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MLB 2024 Season: Pressure Mounts for Top Contenders to Deliver

As each Major League Baseball season kicks off with spring training, it serves as a reminder that every team starts afresh. Nonetheless, certain franchises in 2024 are facing notably heightened expectations compared to others.

According to BetMGM, the Phillies, Blue Jays, Yankees, Braves, and Dodgers rank among the top 10 favorites to clinch the World Series title. Below is a rundown, in reverse order, of which team bears the greatest pressure this season.

For the second consecutive year, the Phillies triumphed over their division rival, the Atlanta Braves, in the NLDS as underdogs. However, despite their victory, they faltered in the World Series against the Houston Astros in 2022, squandering a 2-1 lead. Last season, despite being favorites, Philadelphia fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS, despite playing in front of a fervent home crowd at Citizens Bank Park. With a nearly identical lineup and rotation as last year, failing to meet expectations again could prompt roster shake-ups.

The Toronto Blue Jays, champions of the World Series in 1993, have lost their status as an up-and-coming team since the debut of stars Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette in 2019. Despite a solid lineup and unchanged rotation, Toronto has suffered three AL wild-card round sweeps since then, scoring a mere 13 runs across six losses. Guerrero Jr. and Bichette, both under 27, have struggled in postseason play, and anything short of reaching the ALDS in 2024 would be considered a letdown.

The New York Yankees, last crowned World Series champions in 2009, missed the playoffs in 2023 despite boasting the league’s second-highest payroll. With an even higher payroll for the 2024 season, coupled with the addition of Juan Soto via trade, the pressure is on for New York, especially given their placement in what many consider the toughest division in baseball. Soto’s uncertain future with the team beyond this season further amplifies the need for success in 2024.

Following their surprising World Series victory in 2021, the Atlanta Braves raised expectations for the ensuing seasons, with some envisioning a potential dynasty. However, despite securing the NL East title twice since then, they stumbled in the NLDS against the Phillies. While much of their young talent is locked in for the future, failure to progress beyond the NLDS this year would cast doubts on their dynasty aspirations.

Lastly, the Los Angeles Dodgers, last winning a non-Covid World Series in 1988, face immense pressure to claim the title in 2024. Despite winning the 2020 World Series during the pandemic-shortened season, their postseason history, marked by several eliminations despite superior regular-season records, underscores the urgency to secure another championship. With notable additions to their roster, including Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Teoscar Hernandez, and Tyler Glasnow, expectations are sky-high for the Dodgers, whose manager, Dave Roberts, has remained cautious following a failed prediction in 2022.

Yachiga Tavershima
Yachiga Tavershimahttps://goalsvibe.com
Soccer Blogger with a keen eye for detailed reportage. I bring the latest drama in the most dramatic way
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