We’ve kept this a little under the radar, but the first version of the PECOTA projected standings are fired up and ready to go.
For the most part, these numbers conform pretty well to conventional wisdom. In the American League, you have five teams fighting for the four playoff slots, and it looks like the Tigers and Indians — whom we have dead-even at 89-73 — will fight the most compelling battle, as both the Red Sox and Yankees are just a hair ahead of them. And there’s really not anyone who’s all that close to breaking into that hegemony, although the Devil Rays — who we’re showing one game over .500 — could make things interesting if their young pitching pulls together. PECOTA’s also not buying the Mariners as contenders; we simply don’t think they’re going to score enough runs. (And yes, that does reflect the Erik Bedard trade, even though he’s still listed with the Orioles on the depth charts until we put together our next run of the PECOTAs over the weekend.)
As last year, the National League looks to be the more competitive one, with seven teams bunched together between 82 and 89 wins. PECOTA also seems to recognize that there’s been some net swing of talent toward the NL for the first time in ages — we still have the AL netting out a few more wins in interleague play, but nothing like the big discrepancies we saw in 2006 and 2007. Part of the reason why, actually, might be that you have more teams in the AL than in the NL that seem ready to cut their losses and punt on the season. The A’s, Orioles and Twins have all done this more or less explicitly.
And the Mets really might be the best team in baseball, regardless of what league they happen to play in.
Player Forecast Manager (PFM) is also active, as you can see from our Fantasy Page. Thanks to Ben, Dave, and the other Dave for getting this all turned around.
And, yeah, the PECOTA cards themselves … I know, I know. In the meantime, please let me know whether you like this…