Here’s how PECOTA projects the MLB standings for every division in 2021

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PECOTA projections are out and this is how they expect the 2021 MLB standings to look.

The Super Bowl is now behind us which means full attention can be turned to the upcoming 2021 MLB season. Fans are finally getting to see a full 162-game schedule after a shortened 2020 season and that should have excitement running high. The only way to dampen the optimism is by seeing a bad projection.

The 2021 PECOTA projections, courtesy of Baseball Prospectus, are officially here and that means fans can either rejoice or get angry about where their team is picked to finish. So let’s dive right in and see how each division is set to play out.

American League East

  1. New York Yankees: 97-65
  2. Tampa Bay Rays: 86-76
  3. Toronto Blue Jays: 85-77
  4. Boston Red Sox: 80-82
  5. Baltimore Orioles: 66-96

The Yankees are picked to run away with the AL East even though the Rays are the defending AL champions. What we do see here is another solid prediction for a rising Jays team, while the Red Sox continue to flail near the bottom of the division. As for the Orioles, they are still years away from contention.

American League Central

  1. Minnesota Twins: 91-71
  2. Cleveland Indians: 86-76
  3. Chicago White Sox: 83-79
  4. Kansas City Royals: 71-91
  5. Detroit Tigers: 67-95

The biggest surprise here is the fact the Indians are picked to finish ahead of the White Sox. That shows a clear lack of faith in a White Sox team and should realistically be fighting with the Twins atop the division. This projection has it as a three-team race and Sox fans may be wondering if all the hype is for nothing.

American League West

  1. Houston Astros: 93-69
  2. Los Angeles Angels: 87-75
  3. Oakland Athletics: 80-82
  4. Seattle Mariners: 70-92
  5. Texas Rangers: 67-95

The Astros sitting atop the AL West is no surprise here. The same is true for the Mariners and Rangers struggling to rebuild. What stands out is the fact the Angels are finally projected to fight for a playoff spot after wasting so many years of Mike Trout’s prime. It will come at the expense of the A’s, according to PECOTA, who are projected for a steep decline after three straight playoff appearances.

National League East

  1. New York Mets: 96-66
  2. Washington Nationals: 85-77
  3. Philadelphia Phillies: 83-79
  4. Atlanta Braves: 82-80
  5. Miami Marlins: 68-94

The Mets are back! Francisco Lindor is now playing in Queens and the Mets are projected to win the East for the first time since 2015. This entire division is filled with storylines and Braves fans are going to be livid when they see this 82-80 projection. The same is true for Phillies fans who are sick and tried of near .500 finishes.

National League Central

  1. Milwaukee Brewers: 89-73
  2. Chicago Cubs: 85-77
  3. St. Louis Cardinals: 81-81
  4. Cincinnati Reds: 79-83
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates: 61-101

The Cardinals just added Nolan Arenado but that is clearly not enough to even fight for the NL Central. The Cubs are getting a lot of love and that is likely because they have not yet moved on from any core pieces. The Brewers are projected to win, but it is close as expected. The only team not expected to put up a fight is the Pirates. Fans in Pittsburgh will not be shocked by this.

National League West

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers: 103-59
  2. San Diego Padres: 96-66
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks: 79-83
  4. San Francisco Giants: 75-87
  5. Colorado Rockies: 60-102

The West is once again a two-team race between the Dodgers and the Padres in what is arguably the most exciting new rivalry in baseball. Both teams are loaded with stars and Trevor Bauer has now been added to the mix for the Dodgers.

The Diamondbacks, Giants, and Rockies need to figure out how they can compete with the two Southern California powerhouses.

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