With a new baseball season approaching fast, it’s time to make some 2024 MLB season predictions. Before every season, people always think they know how things will play out. But baseball is always unpredictable and has plenty of surprises. After all, who could have predicted the Rangers and Diamondbacks would play in last year’s World Series?
Bold Predictions for the 2024 MLB Season
In honor of that surprising matchup, we decided to be bold when doing our MLB season preview and 2024 World Series picks.
Perhaps we went a little overboard, but that may not be a bad thing. With that in mind, here are 10 bold and borderline crazy 2024 MLB season predictions.
Tigers Win AL Central
This isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Keep in mind that Detroit was just six games under .500 and nine games out of first place last year.
The AL Central will remain wide open and there for the taking. Detroit’s young talent has started to make an impact with veterans like Kenta Maeda, Jack Flaherty, and Mark Canha added to the mix. In a weak division, the Tigers have a chance to win the AL Central crown for the first time in a decade.
Pirates Earn Wild Card Spot
Speaking of ending playoff droughts, this could be Pittsburgh’s year. The NL Central is one of those divisions where just about anything can happen.
That gives the Pirates a chance to be the first or second-place team. Keep in mind they went from 62 wins in 2022 to 76 wins in 2023. A similar step forward in 2024 could be enough to get them to the postseason. Also, the Pirates got off to a fast start last season, ending April with a 20-9 record. Frankly, 76 wins is impressive for a team that had a few extended losing streaks. More importantly, the Pirates have put together a good young core with Oneil Cruz, Ke’Bryan Hayes, and Jack Suwinski. Plus, they still have Bryan Reynolds and a good mix of veterans that could surprise some people in 2024.
Astros Miss Playoffs
Keep in mind that Houston won just 90 games last season, taking a step backward. The Astros had the same record as Texas during the regular season and finished just two games ahead of Seattle.
Another step backward for an aging team in 2024 could mean missing the playoffs, especially with the Rangers and Mariners right there and the AL East potentially sending three or four teams to the playoffs. While they still have one of the greatest second basemen of all time in Jose Altuve and a few other all-star-caliber players, this isn’t the deep and dominant Houston team of the past. The Astros were vulnerable last year and will be even more vulnerable to missing the postseason last year.
Julio Rodriguez Wins AL MVP
With Shohei Ohtani in the National League and Mike Trout showing the effects of aging, the AL MVP race is wide open for a young player like Julio Rodriguez to win it. Of course, Aaron Judge, Corey Seager, and a few others will likely have a say in the race.
But Rodriguez was third in RBI and seventh in home runs in the AL last year while hitting .275. He’s also just 23 years old and already has two Silver Slugger Awards. Rodriguez will keep getting better and with another big step forward, he has the tools to be an MVP as early as 2024.
Every AL East Team Finishes with a Winning Record
This almost happened last year with only the Red Sox falling a few games short. But with fewer in-division games on the schedule, a deep division like the AL East could end the year with five teams over .500.
The Orioles, Yankees, and Blue Jays are all safe bets to have a winning record. Tampa lost some pieces but shouldn’t fall too far. That means the Red Sox are the only concern. Despite not making a huge splash, Boston has made enough incremental improvements to get above .500 in 2024.
Ohtani Wins (Hitting) Triple Crown
If you thought we saw the best of Shohei Ohtani last year as a hitter last year, think again. If you take a deep dive into the analytics, you’ll see that he’s improved in a variety of areas and should continue to get better in 2024. Keep in mind that he’ll be part of a deeper lineup with the Dodgers and won’t be pitching this season.
That’ll allow Ohtani to play more games and focus entirely on hitting.
In 2023, he led the American League in home runs and hit over .300. It’s not that far-fetched to think that he can improve his average even more while adding to his home run and RBI totals. Ohtani had fewer than 500 at-bats last year, but he should top 600 if he can stay healthy, putting the Triple Crown within reach.
Dodgers Win 118 Games
With the addition of Ohtani and their other offseason acquisitions, the Dodgers look like a super team. Ohtani will have Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Teoscar Hernandez, and Max Muncy around him. Also, Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto now lead a Los Angeles rotation that also has good depth and talented young arms.
Taking all of that into account, this could be a special season at Dodger Stadium. Of course, winning 120 games is a little ridiculous. But with 118 wins, the Dodgers will set a new record for wins during the regular season.
Dodgers Lose in NLDS
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, a brilliant regular season won’t translate to postseason success. Last year, three of the four teams that got a bye in the Wild Card Round lost in the Division Series, including the Dodgers. The previous years, the Dodgers and Braves both lost in the NLDS after getting a bye.
In 2022, the top seed in both leagues lost in the Division Series to the Wild Card winner. This is a serious trend in baseball that can’t be ignored. The bye takes teams out of their rhythm and routine becoming more of a curse than a blessing. With the Dodgers getting a bye and likely wrapping up the AL West early, they won’t be sharp in the postseason and will suffer another disappointing NLDS defeat.
Reds Win National League Pennant
If the Dodgers don’t win the NL pennant, who will? How about the Reds? They were close to making the playoffs last year and will be better in 2024. Cincinnati’s roster is loaded with young and talented players like Elly De La Cruz with a starting rotation that’s surprisingly deep. The Reds are also well-positioned to make some deals at the trade deadline to address their needs. That will allow them to rise to the top in a wide-open NL Central and make a shocking run to the World Series the same way the Diamondbacks did in 2023.
Orioles Win the AL East and World Series
Unfortunately for the Reds, they won’t be able to beat the Orioles, who will be your World Series winners in 2024. Baltimore wasn’t ready to win in the postseason last year, but the upstart Orioles will be better prepared this season. They already have young stars like Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson with more in the farm system. Baltimore’s young rotation will be able to take another step forward while the bullpen is deeper than people realize. Even without the biggest payroll, the Orioles have all of the ingredients to shock the baseball world and win the World Series in 2024.