Every spring, the return of baseball gets fans super excited. This season will not be an exception, with some new rules making their way into the MLB.
The season’s start is already on the books, with players returning to the field on Thursday, March 30. This year, many teams will try to either make their return to the playoffs or continue rebuilding.
The Houston Astros (my least favorite team in baseball) will look to repeat as World Series champions after the team defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games last year. The Astros started this season as heavy favorites to repeat as well.
The Phillies added star power to help them win it all. The Phillies made a splash signing Trea Turner this off-season. Turner is a former Los Angeles Dodger who had a spectacular 2022 season, achieving MLB first- team status as a shortstop.
The Dodgers, a team that seems to struggle every year in the month of October, will look to end its cycle of defeats in the playoffs. The Dodgers have plenty of star power to win the World Series as well.
Other teams will look to hoist the trophy in their cities. Some that might make a run in the playoffs include the Atlanta Braves, the San Diego Padres, the St. Louis Cardinals, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets.
This year, the MLB has implemented some new rules. For the first time ever, a pitching clock has been added with the intention of shorting baseball games. The clock has different rules depending on if there are players on the bases or not.
The pitcher gets 15 seconds to throw if there are no runners on base but 20 seconds if there are. The clock starts once the pitcher catches the ball from the catcher, and the clock will run until the pitcher makes his release. A violation by the pitcher will result in an automatic ball. The batter can also get a violation for not being ready, which will result in an automatic strike. The rule will certainly change fans’ experiences as baseball moves forward.
Another new rule is the ban of the shift. In prior seasons, teams were allowed to have their fielders shift depending on where the batter primarily hit, but this season, defensive realignment won’t be allowed. It will be only a matter of time, though, until teams find a loophole to this rule.
Regular season baseball will continue until the playoffs start in October. Until then, expect the unexpected.
(Editor’s Note: My pick to win the World Series this year is the Atlanta Braves. My team might be the worst team in baseball, but that’s ok. Go Oakland A’s!)