HomeTrending MLB News30-day stock report: Mets, Astros going in opposite directions

30-day stock report: Mets, Astros going in opposite directions

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It’s been one month since the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers began the 2024 MLB season in Seoul, South Korea. While still early, some teams have used the first 30 days of the season to boost their playoff odds, and others have witnessed theirs dip.

Per Baseball Reference, here’s a look at six teams that have experienced the biggest swings in postseason odds through the season’s first month.

Biggest Increase

3. CLEVELAND GUARDIANS

Record: 15-6 | Playoff percentage: 65.1% | +27.1%

The Guardians have the AL’s best record (15-6), including an MLB-leading plus-48 run differential. Cleveland batters have one of the league’s lowest strikeout rates (19.7%) and aren’t reliant on the long ball – the club’s 2.6% home run rate ranks 20th in baseball. 

Left fielder Steven Kwan leads the AL with a .374 batting average. Unless more of his teammates join him, though, the Guardians’ run atop the AL Central could be short-lived. Five hitters on Cleveland’s 40-man roster have sub-.200 batting averages and it will be difficult for the team to withstand that lack of production throughout the season.

2. NEW YORK METS

12-8 | Playoff percentage: 57.9% | +28.4%

New York’s 0-5 start is a distant memory. The Mets have won six consecutive, including a sweep of the Pirates and the first two games of its road series with the Dodgers that concludes on Sunday. Starting pitchers Luis Severino and Jose Quintana anchor the front of the Mets rotation and young righthander Jose Butto has been a surprise in the back-end with a team-best 1.65 ERA in three starts.

The Mets are sixth in the league on on-base percentage and are aggressive but smart when on the base paths. New York has a 90% success rate on stolen bases (18-of-20) and is ninth in Baseball Reference’s extra bases taken percentage (45%).

1. KANSAS CITY ROYALS

13-8 | Playoff percentage 43.6% | +39.2%

The Royals’ 26 home runs are tied for fourth-most in the majors and the club also ranks sixth in isolated power rate (17%). Kansas City has left the third-fewest number of runners on base (127), partly attributed to the team’s .312 on-base percentage, which is 19th in the league. After all, it’s easier to leave the bases empty when no one is there to begin with.

Kansas City’s pitching staff has been strong, led by 34-year-old righthander Seth Lugo, who has a sterling 1.05 ERA through four starts. The middle of the team’s bullpen is a concern, with relievers Chris Stratton, Nick Anderson and Will Smith combining to issue 19 walks and only 17 strikeouts.

Biggest Decrease

3. MINNESOTA TWINS

7-12 | Playoff percentage: 64.5% | -16%

The Twins are sorely missing shortstop Carlos Correa, third baseman Royce Lewis and rightfielder Max Kepler, who are all on the 10-day injured list. Minnesota has struggled mightily at the plate with a team batting average of .194, the second-worst in the league. 

The Twins pitching staff has shown more life, recording the league’s most strikeouts per nine innings (10.27) despite the back of the starting rotation being a mess. Louie Varland and Chris Paddack have combined to start the season 0-4 in six starts with an 8.36 ERA.

2. HOUSTON ASTROS

7-15 | Playoff percentage: 33.3% | -36.5%

The reason for Houston’s downward spiral is easy to pinpoint: pitching. The Astros are one of two clubs (Rockies) in the bigs with a team ERA above 5.00 and the starters have been just as much to blame as the relief staff. J.P. France and Hunter Brown are 0-5 in eight starts while relievers Ryan Pressly and offseason free-agent addition Josh Hader have had nightmarish starts to the season with more losses (three) than saves (two).

1. TAMPA BAY RAYS

12-10 | Playoff percentage: 35.4% | -43%

The Rays won 13 games before losing their first game in 2023 and the team’s slower start in 2024 could sink them come playoff time. The AL East is the best division in baseball and chances are growing that Tampa Bay will be lost in the shuffle when the dust settles.

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