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Play Ball: A Recap of the 2024 MLB Season

Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper

We’re just over 50 games into the MLB season, and the wildness of the new year has certainly taken its hold on the thirty ball clubs. In this article I’ll be recapping the ups and downs of the beginnings of this year’s events. I’ll go over who’s done well and who’s done poorly, who might win Awards at the end of the year, and who might return home as champions.
The NL East has been more of the same, with the Phillies and Braves leading the way. Unlike previous years, the Phillies have taken hold of the division lead, while the Braves desperately miss Spencer Strider. While Acuna, Olson, and Riley all struggle to get going, the Phillies have enjoyed strong starts from Turner and Harper. Of course, Zack Wheeler has his eyes set on his first Cy Young, and Aaron Nola has been as solid as always, but it’s Ranger Suarez who’s impressed the most so far.
In the AL East, the Yankees and Orioles have emerged atop an ugly pile. Despite the slow start from Aaron Judge, he and Juan Soto have led the charge for the Yankees, while a rotation missing Gerrit Cole has impressed. The Orioles, on the other hand, have relied on the young depth of the lineup, and rotation, while Gunnar Henderson and Corbin Burnes take the headlines. One of the biggest surprises so far has been the Red Sox excellent starting pitching. Unfortunately, I think they’ll cool off sooner or later, and then they’ll be toiling with the Rays and Blue Jays for the last playoff spot.
The AL Central was predicted to be the worst division in baseball, but has actually been quite good so far. The Guardians and Royals have been neck and neck for the division lead, and the Twins and Tigers, are still in the mix as well. The Royals and Tigers have been led by strong pitching, while the Guardians and the Twins rely on their powerful lineups.
The Cubs have been the most impressive team from the NL Central with amazing efforts from Shoto Imanag, Javier Assad, and Cody Bellinger. Although the Brewers are currently in the running for the division lead, their success is less sustainable compared to the Cubs’, and the Pirates or Reds will be looking to jump ahead. Full disclosure, I am a Pirates fan, but there is genuine reason to be impressed by them. They’ve been led by Jared Jones, O’Neil Cruz, and recently called up Paul Skenes. The Reds have been led by young stars Elly De La Cruz, Hunter Greene, and the underrated Andrew Abbott. Their problem is the same as the Pirates’ problem, though: the depth isn’t pulling their weight. Both teams will probably struggle down the stretch if players like Hayes and India fail to emerge.
Out west, the Dodgers have been as prolific as expected, with MVP caliber performances from Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani. The Padres, Diamondbacks, and Giants are all fighting for the grand title known as “second to the Dodgers.” They all should be active at the trade deadline, and we hope to see Corbin Carroll break out of his sophomore slump.
In the AL, the main storyline is with the mighty Astros. They are below .500 as I write this, and it will be tough for them to catch up. Julio Rodriguez and Corey Seager are both struggling for their respective teams, and it seems that whoever figures it out first will probably be hosting games come October.
Now it’s time for predictions. The Dodgers, Phillies, and Cubs will take their divisions after some small deadline adds. The top wild card will belong to the Braves, but the bottom two will be dog fights between the Padres, Giants, Diamondbacks, Pirates, and Reds. The five and six seeds are truly up for grabs, but I think the Padres and Giants will sneak in. All of the aforementioned teams should buy at the deadline. The AL seems much more straightforward. The Orioles, Rangers, and Royals will all sneak past their divisional opponents, and the Yankees, Mariners, and Twins will settle for wild cards.
The awards will all be close, but the NL MVP will belong to Mookie Betts, the Cy Young will be taken by Tyler Glassnow, and Shoto Imanaga will handily win Rookie of the Year. Bobby Witt Jr will be the MVP after a monster second half, and the Cy Young will be Tarik Skubal’s honor. The Rookie of the Year is tough to predict, as most of the top prospects have gotten off to slow starts, so here’s a name you didn’t expect: Luis Gil.
My last shot to call is the World Series. The Orioles’ wealth of talent and depth will drive them to the AL Pennant, but they will be no match for the Phillies train of starting pitching and power hitting. That’s all I’ve got for you… Play ball!

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