After the first week of the 2024 baseball season, which teams will put up a great fight, and which ones are already flat-lining?

Baseball is officially back and after the first week of the season, there are a few teams that surprised baseball fans and there are also the ones we expected. We’ve gone through a few games, enough to see which teams will be in contention for October baseball and ones we’ll pass along the way.

To start, the American League is off to an interesting start. After the first weekend, there was only one team left that was undefeated. Surprisingly, it was the Detroit Tigers with four wins. The Tigers finished the 2023 season second in the AL Central division with a 78-84 record and no playoff contention. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2014 and last won a World Series in 1984.

To kick off the new season, they played their division rivals, the Chicago White Sox, who didn’t have a successful 2023 season so there wasn’t much competition. It’s hard to say if this streak was just luck or if the Tigers have figured things out and fixed their bugs.

The New York Yankees were also one of the few teams to start the season with a sweep. Their opening day started in the great state of Texas against the Houston Astros. This is also where Juan Soto made his highly anticipated pinstripe debut. 

Not only was it his debut but he was going up against former Padres teammate, Josh Hader, where he let up a go-ahead hit to Soto for the sweep in game four. Soto crushed it in Spring Training so there is no surprise his new start for the Bronx was anything less than electric. Pitchers better ready their armory when going up against the Yankees lineup of Juan Soto, Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo at the top of the order.

As for the reigning champs, the Texas Rangers started 4-2 which isn’t bad but as reigning champs who almost swept their way through the postseason, I was expecting more. They have great offense, great defense and have the resources to win again but it could be that they are still on cloud nine from winning the World Series.

To finish out the American League, two teams are doing the exact opposite of what you would have thought they would be doing at the very beginning of the season: the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels. 

With new additions to the team and the signing of Josh Hader, this team was expected to do pretty well and instead, they started 1-5. If I were an Astros fan, I would be concerned that there are unexpected issues arising but then again, we’re also one week into the season, it’s anyone’s game at any point to turn things around.

The Los Angeles Angels, on the other hand, are doing better than I would have expected! With the loss of Shohei Ohtani and a brand new manager, you would think that they need time to figure out the kinks, move players around, and maybe get involved in trades but no, they’re doing just fine on their own by starting the season strong with a 4-2 record, including a sweep over the Miami Marlins!

Maybe I’m partial to this since my team is in the National League, but I feel that this is the most exciting league to watch. All eyes are on the Los Angeles Dodgers this season and probably will be for the next 10 years since Ohtain joined the team. Regardless of what your feelings are for the Dodgers or Ohtani, you have to admit that they are a force to be reckoned with when healthy. The Dodgers started strong going 7-2, including a sweep over the San Francisco Giants.

The Dodgers started the season against the San Diego Padres in Seoul, South Korea for two regular season games where the series ended in a split. The Dodgers pitching was something I, as a Padres fan, was a bit scared of but after Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s first start in the big leagues, going one inning and letting up five runs, my fear turned into laughter. His next start was a bit more of what we expected and I’m sure that with time, he will become more consistent.

Shifting gears, when you hear someone talk about the Philadelphia Phillies, you automatically assume home runs due to Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner. With all the amazing names and amazing things that these players do, why did they start with a concerning 2-4 record? It’s not like they were going up against these incredible teams that have all this star power. They were going up against the Atlanta Braves, who they beat in last year’s postseason, and the Cincinnati Reds, who are still growing and learning to be a talented machine. The Phillies lost both of the series and even though it is still really early in the season this doesn’t look good. They have a healthy, scary lineup so what’s going on? 

Finally, two teams that I just couldn’t believe were winless through the first weekend were the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins. It 100% was not expected for them to go out and win but I feel like the Mets are always trading their top players as soon as they get good and the Marlins had such a good season last year that they should have won at least one game by now. The Marlins have played seven games while the Mets have played five and even though the season has just started, this was extremely concerning.

There are so many other teams that I could get into about how changes in the offseason and spring training have completely changed the way they approach the game. Each team has made adjustments to where they believe that their team is working towards a World Series title. But overall, it is going to be an interesting season!