MLB standings ordered by historical Opening Day record: AL East reigns supreme

Who has played the best right out the gate? Who has struggled with slow starts?

Mar 28, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts before the
Mar 28, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts before the / Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Opening Day marks the official beginning of a new season. Every team (unless there's a series in Korea a week prior) is 0-0, and optimism is at an all-time high.

Fans of bad teams can give themselves reason to believe that their team will do special things in any given season if they put together a good performance on Opening Day.

With that in mind, Opening Day results often don't replicate the rest of the season. Some teams might win to begin their season, but struggle the rest of the way. Let's see how random the Opening Day records actually are. All records are according to the Baseball Almanac.

MLB standings based on Opening Day record

AL East

1. New York Yankees - 82-40-1 (.672)
2. Toronto Blue Jays - 28-18 (.609)
3. Baltimore Orioles - 72-50-1 (.590)
4. Boston Red Sox 72-51 (.585)
5. Tampa Bay Rays 14-12 (.539)

The AL East, baseball's best division currently, happens to be the best on Opening Day historically. Not only is every team over .500, but four of the five teams are at least ten games above .500. Chances are, if we look back at this in 20-30 years, the Rays will get there too. The division probably won't finish like this with Tampa Bay in last place this season, but four of the five teams can realistically make the postseason in some capacity (sorry, Boston).

AL Central

1. Detroit Tigers - 69-53-1 (.566)
2. Minnesota Twins 68-55 (.553)
3. Chicago White Sox 66-57 (.534)
4. Cleveland Guardians - 63-60 (.512)
5. Kansas City Royals 28-27 (.509)

The AL Central is widely considered the worst division in baseball, and for good reason. Not one team sticks out as a true postseason contender. Fortunately for the teams in this division, someone has to win it. The Tigers happen to have the best record of the bunch on Opening Day and could easily surprise people and make the playoffs thanks to an improving young core.

AL West

1. Seattle Mariners 31-16 (.660)
2. Houston Astros 33-29 (.532)
3. Oakland Athletics 59-64 (.480)
4. Texas Rangers 28-35 (.444)
5. Los Angeles Angels 26-37 (.413)

Enjoy it, A's fans. Sure, your team is still under .500, but at they're only five games under .500 and are not in last place! Again, poor Angels fans. The AL West figures to be a three-team race between the Mariners, Astros, and Rangers. If Opening Day is any indication, the Mariners are in good position to come away victorious.

NL East

New York Mets 40-22 (.645)
Atlanta Braves 84-63-1 (.571)
Washington Nationals 27-28 (.491)
Philadelphia Phillies 67-72-2 (.482)
Miami Marlins 13-18 (.419)

The Mets are often a team made fun of by baseball fans for getting off to good starts and collapsing as the season progresses, and it's easy to see why. They have the best winning percentage on Opening Day in the NL East by a wide margin, although that's resulted in just six NL East titles. What is impressive though is that they have this outstanding record despite losing each of their first six Opening Day games and eight of their first nine. Surprisingly enough, only two teams in this division are over .500 in season openers.

NL Central

1, Chicago Cubs 83-63-2 (.569)
2. Pittsburgh Pirates 80-62 (.563)
3. St. Louis Cardinals 76-65-1 (.539)
4. Milwaukee Brewers 29-26 (.527)
5. Cincinnati Reds 67-74-1 (.475)

The NL Central is anyone's division to win in 2024, and it could easily be as close as these win percentages are. It's unlikely that four teams in this division will finish above .500, but the standings should be fairly close as there's no clear runaway favorite. The Reds almost certainly won't finish in last place with the roster that they have, though.

NL West

1. San Francisco Giants 82-57-2 (.604)
2. Colorado Rockies 17-14 (.548)
3. Arizona Diamondbacks 14-12 (.539)
4. Los Angeles Dodgers 72-64-4 (.529)
5. San Diego Padres 29-26 (.527)

Boy, can you imagine if the Dodgers finish in fourth place in the NL West? There's almost no chance that would happen, but the memes on Twitter would be ones to remember. The NL West should be one of the best divisions in the league this season, and it has been historically on Opening Day. Like the AL East, all five teams are comfortably over .500, but these teams don't have as many games played.