, 11-6, and 10-6 records respectively. The Brewers have proven they don’t need Corbin Burnes at the wheel as they stand atop the division, not far ahead of the Pirates who just celebrated Andrew McCutchen’s 300th career Home Run off a 9-3 victory against the Phillies on Sunday. The Cubs, with two headlines in Michael Busch’s Home run streak of 5 straight games, tying a franchise record, and Shoto Imagana with his 15.1 straight Scoreless innings pitched, sit at third in the division. The Reds, also sitting above .500 at 9-7, have Jake Fraley in part to thank for keeping them competitive. Rounding things out, the Cardinals continue their inconsistent play as they fall to a (still respectable) 8-9 record, with star duo Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt both struggling.

Finally, the NL West finds the Dodgers unsurprisingly in first with an 11-8 record. Despite team success, especially from their top hitters, their Japanese gamble (Sorry Shohei) Yoshinobu Yamamoto has struggled with just 16 Innings pitched and a 4.50 ERA in 4 starts. Next in line is the Padres, whose Juan Soto experiment fell short, leading to them cutting costs. Seems like those cuts are working out in their favor. The former NL Champions Diamondbacks have a 9-8 record to start with a struggling start from  Corbin Carroll who has a weak 73 OPS+. The Giants are riding the waves of Jordan Hicks’ league leading 1.00 ERA to a 7-10 record, as another Japanese rookie, Jung-Hoo Lee, struggles to find his place in the league with an 83 OPS+. Finally, the Colorado Rockies find their usual home at the bottom of the division with a 4-13 record so far. Brenton Doyle has shown flashes of his hitting improving while struggling on defense after a Gold-Glove season. 

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