Three Must-Know Metrics Ahead of the 2024 MLB Season

As spring training gets into full swing in preparation for Major League Baseball’s Opening Day on March 28th, fans, players and analysts are readying for the next chapter in America’s game. To prepare for the upcoming season, here are 3 things to keep an eye on.
Three Must-Know Metrics Ahead of the 2024 MLB Season

Last season was a historic one

Before November 1st, 2023, there were six teams that had never won the World Series.

Now there are five, after the Texas Rangers won their first title in franchise history last season. Their lack of a championship dated back to 1961, when the team was called the Washington Senators, and their home stadium was down the road from the White House. 

World Series MVP Corey Seager told reporters it was a “pretty special moment” when Game 5 cemented the Rangers’ defeat of the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4 games to 1.

When asked about the team’s history, Seager mentioned that the potential of bringing home a title was “something that intrigued me” when signing with the Rangers in 2022.

To “start at the bottom,” Seager said, “and try and build something, and compete, and be able to do it, it’s really satisfying.”

In the upcoming season, the Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, and Tampa Bay Rays will each look to join the Rangers in claiming a World Series title for their respective franchises. Per Zack Cimini at SportsLine, the Mariners have the best odds of the championship-less clubs, and the 10th best of all 30 MLB teams.


New rules are here to stay

Baseball Reference counted 261 new debuts across Major League Baseball in 2023. A new set of rules made its first appearance alongside them, including larger bases and a pitch clock.

This combination brought fresh new headlines to the game. For example, Anthony Volpe became the first Yankees rookie ever to record 20 stolen bases and 20 home runs in a season. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks’ Corbin Carroll swiped a whopping 54 bags on his way to National League Rookie of the Year honors. 

Base area being increased from 15“ to 18“ undoubtedly contributed to the rise in steals across the sport. Anthony Castrovince at measured stolen base attempts per game at 1.8 last season, a sharp increase compared to 1.4 in 2022.

The pitch clock, which counts down 15 seconds for a pitcher to deliver the ball, was also a new feature in MLB stadiums for 2023–and it will certainly remain. Baseball has always been notorious for its game durations, which often stretch past 3 hours. However, following the implementation of the pitch clock, the average 9-inning game time in 2023 was just 2 hours and 40 minutes. Castrovince highlights that this is 24 minutes shorter than the same measurement in 2022.

Expect many of the same trends toward revolutionized baserunning, shorter games, and an overall transformed sport in 2024.

Dodgers Dynasty?

The biggest news in baseball this offseason was Shohei Ohtani’s 10-year, 700 million dollar signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Per, it’s the largest contract in sports history. 

Ohtani, a two time MVP who possesses elite abilities in both pitching and hitting, has been blazing trails since he joined the Los Angeles Angels from Japan in 2018. He’s no stranger to setting the kinds of precedents that come with this deal, including how much professional athletes should be paid–as well as what the Dodgers intend to do over the next decade.

In 2024, Ohtani is expected to round off a lineup that includes two fellow former MVPs, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. This star-studded 1-2-3 is widely projected to be among the greatest of all time, and hoisting a World Series trophy or two (or ten) would certainly cement this team in baseball legend.

Last season was a disappointment for the Dodgers. They were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series, who would go on to be 2023’s NL Champions.

The future of the Dodgers looks a lot brighter moving into 2024. There are other stars to draw on besides the big names like Ohtani. Just one example is the homegrown Bobby Miller, who wouldn’t be a bad pick for a breakout season. Miller’s fastball velocity was the 98th percentile according to Baseball Savant. This is a metric that could put the 25-year-old pitcher among elite fireballers such as Jacob deGrom, who won back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019.

The last time the Dodgers claimed a World Series title was in 2020, and before that, it was 1988. Is it finally time for these hardcore and devoted fans, propelling Dodger Stadium to the highest attendance averages of any MLB arena, to revel in victory once more?

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