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MLB Week 1 Recap – MVP Race – Injuries – Updated Odds

Scott Morris | April 1, 2024
Juan Soto of NY Yankees - MLB news week 1 2024

Four games into the 2024 MLB season and Juan Soto is on the path to the AL MVP and the Pittsburgh Pirates…wait, the Pirates?…are on track to win the NL Central. The Detroit Tigers even went 4-0 in their opening series of the new season. Are the baseball stars realigning?

There were some anticipated performances. Corbin Burnes changed jerseys and struck out 11 in his debut with the Baltimore Orioles. Yoshinobu Yamamoto rebounded from his disastrous start in the Seoul Series with a five-inning, 0 ER outing that got cut short by a rain delay.

Boston’s Tyler O’Neill did something no other MLB player has ever done in the history of the game. O’Neill hit Seattle pitcher Cody Bolton’s first pitch of the eighth inning out of the park to become the first player to ever home in five straight Opening Day games. Boston beat Seattle 6-4 and the two teams split the series 2-2.

What did we learn from the first week of play in MLB? 


Soto for MVP

Soto jumped from Washington to San Diego in a midseason trade with the Padres in 2022. He has been one of MLB’s rising stars since his days with the Nationals. Last year in San Diego, Soto hit .275 with 35 homers and 109 RBIs. In December last year, he was traded to the New York Yankees.

To say he has started off his new season with his new team strong might be an understatement. In a four-game series with Houston – the Yankees won all four games – Soto went 9-for-17 total. He won Saturday’s game with a go-ahead home run and then came back Sunday to deliver a game-winning single off of ace reliever Josh Hader in the ninth inning.

In mid-March, Soto’s teammate Aaron Judge was a slight favorite ahead of Soto in the AL MVP race. After this Week 1 performance, Soto has overtaken his teammate and is a +550 favorite to win the MVP award. 

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Pirates May Have Something

Oneil Cruz PiratesPittsburgh hasn’t made the MLB playoffs since 2015. They’ve had just one winning season since. The Pirates have finished fourth or fifth in the NL Central in each of the last seven seasons. They have started the 2024 season with four straight wins. That marks just the fourth time in 40 years that Pittsburgh has started a season 4-0.

Oneil Cruz is back and healthy and the Pirates have three players – Bryan Reynolds, Connor Joe, and Ke’Bryan Hayes – hitting .316 or better so far. Combined, those three have already hit seven doubles and the Pirates averaged 7.75 runs per game in their sweep of the Miami Marlins. Pittsburgh has quality pitching too. Jared Jones is 1-0 after striking out 10 Marlins and beating Miami 9-3 in Game 2 of the series. Rookie Paul Skenes lurks in the background. Skenes was assigned to the Pirates Triple-A club in Indianapolis. In his first outing, he faced nine batters, struck out five, and averaged 100.1 mph on his fastballs.


Early Injuries Will Affect 2024 MLB Season

A number of injuries during the first series of the 2024 MLB season could have dramatic effects on its outcome. Cubs P Justin Steele, one of the early favorites to win the NL Cy Young Award this season, will miss at least a month after straining a hamstring. The Cubs are also without Jameson Taillon (30-21 over the last three seasons) who has a strained back. He is expected back soon.

Twins star Royce Lewis, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 MLB draft, was injured on Opening Day. Lewis only played 58 games last season, but hit .309 with 15 homers and 52 RBIs. The quad injury has been reported as severe, meaning Lewis will probably miss months, not weeks, of the 2024 season.

Lewis’s new teammate, Anthony DeSclafani, will miss the remainder of the 2024 season. The right-hander had flexor tendon surgery. He isn’t the only pitcher either out or rehabbing an injury. Justin Verlander, the aforementioned Taillon, Sonny Gray, German Marquez, and Walker Buehler are all on the mend and should return to their respective teams at some point early in the 2024 MLB season.


2024 Worlds Series Betting Odds After Week 1

odds from

Los Angeles Dodgers +350
Atlanta Braves +400
Houston Astros +800
New York Yankees +1000
Baltimore Orioles +1100
Texas Rangers +1400
Philadelphia Phillies +1600
Toronto Blue Jays +2000
Seattle Mariners +2000
Minnesota Twins +3000
Tampa Bay Rays +3500
Arizona Diamondbacks +3500
Chicago Cubs +3500
Cincinnati Reds +4000
St. Louis Cardinals +4000
San Diego Padres +5000
San Francisco Giants +5000
New York Mets +5000
Cleveland Guardians +6000
Detroit Tigers +6500
Boston Red Sox +7000
Miami Marlins +8000
Milwaukee Brewers +10000
Pittsburgh Pirates +12500
Los Angeles Angels +15000
Kansas City Royals +15000
Chicago White Sox +25000
Washington Nationals +25000
Colorado Rockies +50000
Oakland Athletics +50000



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