9 MLB storylines to comply with for 2024 season as opening day arrives

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A few of you studying this have known as out of labor to go to the ballpark for the primary time in months, and whereas baseball’s reputation has, for probably the most half, been at a standstill for some time, nothing tops opening day.

Everybody (besides the Dodgers and Padres, who performed two regular-season video games in Seoul) is beginning throughout. Opening day signifies togetherness, hope and a few good beer and scorching canines.

In the present day begins the marathon that’s the 162-game baseball season. The place else are you able to play Monday morning quarterback about your supervisor’s choices each single day?

The 2024 season figures to be an fascinating one. Listed here are 9 of the highest storylines to comply with on this Main League Baseball season.

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Baseballs

The MLB brand on batting follow balls earlier than a sport between the Peoria Javelinas and the Mesa Photo voltaic Sox at Sloan Park Sept. 21, 2019, in Mesa, Ariz. (Jill Weisleder/MLB Pictures by way of Getty Photographs)

Will the Dodgers reside as much as the hype?

The Los Angeles Dodgers dedicated to over $1 billion in contracts this offseason, with the massive splash being the $700 million deal for Shohei Ohtani. In addition they gave Japanese import Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who had not thrown a pitch within the majors, $325 million. In addition they traded for, and prolonged, Tyler Glasnow.

Whereas Ohtani will not pitch this season, he bolsters a lineup that features Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. That is 4 MVP Awards within the high three spots of the lineup.

The Dodgers are everybody’s World Sequence favourite, however there is a cause they play the video games. Talking of Ohtani …

Playing watch

Ohtani is on report saying he has by no means guess on baseball, or sports activities, and that he’s the sufferer of fraud by his former translator, Ippei Mizuhara.

Main League Baseball is investigating, and let’s simply say Ohtani higher be telling the reality. 

If he isn’t, we’re simply on the tip of the iceberg.

Ohtani and interpreter at conference

Shohei Ohtani and Ippei Mizuhara of the Los Angeles Dodgers throughout a press convention at Dodger Stadium Dec. 14, 2023, in Los Angeles.  (Rob Leiter/MLB Pictures by way of Getty Photographs)

Will Trevor Bauer return?

Bauer is within the course of of making an attempt to clear his title from sexual assault allegations. 

He was hammered with a 324-game suspension for violating MLB’s Joint Home Violence, Sexual Assault and Little one Abuse Coverage. And that punishment was ultimately decreased to 194 video games, however he was nonetheless launched by the Dodgers earlier than the 2023 season started. He performed professionally in Japan final 12 months.

He’s taking part in in Mexico however is on the report saying he’ll play for the league minimal on an incentive-based deal.

There are groups on the market who may use some arms, however nobody has acquired Bauer.

How will upcoming free brokers pan out?

Simply to call a couple of (in no specific order): Juan Soto, Pete Alonso, Corbin Burnes, Paul Goldschmidt, Alex Bregman, Max Fried, Gleyber Torres and Shane Bieber.

Milestone tracker for 2 future Corridor of Famers

Mike Trout is 32 house runs away from 400 in his profession, whereas Clayton Kershaw can change into the 18th participant with 3,000 strikeouts by fanning 66 extra batters.

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Trout’s quantity will probably come right down to the wire this season, however so will Kershaw’s. He is recovering from an damage and never anticipated to return till at the least the summer time.

Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, left, and Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers throughout a photograph shoot earlier than a sport Aug. 7, 2014, at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, Calif.  (Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Photographs)

Can Mike Trout have a resurgence?

Trout is extensively thought-about the most effective participant of this era, and there is not any doubt he’ll get a plaque in Cooperstown.

Nonetheless, after a number of injury-riddled seasons over the previous few years, he lastly regarded human on the diamond final 12 months.

Trout put up profession lows in nearly each class, as he slashed .263/.367/.490 in simply 82 video games. He has not performed in additional than 140 video games since 2016, though he did win the MVP when taking part in in 134 in 2019.

It isn’t a great mixture to be injured and put up worse stats. Trout did hit 40 house runs in 119 video games in 2022, so 32 is not completely out of attain even with one damage. However are we trying on the fall of an all-time nice? 

50/50?

Reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. launched his personal fraternity final 12 months when he grew to become the primary participant in MLB historical past to hit 40-plus house runs and steal 70-plus bases in a season.

Now, he desires to create one other group.

“One thing I’ve by no means placed on myself is limits,” Acuña advised GQ just lately. “I can’t promise you it’ll be this 12 months or subsequent 12 months, however I imagine I can attain a 50-50 season.”

He was vocal about his objective to be within the 40-40 membership as soon as MLB elevated the bottom sizes (he joined Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano), so it ought to shock no one if he does that.

Ronald Acuña Jr. reacts to home run

Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves celebrates after hitting a house run within the first inning towards the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Sept. 22, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Greg Fiume/Getty Photographs)

The Las Vegas A’s

The Oakland Athletics are doing their finest to maneuver to Las Vegas and be a part of the Raiders as groups to defect from the Bay Space to Sin Metropolis. Nevertheless it has not been clean crusing.

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The mayor of Las Vegas just lately poured chilly water on the concept, saying the staff’s plans “don’t make sense” and the staff ought to “determine a approach to keep in Oakland.”

The A’s signed a binding settlement to buy 49 acres for a brand new ballpark however needed to swap their proposed land for the stadium after they discovered a brand new spot that required about $105 million much less in public funding.

The brand new proposed website is the place the Tropicana stands. Bally’s will reportedly tear down the Tropicana and exchange it with a $1.5 billion stadium. Nonetheless, Bally’s would construct a brand new resort/on line casino throughout from the stadium as soon as it was accomplished.

The A’s needed to be in Las Vegas by 2027, however the lease for his or her ballpark in Oakland ends this 12 months. So, they don’t have a house for 2025 and 2026.

Are the Rangers and Diamondbacks for actual?

We’ll vote sure for the defending World Sequence champions right here, as their offense was probably the greatest final 12 months. They’ve two MVP candidates in Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, whereas boasting younger expertise in Evan Carter, who was a beast within the postseason with out even qualifying as a rookie, and high prospect Wyatt Langford. 

And so they additionally ought to get a wholesome Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer throughout the season.

Corey Seager speaking at world series parade

Corey Seager of the Texas Rangers speaks on stage throughout the World Sequence celebration at Globe Life Discipline Nov. 3, 2023, in Arlington, Texas.  (Sam Hodde/Getty Photographs)

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Arizona, then again, sneaked into the postseason at 84-78 and bought scorching on the proper time. The Diamondbacks had been carried by Rookie of the Yr Corbin Carroll final 12 months, however they had been nearly league common in quite a few classes. They added some potential pop in Joc Pederson and pitcher Jordan Montgomery.

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