There are more teams currently in playoff position in the bottom half of team payroll than in the top half. The top five teams in winning percentage all rank outside the top five in opening day spending, and only one of the top five by winning percentage even ranks in the top 15 of spending.
So, yeah. This isn’t a normal year, and this probably isn’t the start of any kind of trend, but the data is pretty clear – you simply cannot make a judgment about a team’s ability to contend by looking at how much money they spend on their roster.
Watching the evolution of how baseball teams build their rosters over the last ~15 years has been fascinating.