If you rub a crystal ball it will show you the future. If the ball is cracked you might cut yourself. Injury is more likely than insight. Still, it is time for the annual feasting on the expectations of our projection system with the 2020 PECOTA Standings.
We’re making some changes to the presentation of our standings. This year, we’re skipping what we used to call the “Depth Chart” standings and jumping right to what was known as our Playoff Odds. Changes in the PECOTA engine are relevant to this, too.
The inputs are still created by PECOTA and passed through our human-curated Depth Chart playing time estimates. Once the season begins, we’ll combine that with 3rd-order win percentages.
We’ve also made some small tuning—and will continue to do so most of the spring—to the Monte Carlo simulation, but nearly everything you read about it here and here still holds true, with one notable exception.
We did our best to balance the eye-friendliness of the W-L records with the viability of the postseason probabilities. Compared to the past, this allows things like the Dodgers being the division winner in nearly each of the 1,000 simulations we most recently ran to happen.
We’ve added some new visualizations (example below) to show you the range of outcomes. These are in addition to the nifty timelines you know and love; they will return once the season begins.
Please remember that PECOTA and our simulations do not “pick” a team to “win” any particular number of games. Rather, they identify an estimated range of games a team might win and tells you the average of that fairly wide range. That is the point of the visualizations. Any one of those outcomes is possible. However, some of them, as you can see, are more likely than others.
Also remember that it’s early: Pitchers and catchers are just trading tee times for bullpen sessions. These standings will continue to be tuned over the next several weeks until we reach Opening Day. Do not be surprised if your team moves up or down a few games as rosters finalize and additional tweaks are made.
For more on PECOTA, go here.
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