Now that we have taken time to dwell on the past, let’s turn our attention to the future. The Texas Rangers won their first World Series title in franchise history last night and ESPN has already decided to think about who has the best shot to win it all in 2024.
At the top of that list is the Atlanta Braves. ESPN has ranked the Braves as the favorite to have the best record during the regular season. In addition, Atlanta also will start the season as the World Series favorites. The Braves’ odds of winning it all in 2024 are 13-2 with the next closest being the Los Angeles Dodgers at 7-1.
Being in this discussion should be a huge compliment to the Braves but we all know that doesn’t mean anything. Atlanta was also the favorite to win the World Series in 2023 and they were eliminated in the NLDS rather quickly.
Opening the season as the favorite to be the best team in the MLB can put a target on a team’s back from day one. Even though Atlanta has now won six consecutive National League East championships, they were not the favorites to do so in most of those seasons.
In recent years, Atlanta has dominated the division while consistently being considered the underdogs. Now they face a new kind of pressure where they are expected to win. We don’t anticipate much change in Atlanta’s attitude but it is possible. We hope the Braves respond to the pressure by continuing their dominance.
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the 2024 season for the Braves will be to repeat as division champions. The New York Mets are now in the beginning stages of a rebuild, the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins are both expected to be at the bottom of the MLB standings but that leaves one team. A team that Atlanta has not had the answer for as of late: the Philadelphia Phillies.
Atlanta will open the 2024 season against the Philadelphia Phillies who are projected to be the 4th best team in all of baseball. With the way the Phillies ended the 2023 season and Rhys Hoskins returning from injury, the division could be a dogfight from start to finish in 2024. We just hope Atlanta meets the expectations of being number one.
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