2024 Season Preview: Part II

March 25th, 2024 by Kevin

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Before we get to the next part of the 2024 DTBL season preview, a very small spoiler about what is to come in the final two parts.  The top six teams in the projected standings are all within six points of each other.  Then there is a bit of a gap to the bottom four, including the pair of teams that will be covered here.  That certainly doesn’t mean that those are the only six teams that should be considered title contenders, however.  A quick reminder that the last two champions were projected to finish in eighth and ninth place in those season preview series.  So maybe this is where you should want to see your team pop up.

The two teams we will cover tonight actually have quite different projected standing point totals.  Amazingly, the team slated to finish seventh is closer to the first place team than the eighth place team in points.  So the eighth place team probably would have fit in better with the group covered in the first part.  However, when trying to split this into four parts, it made the most sense to keep the *extremely* tight top six grouped together.  Also, why not cover the entire Hosko household at time same time?  Here are the teams projected to finish in the seventh and eighth spots for the upcoming season.


Dan’s Diamond Dogs

Category – Projected Rank (2023 Rank)

  • Batting Average – 9th (1st)
  • Home Runs – 4th (5th-T)
  • Runs Batted In – 2nd (7th)
  • Runs Scored – 7th (9th)
  • Stolen Bases - 5th (10th)
  • Earned Run Average – 10th (6th)
  • WHIP Ratio – 10th (10th)
  • Wins – 9th (10th)
  • Saves – 5th (9th)
  • Strike Outs – 10th (10th)
  • Total Batting Points – 6th (8th)
  • Total Pitching Points – 9th (10th)
  • Total Points – 8th (10th)


The Diamond Dogs are looking for their first non-last place finish in year three of their current ownership.  This does look like a much improved squad that has an excellent chance of escaping the basement.  It is a much different looking team this year in many ways.  Last year, they led the league in batting average, but finished in the bottom half of every other offensive category (except HR, where they were tied right in the middle of the rankings).  This year, batting average looks like their worst batting category, with improvement everywhere else.  The big trade of Bo Bichette to the Kings to make room for Elly De La Cruz can pretty much explain that swing by itself.  EDLC joins Trea Turner, Oneil Cruz, Yandy Diaz, Gleyber Torres and their other first round pick, Jake Burger, to make up a very powerful and speedy infield.  The catching duo of Sean Murphy and Luis Campusano is much improved over last year’s Dogs squad as well.  The outfield will continue to be led by one of the games brightest stars in Julio Rodriguez.  Josh Lowe could be a sneaky great addition to the outfield should he get past his current oblique injury.  Teoscar Hernandez gives the Dogs a total of seven hitters with PAR projections over 3, which puts them in more similar company with the teams yet to be covered than those down in the bottom part of the projections.  On paper, this looks like the most improved offensive team in the league.  The problem is, the pitching is still well behind most other teams.  Staff ace Sandy Alcantara succumbing to Tommy John surgery late last season really put a damper on the staff outlook for this year.  2022 #1 draft pick Shane Baz has missed almost all of the past two seasons and it remains unclear when he will return this year.  In the meantime, the Diamond Dogs will try to patch things together with a veteran heavy staff.  Shane Bieber was a nice addition, joining returning vets Chris Bassitt, Nathan Eovaldi and Charlie Morton.  The bullpen should be respectable at minimum with Josh Hader and Ryan Helsley.  And if Kyle Finnegan and Will Smith can hold onto closer spots, they will have a good shot at finishing near the top of the league in saves.  This really does look like a much improved team that has an excellent shot at moving up the standings.  Their ceiling may be limited though until they get their key pitchers back in the fold.


Kat’s Komodos

Category – Projected Rank (2023 Rank)

  • Batting Average – 2nd (2nd)
  • Home Runs – 7th (5th-T)
  • Runs Batted In – 6th (5th)
  • Runs Scored – 9th (8th)
  • Stolen Bases – 2nd (3rd)
  • Earned Run Average – 8th (7th)
  • WHIP Ratio – 7th (7th)
  • Wins – 4th (4th-T)
  • Saves – 1st (8th)
  • Strike Outs – 9th (8th)
  • Total Batting Points – 5th (5th)
  • Total Pitching Points – 7th (8th)
  • Total Points – 7th (7th)


As hinted at above, the Komodos are actually projected to finish closer to first place than eighth in terms of standings points.  On paper, this looks very similar to last year’s squad in every category except for saves, and I’ll be throwing some cold water on that saves projection in a bit.  It is not surprising to see little change from last year in the batting projections because most of the key players remain the same.  Jose Ramirez, Yordan Alvarez, Cory Seager and Luis Robert are a great foundation to build upon though.  The first hitter the Komodos added in the draft was shortstop Anthony Volpe, giving them a bit more infield depth along with Ramirez, Seager, Christian Walker, Josh Naylor and Thairo Estrada.  Cody Bellinger had a great bounce back season in 2023.  If he is truly back to being an elite hitter, the Komodos outfield should be pretty dangerous with him, Alvarez and Robert.  The main newcomer out there is Esteury Ruiz who almost single-handedly will make sure the Komodos finish near the top of the league in stolen bases, even though he adds very little in the other categories.  While the Komodos finishing in the top half of the league in batting points a year ago may have been a bit of a surprise, it won’t be if they do it again this year.  This is a very good offense.  Similar to the Diamond Dogs, the questions for this team are mostly with the starting pitching.  Also like the Dogs, they lost one of their aces to Tommy John last year (Shane McClanahan) and are patiently awaiting the return of another pitcher from TJ (Walker Buehler).  They have slightly more intriguing alternatives though.  First round pick Tanner Bibee will step into the mix right away.  Framber Valdez has quietly been one of the best pitchers in baseball the past couple years.  Getting Buehler back sooner than later could be vital to the Komodos chances this year.  The bullpen looks strong.  However, a couple recent injuries to their two best relievers make that first place saves projection pretty unlikely.  Devin Williams will likely miss most of the first half of the season with a back injury.  Jhoan Duran is currently dealing with an oblique injury that hopefully won’t keep him out more than a few weeks.  Behind them are Craig Kimbrel and Carlos Estevez who are slated to be their teams’ main guy for saves this year, so it is still reasonable to expect the Komodos to finish near the top of the league in saves, but maybe not the very top.  There are enough pieces in place for this Komodos squad to take a big step forward this year, particularly if they get good news on the pitching health front soon.

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