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2021 PECOTA Projections

Despite what Yankees Twitter seems to think most days,* the Yankees are really good. Like really, really good. We got some confirmation of this irrefutable fact with the Baseball Prospectus PECOTA projections yesterday.

Started in 2003 by Nate Silver, PECOTA is one of several projection systems that combine several factors to project how well teams will perform in an upcoming season. Here is what they project for the AL East:

The Yankees are projected for 97 wins and the AL East title. Interestingly, last year PECOTA projected the team for 99 wins so they are in the same range. PECOTA is clearly down on Tampa Bay after they lost Blake Snell and Charlie Morton this offseason which bodes well for the Yankees’ division chances.

The most striking data point to me is that the Yankees are the division-favorite most likely to win their division at 81.1%. No other projected division winner is over 78%, which again reflects PECOTA being down on the 2nd best team in the AL East in Tampa Bay.

Other Interesting Notes

Holy Batman, Dodgers!

The Dodgers are projected for 103 wins which is nearly 6 wins more than any other team in baseball. The reigning champs only got better this offseason by blowing through the luxury tax and are the clear favorites for best team in baseball.

Cross-town Rivals

PECOTA is bullish on the Mets, projecting them for 96 wins and the NL East title. The Mets are definitely better than they were a year ago, though PECOTA is notorious for over-projecting this team. Last year, they projected the Mets as division winners which most certainly did not come to fruition. Somehow, the two-time reigning NL East Champion Braves are projected for 4th in their own division which strikes me as overly pessimistic for them.

The #Trashtros are still a thing

Due to the overall ineptitude of the AL West, the Astros are projected to win their division comfortably. Somehow we’re never getting rid of those guys.

The Central battle

The real battles, based on projections, are in the AL and NL Central with neither favorite given more than a 60% chance of winning their division. Of course this is largely due to historic complacency on the parts of teams like Cleveland, Milwaukee, the Cubs, and Cincinnati.

Overall, the Yankees are projected to win their division and have the best record in the AL. I’ll sign-up for that any day. Of course these are just projections and that’s why they play the games. Can’t wait for spring training to start next week!*

*Tongue-in-cheek commentary on Yankees Twitter constantly griping for three months until Cashman signed DJ and Kluber and traded for Taillon in a week.

**Will anything or should anything start on time due to COVID? That’s a question for another post.

You can contact Rohan on Twitter @rohanarcot20