The PECOTA Projections For The NL East Are Nothing Short Of Insane

So I’ve heard of the PECOTA projections before today but never knew exactly what they were. So here is a little crash course for all of us:

PECOTA, an acronym for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm, is a sabermetric system for forecasting Major League Baseball player performance. The basic idea behind PECOTA is really a fusion of two different things – [Bill] James’s work on similarity scores and Gary Huckabay’s work on Vlad, [Baseball Prospectus’s] previous projection system, which tried to assign players to a number of different career paths.[8] I think Gary used something like thirteen or fifteen separate career paths, and all that PECOTA is really doing is carrying that to the logical extreme, where there is essentially a separate career path for every player in major league history. The comparability scores are the mechanism by which it picks and chooses from among those career paths.”

That sounds like a bunch of nerd mumbo jumbo if you ask me. I’m not against sabermetrics and analytics but I feel like baseball always takes it a bit too far. I mean they made an entire movie about a GM that never won a championship with the team. Aka, take it easy. And then I see this float across my screen. The 2020 PECOTA MLB standings projections.

phillies 20

Guys, what are we doing here? First off as a Phillies fan I’m obviously offended by 76.8 wins. My team isn’t wining the World Series this year unless something crazy happens but they are better than they were last year and you’re telling me that are going to finish worse? Nope. Hate that. Already I’m all out on PECOTA but let’s take a deeper dive.

The Mets winning the division?? What? Let’s ignore the fact that you have the winner of the NL East at only 88 wins. That’s banana land all by itself. But you pick the Mets as said winner? The team that can’t even sell itself off to a big time billionaire? Those fucking Mets? No shot. The Nationals just won the the World Series and you leap frog them with the New York Mets. Wowzos.

Now the team that will win this division is the team that did it last year. The Braves won 97 games and looked like the class of the East for most of the year. I don’t expect any different this season. They are talented and added some decent pieces this offseason. They still need to make a move at 3rd base but Atlanta is good. So having them 3rd and thinking they are going to lose 15 more games than last year makes zero sense.

But the craziest thing of all. The Marlins with 71 wins. The Marlins stink out loud. They aren’t winning 71 games for the next decade. They are the Browns of the MLB basically. I bet on them to lose 100 games last year and you’re crazy if you think I’m not going right back to the well. Marlins are so bad they are going to put Ava through college.

Here is how the wins and loses are actually going to go in 2020:

  1. Atlanta 98 – 64
  2. Washington 92  – 70
  3. Phillies 88 – 74
  4. Mets 85 – 77
  5. Marlins 4 – 158 (At least it’s gonna feel like it)
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