Tyler O'Neill

Five Surprising Early-Season Stories from the 2024 MLB Season

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As expected, there have been some 2024 MLB early season surprises. After all, this is baseball, and anything can happen on any given day.

Therefore, no analysis of the baseball season so far is complete without a discussion of what has taken us off guard and shocked us about the first month of the season.

Biggest Surprises of 2024 MLB Season After One Month

Granted, these are just our first impressions of the MLB season. The biggest 2024 MLB early season surprises may not last all season.

But sometimes early success – or lack of success in some cases – ends up lasting all season. With that in mind, we wanted to share the five biggest surprises a month into the 2024 MLB season.

The Mets Are Actually a Contender

So much for this being a rebuilding year for the Mets after a fire sale last summer and a lack of spending during the offseason. Also, those who thought the sky was falling after starting the year 0-5 surely overreacted.


While there is still a lot of ground to make up on both the Braves and Phillies in the NL East, for a team that lost five in a row to begin the season, the Mets are in good shape.

Key players like Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo haven’t even gotten going yet while the team only recently welcomed J.D. Martinez to the lineup. The Mets don’t even have their ace Kodai Senga available, yet the rotation has been mostly solid and the bullpen reliable. With plenty of room for improvement, the Mets look like they could be a surprise contender in 2024.

Boston’s Pitching

Who’d have ever dreamed the Red Sox would have the lowest team ERA – by a wide margin – a month into the season? The amazing part is they lost free-agent signing Lucas Giolito to injury before the season and then lost Nick Pivetta to injury after two starts.

However, Kutter Crawford and Tanner Houck have pitched like front-line starters, as did Garrett Whitlock and Brayan Bello before they went to the IL as well. Naturally, those injuries will test the depth of Boston’s rotation. The good news is they still have Crawford and Houck leading the way while Kenley Jansen and the bullpen have been solid, so perhaps Boston’s excellent pitching will be sustainable.

The Demise of Kyle Hendricks

It’s been shocking and a little sad to see how bad Kyle Hendricks has been this year. After five starts, the 34-year-old owns an ERA of 12.00 and a WHIP of 2.10. The veteran posted a 3.74 ERA last year, so there was no way to predict that things would fall apart for him like this.


The Cubs have put him on the IL with a back injury. But that may not actually be the problem and time will only tell if Hendricks can get things turned around at some point.

The Astros Are Worse Than the A’s

The Astros’ struggles early in the season have been well-documented. Most key hitters outside of Jose Altuve and Kyle Tucker have underperformed while the injury-prone rotation has been a disaster. A month into the season, it’s shocking to think that the White Sox might be the only team in the American League worse than Houston.

Even the A’s have been a little better, which is perhaps the most surprising part of this. In theory, the Astros should weather the storm and turn things around, although Houston can’t afford to wait much longer.

Tyler O’Neill is Crushing It

We didn’t have Tyler O’Neill pegged as one of our breakout candidates this season because he’s 28 and failed to build off of his breakout campaign in 2021. He’s become known more for his glove than his bat, but not anymore.

With nine home runs in his first 20 games, O’Neill is off to a shockingly amazing start. It’s not just the power because O’Neill is also hitting over .300. Even a short stint on the IL because of a concussion hasn’t slowed him down. The only question is whether this type of start is sustainable.

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