2024 AL Central Division Preview

The AL Central has four teams looking to win in 2024 with the Twins, Guardians, Tigers and Royals, while only the White Sox are in a rebuild.

Carlos Correa
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 05: Carlos Correa #4 of the Minnesota Twins looks on against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on October 05, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The American League Central might just be the most wide-open division in all of baseball. Over the last three years, three different teams have won the division, the Chicago White Sox, the Cleveland Guardians and the Minnesota Twins.

The other two teams, the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals, have been in the midst of a rebuild, but finally have rosters that seem ready to compete, albeit in a weak division.

Heading into this season, every team but the Chicago White Sox can say that they expect to be a winning ballclub in 2024. The Twins and Guardians remain the favorites, as they have combined to win seven of the last eight AL Central division titles, but it really is anyone’s division to win.

Over the past few weeks, we have published season preview for all five teams in the AL Central, with full breakdowns of their starting lineups, rotations, and bullpens. Check them all out below.

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Chicago White Sox Season Preview

Written by: Elijah Evans

If you asked me this time two years ago what the Chicago White Sox preview would be like in 2024, I would have told you that I’d be previewing the clear favorite in the AL Central. As we enter 2024, the White Sox are currently projected to be the third-worst team in Major League Baseball.

The White Sox cleaned house with their old front office regime after bottoming out and losing 101 games last year. They now enter what can reasonably be considered a “retooling” season. With new general manager Chris Getz in place, the emphasis this winter has been on establishing sound fundamentals while focusing energy on 2025 and beyond…

For the rest of this preview on the Chicago White Sox, click here.

Cleveland Guardians Season Preview

Written by: Dedrick Hendrix

The Cleveland Guardians have a core of young players that believe they have what it takes to compete in a competitive American League Central.

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Last season ended in disappointing fashion for the Cleveland Guardians. It was the curtain-call season for legendary manager Terry Francona, and the team failed to reach the post-season in his final season.

One of the youngest teams in all of baseball, the Guardians biggest strength was their starting rotation. As a team, Cleveland finished 2023 in the top 10 in ERA (9th with 3.97), runs allowed (8th with 697), and home runs allowed (tied for first with only 173 allowed).

On the other hand, their lineup ranked towards the bottom of nearly every hitting statistic as a team. Jose Ramirez received some votes in the AL MVP race, but even he has seen his OPS drop since the 2020 season…

For the rest of this preview on the Cleveland Guardians, click here.

Detroit Tigers Season Preview

Written by: Clay Snowden

Funny how much of a difference a year can make. The Tigers had some intriguing players and moments in 2023, but injuries ultimately held the team back from reaching their full potential.

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With Miguel Cabrera gone, and an influx of young talent and a few veteran additions, Detroit has a team that actually feels different.

While I will not go as far as guaranteeing a playoff appearance, the 2024 team is better. No, the front office did not make a headline-shattering trade or big deal free agent signing, however, they did get deeper. After a year of injuries you should know that quality depth cannot be understated.

In year two and three of several core players, a step forward is expected. For the first time in a very long time, the farm system has also improved the depth and quality outside of the first few names. Let’s dive in to where things stand for the Detroit Tigers heading into the season…

For the rest of this preview on the Detroit Tigers, click here.

Kansas City Royals Season Preview

Written by: Eric Treuden

The Kansas City Royals are a young and fun team heading into the 2024 campaign. That doesn’t mean they’re going to contend for the AL Central crown, but the promise is certainly there.

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Last season, this squad put together only 56 wins, the lowest full-season amount they’ve had since 2005. They also finished under .500 for the seventh consecutive year and had the lowest non-Oakland A’s winning percentage in all of baseball.

We’re talking about a roster that had the likes of Jackie Bradley Jr., Hunter Dozier, Franmil Reyes, Matt Beaty and Brad Keller taking the field for them at various points of the season. It’s not that surprising to see where they finished in the standings, but there was clearly a lot to be done this winter…

For the rest of this preview on the Kansas City Royals, click here.

Minnesota Twins Season Preview

Written by: Harrison Bruns

The 2024 Minnesota Twins are looking to build upon their success from 2023.

Last season, the Twins won their first playoff game since 2004, breaking a streak of 18 consecutive postseason losses. The club will once again be looking to make a push for the division crown, but it is going to be an uphill battle.

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Due to the financial issues happening with Diamond Sports Group (owners of Bally Sports) the Twins ownership decided it was best to cut payroll this season.

According to FanGraphs, the organization’s 2024 payroll is $128 million. That number is $31 million short of their 2023 payroll. That is also the third-largest payroll cut in the majors this offseason, behind only the Angels and Padres, who both had much larger payrolls to start with…

For the rest of this preview on the Minnesota Twins, click here.