Everything you need to know about the 2024 MLB season

March 28, 2024
Spring vibes, a clean slate, a renewed sense of optimism for your team — there’s nothing quite like MLB Opening Day. And after a historic and chaotic offseason, anything could happen this year.
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Everything you need to know about the 2024 MLB season
Source: J. Meric/Getty Images

⚙️ The set-up

Settle in, because the MLB season is a lengthy one: The league’s 30 teams each play 162 regular-season games, beginning this afternoon and running through September.

The squads are evenly divided into two leagues — the American League (AL) and National League (NL) — which are further split into three divisions each: East, Central, and West.

  • The season consists of mostly three- or four-game series against each opponent, meaning things can get extra spicy, especially within the division.

As for the playoffs, 12 of the 30 MLB teams will make the postseason, with three divisional winners and three Wild Card teams from each league advancing to October baseball. Play — and we cannot stress this enough — ball.

👀 Teams to watch

Everything you need to know about the 2024 MLB season
Source: Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images

American League: Though they fell to the World Series champion Texas Rangers in last year’s AL Championship Series (CS), the Houston Astros are still the team to beat in the AL West. They’ve won the division six of the last seven seasons, making four World Series appearances in that span. In short, all they do is win.

  • Over in the lackluster Central, everything’s coming up Minnesota Twins, especially after last year’s inspiring playoff run.
  • And last but certainly not least, the AL East is looking stacked. The Baltimore Orioles are the overwhelming favorites to run it back, but don’t be surprised if any of the Tampa Bay Rays, NY Yankees, or Toronto Blue Jays claim the pennant.

National League: California knows how to party…and play baseball. As has been the case for the last decade, the LA Dodgers are expected to top the NL West, but the San Diego Padres and newly reloaded San Francisco Giants should keep things interesting.

  • Similar to the AL, the NL Central is deficient in a major power. That said, the Chicago Cubs could return to the top for the first time since 2020 after luring standout manager Craig Counsell away from their rival, the reigning division champion Milwaukee Brewers.
  • Finally, the NL East will likely come down to two bitter rivals: the incredibly stacked Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia “good vibes” Phillies. Spicy.

⭐ The superstars

Everything you need to know about the 2024 MLB season
Source: Sports Illustrated

Shohei Ohtani, designated hitter (DH) and pitcher, LA Dodgers: From a jaw-dropping $700M free agency signing with his new squad to a stunning wife reveal to an unfortunate off-field saga, Ohtani has been the story of the offseason. But now it’s time for the biggest name in baseball to let his play do the talking.

  • The two-way superstar notably won’t pitch after undergoing major elbow surgery last September, but his bat was beyond worth the hefty chunk of change, especially after leading the AL in home runs last season. Sho time.

Ronald Acuña Jr., outfielder, Atlanta Braves: Power, speed, pizzazz — Acuña Jr. has it all. The unanimous 2023 NL MVP made all sorts of history last season including becoming the first player to hit 40 or more home runs and steal 70 or more bases in a single season.

Mookie Betts, infielder, LA Dodgers: Yes, the superteam Dodgers boast another superstar in Mookie “good at everything” Betts. And when we say good at everything, we mean it: Betts will be LA’s starting shortstop after spending the majority of his career in the outfield. With plays like these, there’s no reason not to have him cover the entire field.

Aaron Judge, outfielder, NY Yankees: Had a pesky toe injury not derailed him, Judge might’ve defended his 2022 AL MVP honors last season. If the captain of the Evil Empire can stay healthy, he’ll likely top the hitting charts once again and could bring the storied Yanks back to relevance. All rise!

👶 The up-and-comers

Everything you need to know about the 2024 MLB season
Source: Aaron Doster/Getty Images

Julio Rodríguez, outfielder, Seattle Mariners: After winning AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2022, J-Rod had no time for the sophomore slump last season, setting records and making history in the second half. Whether it’s at the dish, on the basepaths, or in the field, the 23-year-old is always must-see TV.

Gunnar Henderson, infielder, Baltimore Orioles: A key part of Baltimore’s eerily similar-looking youth movement, Henderson lived up to his No. 1 prospect billing last season, winning AL Rookie of the Year and Silver Slugger honors.

Corbin Carroll, outfielder, Arizona Diamondbacks: The 2023 NL Rookie of the Year lifted his team to a surprise World Series appearance last season, stealing bases and hearts along the way. And it wasn’t just beginner’s luck — Carroll’s poised for another stellar campaign, especially if he can find some consistency down the stretch.

Elly De La Cruz, shortstop, Cincinnati Reds: Last season, the electric 22-year-old set the league ablaze with his power-hitting and sensational speed. Now entering his first full season, expect his skills to only sharpen while retaining his trademark infectious joy.

💪 Power pitchers

Everything you need to know about the 2024 MLB season
Source: CBS Sports

Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves: The preseason NL Cy Young award favorite (given to the top pitcher in each league) is in a tier of his own. And while his incredibly jacked legs get a lot of attention, Strider’s arm is the real deal – he led MLB in strikeouts by a wide margin last season with pitches almost as filthy as his mustache.

Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies: From his top-10 finish in most major pitching categories to his postseason dominance, this guy’s wheely good. And the Phillies must think so too after inking their top pitcher to a three-year, $126M extension this offseason, the most lucrative extension in baseball history. Worth every penny.

Gerrit Cole, NY Yankees: The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, Cole’s been a stalwart ace for the Bronx Bombers since joining the team in 2020. But his inclusion comes with a caveat — the hard-throwing hurler will miss at least the first two months of the season with an elbow injury. Still, he’ll be a difference-maker when he puts on those pinstripes once again.

Pablo López, Minnesota Twins: The Twins snapped their 21-year playoff win drought last season, and López was a major reason why. The righty found his footing following a 2023 offseason trade from the Miami Marlins, posting the fifth-best strikeout rate in baseball, largely aided by the addition of a new pitch: the sweeper. Squeaky clean.