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2016 Baseball Predictions

Spring Training has arrived, which means it’s that time when everyone and their brother makes their predictions for this season. So why shouldn’t I?

One of the most well-known projection systems is the computer-based PECOTA projections from Baseball Prospectus. They get a lot of flack, but I think that’s because people misunderstand them. They are not trying to definitively predict the upcoming season (which is impossible), but instead trying to see a team’s true talent, and based on that, project what their record would be with average luck. That last part is important, because one cannot predict luck, such as a team having an absurdly high BAPIP or Batting Average with Runners in Scoring Position. This leads to projections that are low on the high end and high on the low end, as they average out luck. In other words, the best teams (Cubs and Dodgers) are only projected to win 94 games, which would be low for the best teams in baseball, and even the terrible Reds are projected to win 74 games, which is probably too high.

Anyway, I use the PECOTA projections as a baseline, but then try to guess where they are wrong on true talent as well as who will have the best (and worst) luck. On to the predictions!

AL East

Boston Red Sox (95-67)
Toronto Blue Jays (90-72)
Tampa Bay Rays (84-78)
New York Yankees (78-84)
Baltimore Orioles (65-97)

PECOTA always loves the Rays, but I’ve lived around them long enough to know that PECOTA is wrong. They appear to be the same as they have been the past few years: good enough pitching/defense to avoid being terrible; bad enough offense to avoid being great.

AL Central

Chicago White Sox (91-71)
Kansas City Royals (89-73)
Cleveland Indians (81-81)
Detroit Tigers (76-86)
Minnesota Twins (68-94)

This is by far the hardest division to predict. None of the teams stand out from the pack, and they all have potential to be decent-to-good. This is also the division where I broke the most from the PECOTA projections.

AL West

Houston Astros (91-71)
Texas Rangers (85-77)
Seattle Mariners (81-81)
Los Angeles Angels (76-86)
Oakland A’s (65-97)

I’m not impressed by the Rangers’ 2015, and I think they’ll drop this year. This seems to be the weakest AL division, and I think the Astros will have no problems here.

NL East

Washington Nationals (93-69)
New York Mets (91-71)
Miami Marlins (79-83)
Atlanta Braves (72-90)
Philadelphia Phillies (62-100)

Everyone loves the Mets, and with their rotation, I can see why. But I think Dusty will get the Nationals back on top this year, and hopefully they’ll go deep in the playoffs. The less said about the bottom of this division, the better.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs (97-65)
Pittsburg Pirates (95-67)
St. Louis Cardinals (83-79)
Milwaukee Brewers (70-92)
Cincinnati Reds (65-97)

I think this is the year a miracle will happen. Not that the Cubs will be good, but that the Cardinals won’t be. They have a deal with the devil to make the playoffs no matter who they send out, but I think this is the year he reneges on the agreement. At least I hope so. Oh, and my Reds are gonna stink this year.

NL West

San Francisco Giants (91-71)
Los Angeles Dodgers (88-74)
Arizona Diamondbacks (87-75)
San Diego Padres (75-87)
Colorado Rockies (67-95)

The Diamondbacks did a lot in the offseason, and the Dodgers are still packed, but I like the Giants. Their rotation is strong (Cueto!), and it’s an even year. ‘Nuff said.

Playoffs

AL Division Winners: Red Sox, White Sox, Astros
AL Wild Cards: Blue Jays, Royals

NL Division Winners: Nationals, Cubs, Giants
NL Wild Cards: Pirates, Mets

Wild Card Winners: Blue Jays, Mets
ALDS Winners: Red Sox, Astros
NLDS Winners: Cubs, Giants

ALCS Winner: Red Sox
NLCS Winner: Cubs

World Series: Cubs over Red Sox, 4 games to 2.

 

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  • Dean

    Cubs over Red Sox? Really? That just seems gratuitously unkind.

    • Wait a minute – I picked your team to win the pennant? How is that unkind? My son thought I was insane for picking the Red Sox to even win their division.

      • Dean

        It’s a glass half-full, half-empty kind of thing. Being a confirmed half-empty kind of guy, that’s what I naturally focus on. Losing the World Series to the most inept and unsuccessful MLB team still in existence would be a definite “half-empty” kind of experience.

        Of course, in reality, I’ll be pretty pleased if the Sox even manage to win more games than they lose, but I felt like giving you bad time, so I did.