Home Sports Opening Day Is Here! Storylines To Watch For

Opening Day Is Here! Storylines To Watch For

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Opening Day for Major League Baseball (MLB) is just around the corner. After an action packed 2023 season, let’s take a look at what storylines the 2024 season might have in store. 

Last year, the Baltimore Orioles came up as one of the best stories in the MLB. Young stars like Adley Rutchsman and Gunnar Henderson became among the most fun duos to watch in all of baseball. The Orioles won 101 games in 2023 and won the American League (AL) East for the first time since 2014. The Orioles’ season was cut down by the eventual world series champion Texas Rangers, as they got swept in the American League Division Series, but they still left baseball fans with plenty to be excited about. The Orioles’ lineup, on top of Rutschman and Henderson, contains all-star outfielders Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins. Baltimore is also chock full of young talent even with Henderson and Rutchsman’s graduation. The Orioles have four top 30 prospects in baseball, three of which are estimated to arrive on the scene in the majors this season, which includes the number one prospect in all of baseball, Jackson Holliday. They also had former top prospects Jordan Westburg and Colton Cowser make the opening day roster this season. 

In addition to a really good lineup, the Orioles bolstered their starting rotation this offseason by trading for 2021 National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes. The Orioles add Burnes to a rotation that features 2023 AL Cy Young Award candidate Kyle Bradish and former top prospect Grayson Rodriguez. In 2023, Bradish had a 2.83 ERA and Rodriguez, who had an ERA above seven in the first half, pitched to a 2.58 ERA after the all star break. The Orioles’ bullpen, which lost all star Felix Bautista for the season, added Craig Kimbrel into the mix for the closer job, and Yennier Cano, who had a 2.11 ERA in 2023 is primed to have another great season. The Orioles open their season on Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels and look to establish themselves as one of the best teams in baseball for the second consecutive year. 

One team who might be in the running to play league villain is the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers won 100 games in 2023 and then committed over $1 billion worth of payroll into just a few players during this past offseason. The Dodgers signed two-way star, and two time American League Most Valuable Player, Shohei Ohtani to a 10 year contract worth $700 million. Although he won’t be able to pitch in 2024, Ohtani is coming off a season in which he hit 44 homeruns and knocked in 95 RBI. The Dodgers also signed Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a 25 year old Japanese pitching phenom, to a 12 year deal worth $325 million and traded for Tyler Glasnow from the Rays. Yamamoto has won Japan’s version of the Cy Young Award in three consecutive seasons. Glasnow, though often injured, is one the better pitchers in the MLB when he’s healthy. The Dodgers, who won the World Series in the covid shortened 2020 season, have made the playoffs in 11 straight seasons. They have also reached the World Series three times in that span and have won the NL West 10 times in the last 11 years, losing in 2021 to the Giants by a single game. The Dodgers opened the season last week, playing two games in South Korea against their NL West rival San Diego Padres going 1-,  but will look to continue their quest of asserting themselves as a dominant force over the next 160 games. 

The MLB is sure to bring a lot of fun and interesting storylines throughout this season and the 162 game marathon is only just getting started.