We are 50 days away from the MLB’s opening day, so let’s take a look at 50 things of note for the 2024 season.
1. Ohtani’s debut
He signed the biggest contract in North American sports history. Of course, we can’t wait to see him hit bombs at Dodger Stadium.
2. Juan Soto in pinstripes
How many home runs will he hit to the short right porch in Yankee Stadium?
3. Action Jacksons
Two of the biggest prospects, Jackson Holliday of the Orioles and Jackson Chourio of the Brewers will likely make their Major League debuts.
4. Orioles’/Reds’ young core
Both teams have lots of young talent both at the major and minor league levels.
5. Yamamoto in Dodger blue
How will he adjust to pitching in the majors?
6. International baseball
The Padres and the Dodgers are playing in South Korea; the Red Sox and Rays will play in the Dominican Republic; the Astros and the Rockies are traveling to Mexico City; and the Mets and the Phillies are going across the pond to London.
7. Rickwood Field
The Giants and the Cardinals will travel to Birmingham, Ala. to play at the oldest professional ballpark in the United States as a part of Juneteenth celebrations to commemorate the Negro League and its history.
8. The possibility of back-to-back champs
We haven’t seen a team repeat since Yankees won the World Series in 1998, 1999, and 2000. The Rangers kept almost the entire roster from last year’s championship squad.
9. The A’s final year in Oakland
The A’s are moving to Vegas (unless Mayor Carolyn Goodman can stop it) and are in the final year of their contract with RingCentral Colosseum.
10. The Dodgers’ super team
On paper, yes. But, we won’t really know until the postseason kicks off. They could win it all or lose in the NLDS.
11. Championship droughts ending
The Phillies haven’t won the Fall Classic since 2008, despite being there twice since — and as recently as 2022. The Yankees are still seeking their first World Series win since 2009. The Orioles haven’t won it all since 1983, but could break through this year. And like the Rangers before them, the Rays could finally earn the franchise’s first title.
12. Seeing what Ronald Acuña does next
The Atlanta Braves star is projected to be the MVP again this coming season. Can he top his 41 homers and 73 steals?
13. Rule changes
We saw the introduction of the pitch clock last year, and this year they are tightening its countdown from 20 to 18, and also giving baserunners a bit more freedom in their lane between home and first base. These are just a few of the several rule changes that will be in effect as baseball tries to make their games faster.
14. Hard Knocks: Baseball edition
The Red Sox announced a Netflix documentary similar to Hard Knocks.
15. Final year for some veterans
This could be the last we see of Joey Votto, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw.
16. Josh Hader with the Astros
Houston added one of the best closers in the game to an already solid bullpen.
17. Seeing if Cody Bellinger’s bounce back was a fluke or not
At the time of this writing, he hasn’t re-signed with the Cubs or landed a contract anywhere else, so it will be interesting to see if he stays in Chicago or goes to his third team.
18. Guerrero Jr.’s bounce back
Barring a video game cover curse, Guerrero is predicted to be one of the most improved players next season by the MLB.
19. Little League Classic
The Yankees and the Tigers will play in Williamsport in August.
20. The Astros could make an eighth straight ALCS
A model of consistency for sure.
21. Mike Trout joining the 400 HR club
Assuming he stays healthy, he is only 32 home runs away.
22. Paul Goldschmidt reaching 2,000 hits
It’s pretty much guaranteed, unless the season gets canceled, Busch Stadium gets hit by a meteor or he decides to not play. He needs less than 100 hits to make it to 2,000.
23. Seeing Chris Sale as a Brave
He may be older, but he was great as a Red Sox and adds some depth to the pitching rotation of a World Series contender
24. Seeing if the Royals improve after spending money
25. Aces returning from injury
We know the defending champion Texas Rangers are going to be good. Imagine how good they’ll be when they get Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom back from injury this summer.
28. Spring Breakout series
If you’re into prospects, you’re in luck. The MLB is launching the Spring Breakout series, a four-day event of prospect-centric play across the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues.
29. Paul Skenes
One of the most hyped pitching prospects in recent memory is set to make his debut this year. Can Livvy Dunne’s boyfriend make the Pirates relevant?
30. Elly De La Cruz’s sophomore campaign
The fastest man in spikes captured the nation’s attention last year. He’s making steals cool again.
31. Orioles new ownership
The Baltimore Orioles are officially in new hands. Will the hedgefund owners bring some juice to one of the AL’s newest contenders? The team already traded for ace Corbin Burnes.
32. Big names on the Hall of Fame ballot
Ichiro Suzuki, CC Sabathia, Felix Hernandez, and Dustin Pedroia are the headliners.
33. Seeing Luis Arraez hit
The Marlins second baseman flirted with .400 at points during last season. How much better can the hyper-efficient hitter get?
34. Watching Spencer Torkelson take the next step
The former No. 1 overall pick got demoted to Triple-A during his 2022 rookie season, then responded with a 31-homer outing in 2023. There’s still a lot to learn, but Torkelson can help out this Tigers team.
35. Watching Ron Washington handle the Ohtani-less Angels
This team has missed the playoffs every year since 2014. Shohei Ohtani is gone, and Mike Trout is entering the later stages of his Hall of Fame career. What will the 71-year-old do with this underachieving club?
36. Spencer Strider possibly reaching 300 Ks
The Braves ace would be the youngest person since Sam McDowell to hit the strikeout benchmark.
37. The next Cleveland ace
Corey Kluber. Shane Bieber. Tanner Bibee? The Guardians keep churning out great pitchers.
38. Nolan Jones makes the Rockies (semi-)watchable
The Mile High City has nothing going for it at the moment, outside of Jones’ 20-home run/20-steal season
39. Christian Yelich resurgence
He had a down year in 2023. But the Brew Crew has a haul of young talent. Can the former NL MVP return to form?
40. Seeing what Steve Cohen has in store for the Mets
The billionaire Mets owner spent all of 2023 selling. Is he bringing back the wheeling-and-dealing mindset that made him such a popular owner to begin with?
41. That first ballpark dog
There’s something so satisfying about biting into the snapping skin of a fresh frank at the ballpark
42. Peanut dust in your hat
It’s the only time you ever use headwear as a food dish.
43. A nice summer day at the ballpark
When the sun hits your skin just right, you know you’re home
44. Singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”
Is it corny? Yes, but it’s great that first time (that’s what she said?).
45. The crack of the bat
Once you hear that first good bit of contact, you know you’re back.
46. Making fun of Angel Hernandez
He should be banned for life, but boy is it fun to rip on him.
47. Aaron Boone’s ejections
The Yankees skipper sure knows how to make a scene after getting tossed.
48. Pitchers and catchers reporting this month
It means Spring Training is almost here.
49. Spring training
It’s a chance to see who’s in the “best shape of their lives.”
50. No Taylor Swift
Unless she dumps Travis Kelce for… Bryce Harper? IDK.