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Previewing the American League going into 2024 MLB season

Charlie Davidson
After a busy free-agency period, the 15 American League teams are ready to compete for a spot in the World Series.

With the MLB season just weeks away, teams across the league have concluded their offseason efforts to make themselves title contenders. While it may be hard to keep track of all the moves, here’s a look around the American League (AL) to see where all 15 teams stand going into the 2024 season.


AL East


Baltimore Orioles: After nearly seven years of abysmal baseball, the Orioles finally saw their rebuild pay off last season. Ending the year 101-61, Baltimore showcased the impressive talent making the way through their minor league system, with catcher Adley Rutschman establishing himself as one of the league’s best backstops and shortstop Gunnar Henderson breaking through to win AL Rookie of the Year. More help is on the way, with the team still ranked first in minor league talent by, a top spot they have held since 2022.The O’s boast five top 32 prospects, including MLB’s best, and 2024 Rookie of the Year favorite Jackson Holliday. Such a deep system has allowed the Orioles to stack their contributing talent, replacing Jack Flaherty with 2021 Cy Young Award winner and three-time All-Star Corbin Burnes. The Orioles seem to be a dynasty in the making, with young, budding stars leading the way for a dangerous squad come October. 


Boston Red Sox: In hopes of avoiding a three straight last place finishes for the first time since 1930, the Red Sox need plenty of bounce back years. While star third baseman Rafael Devers led the way for the 78-84 ballclub last season with his 100 RBI effort, other pieces will need to return to previous strength if the Red Sox want to be remotely competitive in the AL East. Japanese rookie Masataka Yoshida should look to build upon a solid first year, while Trevor Story appears to finally be healthy and prove to the Red Sox his $20 million contract isn’t a waste. New faces look to make a change, namely the hiring of new Chief Baseball Officer Craig Breslow, who has made a commendable effort to steer the team towards competitiveness. Still, a season-ending injury to their headline signing Lucas Giolito invites further adversity for this team to overcome, even if Tyler O’Neil and Kenley Jansen provide a spark. Boston has acquired some decent pieces, but need to get a lot more out of them if they wish to climb out of the cellar of the AL East.


Toronto Blue Jays: After battling their way to the playoffs with a 89-73 record, there are questions as to if the Blue Jays can repeat their success in 2024. While being the dependable star at the front of the rotation to start 2023, Alek Manoah has fallen into inconsistencies, placing the extent of his possible 2024 contributions into question. Still, the veteran starting pitching held up, ranking 3rd in baseball with a 3.85 Earned Run Average, now they will have to replicate the success. With Matt Chapman’s departure in free agency, even more questions swirl around this ballclub, but Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. should lead a solid team in 2024, even if a long playoff run isn’t likely.


Tampa Bay Rays: Even in years where the roster may seem weak, the Rays always seem to find the diamonds in the rough to make them competitive. Still, a plethora of injuries will test this team, especially on the pitching side. Their best starter, Shane McClanahan, an emerging star in the league, is out for the year following Tommy John surgery. Other quality arms in Drew Rasmussen and Jeffery Springs are coming off elbow surgeries of their own, and have most of their seasons in jeopardy. The bats still might be enough to make the team competitive, featuring 2023 AL batting champ Yandy Díaz and Randy Arozarena coming off his first All-Star appearance last year. But in a loaded division like the AL East, it may be too much to overcome for the seemingly always dangerous Rays.


New York Yankees: After a frustratingly mediocre 2023 season, the Yankees look to be in prime shape to return to typical form in 2024. Led by five-time All-Star and 2022 MVP Aaron Judge, the team made the aggressive move to pair the slugger with the 25-year-old 4-time All-Star Juan Soto via a trade with the Padres. With Anthony Rizzo back to form following a concussion that knocked him out of a good portion of 2023, the team hopes the veterans remain consistent, while youngsters like Anthony Volpe take the next step. While Marcus Stroman should slot in well to a rotation headlined by Nestor Cortes and Carlos Rodon, a Spring Training injury to ace Gerrit Cole may throw things slightly out of whack to start the year. Though avoiding a catastrophic UCL tear, Cole, the six-time All-Star, still has his Opening Day availability in jeopardy. Although the Yankees have plenty of star-power to make a playoff run, they will need to keep the veterans healthy if they want to translate talent into wins. 


AL Central


Chicago White Sox: Seeing their competitive window rapidly slammed shut due to injuries and inconsistent play, the White Sox have once again entered a rebuilding phase. Dealing core pieces including Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn last trade deadline, rumors around a Dylan Cease trade have continued to resurface, with the team dealing their ace to the Padres on March 13. New leadership in manager Pedro Grifol and GM Chris Getz is attempting to bring in young talent that will surround survivors of this purge, likely including star center fielder Luis Robert. While the team added solid bats like Paul DeJong and Andrew Benintendi, the amount of cast offs makes it clear the southsiders are focused on long term organization building, rather than a competitive season in 2024.


Detroit Tigers: While Javier Báez hasn’t lived up to his big contract from two offseasons ago, the Tigers finally seem to have a competitive team after a lengthy rebuild. Riley Greene, Spencer Torkelson, and Kerry Carpenter have all become solid major league bats, with the young trio looking to continue their development into the All-Star caliber ceilings they have. Colt Keith,’s 22nd ranked prospect in baseball, will almost certainly get his call up to the majors, while Max Clark and Jace Jung could very well follow in the next couple of years.Tarik Skubal is coming off a fantastic season, and could very well be one of MLB’s best pitchers in 2024. Skubal got some help in the rotation this offseason, with the signing of veteran arms Kenta Maeda and Jack Flaherty offsetting the loss of Eduardo Rodriguez to the Diamondbacks. While it may catch some people off guard, the Tigers finally look to be a solid team, and could very well have a solid run at a playoff spot with weaker competition in the division.


Cleveland Guardians: Just behind the Tigers, picked to finish third in the AL Central, the Guardians are hoping to recreate the first half success from last season, this time without a collapse. Steven Kwan returns as the high-contact leadoff hitter, while big bats like their star third baseman José Ramírez sit in the middle of the order to drive them in. Despite a whirl of trade rumors, Shane Beiber returns as the ace, while young arms like Gavin Williams look to make themselves a household name. The starting pitching will be what can make Cleveland scary, as Williams and Beiber are joined by Rookie of the Year runner up Tanner Bibee, former top prospect Triston McKenzie, and the always reliable Logan Allen rounding out the starting 5. Despite little to no offseason moves, the team could still cause issues within a weak AL Central division.


Kansas City Royals: Even after posting only 56 wins last season, their lowest since 2005, the Royals have added and seem to find some more success in 2024. Kansas City mostly added depth pieces, like starting pitchers Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo, to stabilize the roster, and fill in gaps where there young talent. But between guys like Bobby Witt Jr. and Cole Ragans, the Royals are finally seeing young budding stars develop years into their rebuild. While they may not be pushing for a title this year, 2024 looks like it may be a step in the right direction.


Minnesota Twins: Finally breaking the longest postseason losing streak in North American sports (18 games) last season, the Twins are the favorite to win the AL Central and return to the playoffs. Even after trading Jorge Polanco, young talent like Edward Julien and Royce Lewis can likely fill his spot, if not even more. Byron Buxton continues to be one of the best players when healthy, and Carlos Correa may very well return to his normal self after a rather underwhelming 2023 campaign. Pablo Lopez, the return for Luis Arráez, goes into his second year as Minnesota’s ace, after an excellent postseason showing. While some sneaky teams in the division may give them a run for their money, as long as they stay healthy, the Twins are very much the team to beat in the AL Central.


AL West


Houston Astros: New year, same Astros. The team that has made seven straight ALCS appearances is once again poised to make a serious playoff run. There’s plenty of continuity on the roster, with names like Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, and Yordan Alvarez still leading the way on the hitting side. Though battling offseason injuries, the legendary Justin Verlander also returns, among youthful arms like Framber Valdez and Christian Javier. The team got even scarier, adding the lockdown closer Josh Hader into their bullpen in free agency, and remains a title favorite going into 2024.


Los Angeles Angels: It’s hard enough to lose arguably the best baseball player of all time, it’s absolutely brutal for him to go to your crosstown rival. Manager Phil Nevin joined Shohei Ohtani in departing the organization, leading to the hiring of a new skipper, the universally liked Ron Washington. Even after losing a generational talent like Ohtani, the franchise player and likely future Hall of Famer Mike Trout finally may be healthy, something he hasn’t been able to maintain the last few seasons. Even adding veterans like pitcher Matt Moore may not be enough to save the team, but with a healthy Trout, the team may still scrap their way to mediocrity.


Texas Rangers: Coming off of the first World Series title in franchise history, the Rangers have an uphill battle to climb if they wish to repeat in 2024. After prized free agent signing Jacob DeGrom went down with an injury last season, the club was quick to replace him with another dominant veteran, Max Scherzer. Yet now, both enter the 2024 campaign on the injured list, with Scherzer not expected back until around June. While bats Josh Jung and Nathaniel Lowe should overcome their respective ailments by Opening Day, 2023 AL MVP runner-up Corey Seager’s status is still up in the air following sports hernia surgery in late January. Still, Adolis García and Marcus Semien should bring a veteran presence to pair nicely with the young-and-upcoming outfielders Wyatt Langford and Evan Carter. Regardless, while the Rangers should still be competitive with the Astros in the division, the team will need their stars to come back healthy and effective if they want a shot at being baseball’s first repeat champs in almost 25 years.


Oakland Athletics: The Oakland Athletics, baseball’s worst team in 2023. Staggering to an abysmal 50-112 record, and with their future in Oakland unknown amidst rumors of a Las Vegas move, there is little for the A’s faithful to be optimistic about. Look for the team to get young players like catcher Shea Langeliers and outfielder JJ Bleday to carve out substantial roles, getting the chance to play everyday due to holes in the roster. What will really be interesting is to see the use of 25-year-old Mason Miller. Miller looked nasty in a small sample size last year, but long term health may be in question due to previous UCL injuries. While fans may be more occupied worrying if their team will stay or leave, at least there is some talent that may develop during what seems to project as another terrible season.


Seattle Mariners: The Mariners will try to ride their young starting pitching to one-up a solid 2023 season. With the staff of Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, Byrce Miller, and Byran Woo led by veteran ace Luis Castillo, matching the league’s fourth-best ERA from last year. But if the team wants to see the next level, more bats outside of the face of the franchise Julio Rodriguez will have to step up. Whether it be the newly acquired Jorge Polanco or veteran Mariners like Mitch Haniger, if a stable offense can compliment the blossoming rotation, the team could give the Astros and Rangers a serious run for their money. While it may be a little too optimistic to pick them to win the AL West, the Mariners certainly have to be considered a threat to take the next step and enter their window of playoff contention.

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About the Contributor
Charlie Davidson
Charlie is on staff for the first time as a sports writer and he is a senior at Metea Valley. He loves following Chicago sports and spending time with family. When not cram studying or writing his next story, he is probably off tracking seven different games at once and questioning each coach’s decisions.

Comments (3)

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  • A

    Aadit BhatiaMar 16, 2024 at 11:28 pm

    Charlie, I wanted to take a moment to express my thoughts on your recent article. I have to say, I found it truly amazing. Your writin​g style is captivating, drawing the reader in from the very beginning. The way you weave together intricate details and compelling arguments showcases your talent as a writer.

    One aspect that particularly stood out to me is your ability to provide insightful analysis while maintaining a sense of clarity and coherence throughout the piece. Your ideas are well-developed and supported by evidence, making for a compelling read.

    Moreover, your article displays a deep understanding of the subject matter. It’s evident that you’ve put a lot of time and effort into researching and crafting your arguments. Your expertise shines through, adding credibility and depth to your writing.

    Not only is the content of your article impressive, but the way you present it is also commendable. Your organization is impeccable, making it easy for the reader to follow along and stay engaged. Additionally, your use of language is both eloquent and accessible, making complex concepts understandable to a wide audience.

    Overall, Charlie, I believe your article is a testament to your talent and dedication as a writer. It’s rare to come across such thought-provoking and well-executed pieces, and yours is truly exceptional. I have no doubt that it will leave a lasting impact on anyone who reads it.

    Keep up the fantastic work, Charlie. Your passion for writing and commitment to excellence are truly inspiring. I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future, and I’m confident that you’ll continue to impress with your exceptional talent.

    • S

      Shawn TimothyMar 18, 2024 at 10:22 am

      Wow, what a heartwarming comment to read. Your enthusiasm for Charlie Davidson’s work is palpable, and I find no reason why your comment shouldn’t receive a Metea Media Pick. Aadit Bhatia has singlehandley delivered a performance rivaling Raef Lafrentz’s 32 point, 20 rebound game against Sacramento on April 18th, 2001.

  • S

    Shawn TimothyMar 16, 2024 at 11:00 am

    What a phenomenal summary of the American League! I especially enjoyed your analysis of the Guardians. I completely agree that since they have such a weak division, they could do relatively well.