2024 MLB Watchability Index: Ranking the Teams

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2024 MLB Watchability Index

Welcome to the 2024 MLB Watchability Index! As ESPN NBA writer Zach Lowe would say — and we’re stealing this idea from his annual League Pass rankings — these are NOT power rankings, but watchability ratings. Imagine you’re sitting at home on a Saturday evening and you want to watch a baseball game, but perhaps your favorite team has already played. Which teams do you most want to watch? This is that list.

We’ve devised an intricate formula to score teams in seven different categories, with a potential maximum score of 50. These categories are designed to encompass the essence of “What makes baseball exciting?”

Key Categories

The 10-point categories include:

  • Star power: Based on our annual MLB Rank of the top 100 players of the season
  • Youth: Taking into account promising, young players
  • Baserunning: Assessing team baserunning metrics

The 5-point categories include:

  • 4- and 5-star catches: Utilizing catch probability data
  • 425-plus-foot home runs: Considering long home runs from the previous season
  • Minutiae: Factoring in ballpark, uniforms, and other miscellaneous elements

Additionally, a Bonus section allows for extra points at the author’s discretion, up to a maximum of five points for any team.

Analysis of Teams

Now, let’s delve into the rankings, starting from the least watchable teams and working our way up to the most captivating teams that demand your attention.

Team 1: Washington Nationals

Star power: 1 | Youth: 2 | Baserunning: 4.5 | Catches: 1 | 425+: 1 | Minutiae: 2

Bonus: 1, for the hope of seeing James Wood and Dylan Crews later in the season

The Nationals are grappling with challenges in player positioning on the field, particularly evident in the outfield. A blend of seasoned outfielders and presumably less impactful youth leads to a low youth rating in the analysis. Despite notable fun elements like the Presidents Race, the team lacks standout qualities in the specified categories.

Team 2: Chicago White Sox

Star power: 2 | Youth: 1 | Baserunning: 2 | Catches: 3 | 425+: 2 | Minutiae: 1

Bonus: 1, for the new “campfire milkshake” concession item

The White Sox, post-rebuild phase with predominantly older players, fall short in watchability criteria, with Luis Robert Jr. shining amidst mediocrity. The team’s declining farm system diminishes the excitement for the upcoming season.

Team 3: Miami Marlins

Star power: 3 | Youth: 2.5 | Baserunning: 1 | Catches: 2 | 425+: 2.5 | Minutiae: 2

Bonus: 0.5, for all the times announcers will call Luis Arraez a “professional hitter”

The Marlins face pitching woes due to injuries affecting viewer engagement. A mixture of seasoned but slower players, coupled with indoor game drawbacks, renders them less appealing despite interesting uniform choices like the City Connect jerseys.

Team 4: Colorado Rockies

Star power: 1 | Youth: 6 | Baserunning: 3 | Catches: 2 | 425+: 2.5 | Minutiae: 2

Bonus: 2, +1 for Brenton Doyle’s arm, +1 for the occasional Coors Field football score

The Rockies, hailed for their young lineup, excel in baserunning potential and formidable outfield defense. Despite offensive deficiencies, the team’s potential via dynamic plays promises an engaging viewing experience.

Team 5: Oakland Athletics

Star power: 1 | Youth: 6 | Baserunning: 3 | Catches: 2 | 425+: 2.5 | Minutiae: 2

Bonus: 2 +1 for Mike Trout being Mike Trout, +1 for the inevitable showdown between manager Ron Washington and Anthony Rendon, +1 for Reid Detmers’ curveball

Amidst minimal star power, the Athletics boast a young and energetic roster, promising baserunning prowess. With potential breakout stars and unexpected twists, their matches hold the promise of exciting developments.

Team 6: Los Angeles Angels

Star power: 2 | Youth: 5 | Baserunning: 2.5 | Catches: 1 | 425+: 2.5 | Minutiae: 2

Bonus: 3 +1 for Mike Trout being Mike Trout, +1 for the inevitable showdown between manager Ron Washington and Anthony Rendon, +1 for Reid Detmers’ curveball

The Angels, lacking star power post-Ohtani era, align focus on young talents and moderate baserunning proficiency. With intriguing facets like Trout’s dominance and potential surprises, their matches provide an element of unpredictability.

Team 7: Minnesota Twins

Star power: 3 | Youth: 3 | Baserunning: 4.5 | Catches: 2 | 425+: 2.5 | Minutiae: 3

Bonus: 2 +1 for Jhoan Duran’s fastball velocity, +1 for Edouard Julien being French Canadian (he spoke no English when he started in college at Auburn)

The Twins, reigning Central champions, combine a blend of veteran prowess and promising youngsters. Despite potential star power setbacks, their speed and gameplay make for an engaging viewing experience, with strong uniform aesthetics.

Team 8: Toronto Blue Jays

Star power: 4.5 | Youth: 2 | Baserunning: 6.5 | Catches: 5 | 425+: 1.5 | Minutiae: 3

Bonus: 2.5 +1 for Kevin Gausman’s splitter, +1 for Mookie Betts playing shortstop, +0.5 for anticipating of Shohei Ohtani’s return

The Blue Jays, anchored by a solid lineup and notable prospects, struggle with base-stealing and home run prominence. However, their robust outfield defense and potential for dramatic gameplay elevate their watchability quotient.

Team 9: San Francisco Giants

Star power: 7 | Youth: 8 | Baserunning: 5 | Catches: 4 | 425+: 3 | Minutiae: 4

Bonus: 3.5 +1 for Logan Webb’s sinker, +0.5 for players going wild when manager Oli Marmol got a two-year extension

The Giants, bolstered by offseason additions and enriched with youthful potential, emerge as a formidable force with strong pitching trinity. Their diverse strengths in gameplay and off-field attributes contribute to a well-rounded entertainment package.

Team 10: St. Louis Cardinals

Star power: 7 | Youth: 4 | Baserunning: 6 | Catches: 2.5 | 425+: 3 | Minutiae: 4

Bonus: 4.5 +1 for play-by-play announcer Dan Shulman, +1 for Kevin Gausman’s splitter, +1 for Stroman’s pitches, +0.5 for the unique in-game experience

The Cardinals navigate a middling phase with a blend of experienced superstars and upcoming prospects. Notable outfield defense and a focus on youthful talent contribute to their engaging gameplay, accentuated by intriguing off-field characteristics.

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About Post Author

Chris Jones

Hey there! 👋 I'm Chris, 34 yo from Toronto (CA), I'm a journalist with a PhD in journalism and mass communication. For 5 years, I worked for some local publications as an envoy and reporter. Today, I work as 'content publisher' for InformOverload. 📰🌐 Passionate about global news, I cover a wide range of topics including technology, business, healthcare, sports, finance, and more. If you want to know more or interact with me, visit my social channels, or send me a message.
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