Making Sense of the 2016 Projections

World Series - Kansas City Royals v New York Mets - Game Five

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Interesting Notes

-One year removed from finishing right behind the Astros and Rangers in the American League West, the PECOTA projections have the Angels finishing with the same record as the Oakland Athletics, who were the worst team in the American League in 2015.

-With the flurry of offseason moves, the Seattle Mariners have somehow positioned themselves four games ahead of the Texas Rangers. That doesn’t seem like a tenable result.

-Despite a plethora of offseason moves, both the Tigers and White Sox fall significantly below the Cleveland Indians in the projections, finishing with 79 and 82 wins respectively.

-The Miami Marlins are projected for only 76 wins according to PECOTA, even though some are picking them as viable wild-card contender for 2016.

-The Braves and Phillies should be easily the worst teams in either league in 2016, finishing below 70 wins, with the Padres, Rockies, Brewers and even Reds all looking at least slightly better than expected.

-72 wins? The Orioles can’t be that bad, can they?


In sum, projections are fun to look at and even more fun to evaluate. Obviously all the projections must be taken with a grain of salt, but even so, they are not always as farfetched or wrong as they would seem at first glance. Clearly computer projections don’t account for certain immeasurable factors, but even so, there is quite a bit of science to it, with numbers not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Every year there are going to be teams that beat the projections, like the Royals, and teams that vastly underperform the projections. That’s baseball, and 2016 should be no different.

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