Making Sense of the 2016 Projections

Division Series - New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Five

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Just Right

Los Angeles Dodgers
2015 Record: 92-70
PECOTA Projection: 94-68
Fangraphs Projection: 92-70

While there are quite a few teams that seem to be set to either underachieve or overachieve next season, the Los Angeles Dodgers are not one of those teams. Many of the projections systems like the Dodgers to be one of the best team’s in the league and talent wise, there is no reason they won’t be. After winning the National League West title in 2015, the Dodgers look poised to do the same, even with the renewed push by both the D’backs and Giants (who were both mentioned previously).

The Dodgers may have lost Zack Greinke, but they still have the best pitcher in baseball in Clayton Kershaw, and also sport an even better rotation in terms of depth. The additions of Kenta Maeda and Scott Kazmir should pay huge dividends, and the re-signings of Chase Utley and Howie Kendrick should provide the Dodgers sufficient depth in the field. All in all, the Dodgers look to be right around where the projections say they should be, which is right around where they left off last season.

Chicago Cubs
2015 Record: 97-65
PECOTA Projection: 92-70
Fangraphs Projection: 94-68

Similar to the Dodgers above, the Cubs look to be right where they should be in terms of the projections. Some would say the projections are underselling the Cubs, given all their offseason additions coming off a 97 win season, but it seems like a fair enough place for them to be. For the Cubs, 90-plus wins is still a good number, even if it isn’t the 100 that some Cubs fans will be expecting next season. The team may look better on paper than last year’s edition, but there is always reason for skepticism and some room for regression as well.

Boston Red Sox/Toronto Blue Jays/New York Yankees
2015 Record: 78-84/93-69/87-75
PECOTA Projection: 88-74/86-76/85-77
Fangraphs Projection: 91-71/84-78/85-77

The trio in the American League East, that somehow all fall behind the overachieving Rays, all look to be at or around where they should be in terms of the projections. All three teams look to be as good or better, in the case of the Boston Red Sox, than they were in 2015. All three have made some significant additions this offseason and should be competing with each other in what could become a very tight AL East race. There is obviously some room for overachieving or regression in these numbers, but all three seem fair enough.

Honorable Mentions

Washington Nationals
2015 Record: 83-79
PECOTA Projection: 87-75
Fangraphs Projection: 88-74

After a highly disappointing 2015 season, the Nationals look to return to form in 2016. While the Mets are expected to be the class of the National League East, and for good reason, the Nationals should certainly give them a run for their money while also competing for a Wild Card spot. Finishing with 87 wins wouldn’t be too bad of a result for the 2016 Nationals.

Houston Astros
2015 Record: 86-76
PECOTA Projection: 88-74
Fangraphs Projection: 86-76

Another team who looks to be just about right in terms of projections is the Houston Astros. One year removed from finishing with 86 wins and making it into the postseason, the Astros look poised to once again finish around the same win total. With the addition of Ken Giles, and a full season of Carlos Correa, the result could be even better, but this projection seems fair.

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