Just a little under a month into the MLB season and it already feels like it's been on for six months. But we're just getting started in what should be the usual roller coaster of the 2024 season. Before the first month of the season concludes, though, we get an exciting matchup between two World Series favorite teams in the Texas Rangers (+1300) and the Atlanta Braves (+440).

Each team will be coming off a road series, although the Braves will be heading back to the comfort of their own home in Truist Park this weekend. For the Rangers, the three games against the Braves will end a grueling 10-day road trip where they've had no off days in 18 days and have gone 4-3 so far. The Braves won't just have the luxury of Truist Park in their favor, though, as they'll have an off day on Thursday before the beginning of the series and have gone 5-1 in their last two series.

Time will tell if any of that plays a factor in the outcome of this weekend's highly anticipated series matchup, but it has all the makings of what could be a preview of this year's World Series.

Braves and Rangers are both division leaders

Last year's World Series champions are currently holding an 11-9 record and a 1.5-game lead over the Seattle Mariners in the AL West division. Meanwhile, the Braves, who are winners of the last six straight NL East titles, have a two-game lead over their haunting rival, the Philadelphia Phillies, at 12-5.

It's not a surprise that either one of these teams is leading their division, particularly with their recent success. Each will have their work cut out for them if they want to hold onto their coveted leads, however.

Who can forget when the Rangers let a division title slip through their fingers last year after losing their last regular-season game against the Mariners, which tied them with the Astros. Of course, the Astros held the tie-breaker to give them the division. But as we all know, the Rangers had the last laugh and took the AL pennant from the Astros, then moved on and beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in the World Series.

The Braves, on the other hand, more or less dominated the NL East last season and won it by 14 games over the Phillies with a 104-58 record. But for the second season in a row, the Braves were quickly put out in the NLDS, 3-1, by the rival Phillies, who have somehow found the magic sauce to get hot at the right time late in the season.

Braves and Rangers have high-powered offenses

Apr 17, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Atlanta Braves designated hitter Marcell Ozuna (20) celebrates his home run against the Houston Astros in the second inning at Minute Maid Park.
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

What has put these two teams atop their respective divisions and in the league itself is their high-powered offenses that have been a dominating force since last season. In the copious amounts of offensive statistics that baseball keeps track of, the Rangers and Braves were near the top of every one of them last year and are aiming for that mark this season.

The Braves led the league in homers with 307, tying the regular-season record with the 2019 Minnesota Twins. The Rangers were in fourth with 233. Atlanta also bested Texas in runs, RBI's, ISO, average, on-base percentage, slugging, and OPS.

Things seem to be leaning that way for both offenses this season, particularly for the Braves. Atlanta is currently second in the league in runs scored with 108, with Texas hanging in the top 10 with 94. The Braves lead the league in RBIs, knocking in 103 to the Rangers' seventh-best 91. Home runs are greatly different to this point in the season, however.

Last year's home run-leading team, the Braves, isn't even in the top 10, just being on the outside at 13th with 20 homers. While the Rangers are near the bottom of the league at 26th with 15, according to FanGraphs.

The reigning NL MVP from last season, Braves' left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr., didn't hit his first homer until April 17. He hit 41 of them last season. And last year's home run leader Matt Olson has hit three out of the park. This season, a red-hot Marcell Ozuna has eight homers in 17 games.

As for the Rangers, they're currently missing Josh Jung, who put 23 over the fence last season, along with Nathaniel Lowe, who hit 17 homers last year. Not to mention that Corey Seager, who hit a career-high 33 last season, has hit just one out this season thus far.

Braves and Rangers own a majority of the top 100 players in baseball

Apr 12, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager (5) hits a double during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

When you start to break down the rosters for each of these teams, any of their opponents that are set to face them have to be no less than a little intimidated. That's what makes this weekend's matchup so intriguing and what gives hope that this could be a precursor to the World Series matchup in October.

Between the Braves and the Rangers, they boast 13 of what MLB has labeled the top 100 players in all of baseball. In what has been a recurring theme in this piece, the Braves outscored the Rangers once again in this category, having nine players to Texas' five. However, the Braves have minus one of these players now in starting pitcher Spencer Strider, who recently had Tommy John surgery and will be out for the remainder of the season.

The Rangers players are: SS Corey Seager (6), 2B Marcus Semien (21), OF Adolis García (39), SP Nathan Eovaldi (91), 1B Nathaniel Lowe (98)

The Braves players are: RF Ronald Acuña Jr. (1), 1B Matt Olson (13), 3B Austin Riley (15), SP Spencer Strider (17), C Sean Murphy (47), SP Max Fried (48), CF Michael Harris II (50), 2B Ozzie Albies (66), DH/OF Marcell Ozuna (83)

What about the Braves and Rangers pitching?

The Rangers made it abundantly clear last year that you can win with a high-powered offense and a so-so pitching staff, particularly a bullpen. They went through multiple injuries to their rotation and had a bullpen that nearly put them out of the postseason. Then the offense started clicking again. The Braves, on the other hand, can't figure out how to get their offense rolling once the calendar turns to October to overcome their endless pitching woes, as their magic touch in their 2021 World Series title was their remarkable bullpen.

The Rangers actually have the fourth-best ERA (3.25) for a starting rotation right now, thanks in part to Dane Dunning and Cody Bradford in the rotation. Meanwhile, the Braves are hovering at the bottom of the league at 26 (4.93), with Strider's loss and Max Fried's struggles playing into account for a lot of this. But the Braves' bullpen is still holding strong and a usual cornerstone of their team with a 3.69 ERA, as the Rangers are pushing toward the league's worst at 4.93.