PECOTA Over/Unders For Every MLB Team AND My Season Predictions

This is the first time I’ve ever done something like this.  You can use it to predict my projected standings for this upcoming season, which are below the over/unders.

Arizona Diamondbacks: PECOTA Projection: 78 wins  Verdict: OVER

I am not being a homer here.  Sure, there’s some spots that are a little concerning.  Wellington Castillo is not an ideal catcher, though its not like Tuffy Gosewich is a better option.  The best thing the Diamondbacks can hope for at catcher is that their revamped rotation will guide it, as Arizona signed Zach Greinke to a mega-deal and traded (a lot) for Shelby Miller.  You could argue the DBacks have three aces in their rotation, though you still have to be cautious with Patrick Corbin.

PECOTA doesn’t like them because they overachieved last year.  This is a balanced team with a very good rotation, and pitchers who aren’t gonna underperform.  I would like to pick them to win way more than the projection, as I expect Arizona to contend for a playoff spot this season, but again, I don’t want to be a homer.  OVER.

Atlanta Braves: PECOTA projection: 69 wins  Verdict: UNDER

I can’t believe this projection was this high.  Maybe those couple extra projected wins come from the outfield, which actually isn’t that bad!  I feel like I might miss Ender Inciarte, especially if Yasmany Tomas gets demoted again.  Nick Markakis got totally overpaid last Winter but might be one the best players on the team, and Hector Olivera is really intriguing!

No matter what, this team is trying to be as bad as they possibly can.  They want to win next year, and they’re gonna have the talent to do it.  The Braves have mimicked the 76ers, but not by losing games intentionally, but by purposely being bad.  There’s a difference.  Atlanta has sold every piece they have besides Freddie Freeman, which who knows, could be next.  Philadelphia (switching sports here), is purposely losing games.  That is what the NBA doesn’t like.  Its two different strategies, under the same logic, to achieve the same goal.  UNDER.

Baltimore Orioles: PECOTA projection: 74 wins  Verdict: OVER

That doesn’t mean this team is going to be good.  I still think they’re the worse team in this division.  But Manny Machado is amazing.  Adam Jones is a very productive player.  Matt Weite… annnnndd this is where it starts to go downhill.  Chris Davis and Yovani Gallardo got massive amounts of money.  Hey though, at least Dexter Fow… OH WAIT.

See, this is barely an OVER.  I think the two guys I praised before I started making fun of the team combine for a good amount of wins.

Boston Red Sox: PECOTA projection: 87 wins  Verdict: UNDER

Position player-wise, this is a 90 win baseball team.  The youth will flourish.  Mookie Betts is amazing.  Jackie Bradley Jr. is exciting.  Xander Bogaerts was great last season.   Boston has a productive outfield, offensively and defensively.  The infield is much more concerning.  First, Hanley Ramirez has to stay healthy.  You’d think this would be easier, since he is moving to 1st base, which in itself is concerning.  Pablo Sandoval just got benched for Travis Shaw, which is not ideal considering the Panda’s contract.  I expect Boston to start shopping Panda, even though there may not be a market for him.

PECOTA’s love for this team probably comes in the outfield.  The only sure thing in the rotation is David Price, though the case for guys like Rick Porcello and Steven Wright is there.  Pitching will be needed to beat the Rays.  Boston doesn’t have that.  That doesn’t mean they won’t be decent.  They’ll stick around late in the season.  I don’t see a failure like last year.  UNDER.  

Chicago White Sox: PECOTA projection: 84 wins  Verdict: UNDER

The whole AL Central needs to be taken with a grain of salt since PECOTA spit out 79 wins for the defending champion Royals, like they do every year.

On the White Sox… I’ve criticized this front office before, and have been baffled by their moves once again.  My question: Why make moves like Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie with a surrounding cast like this?  Do they not realize its not a strong enough roster?  Like, Jimmy Rollins is playing shortstop for this team!  Austin Jackson is starting in the outfield!

Now, I do like what is behind home plate.  Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro is great tandem, and Chicago should hope that they can improve a rotation that seems pretty sketchy.  Chris Sale is a true ace, and is one of the best pitchers in the league.  Jose Quintana and Carlos Rodon have to be taken with caution, though improvement by Rodon is foreseeable.  Maybe this catching staff can improve it?

The division doesn’t help Chicago, a sketchy team.  If some things break right within the division, then the White Sox could get on a run and enter the playoff race.  UNDER.

Chicago Cubs: PECOTA projection: 94 wins  Verdict: OVER

I may be insane with this, but consider:

  1. I think the Cardinals are going to regress, opening up the top spot for the Cubs
  2. This team won 97 games last year and added Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward
  3. Are we sure the Pirates are that good?

I think the Cubs could win 100 games, and maybe more.  There is no weakness anywhere on the roster, and the division is seeming to get easier and easier.  OVER.  DEFINITELY OVER.

Cincinnati Reds: PECOTA projection: 73 wins  Verdict: PUSH

The Reds are in a weird spot.  They’re stuck between rebuild and having decent, big name veterans left on their roster.  They clearly want to rebuild, but haven’t been able to find trades for everyone.  I do think this team will be better than the Brewers.  The Brewers just kicked off a massive rebuild, finally get rid of guys who really needed to go.  Cincinnati has more proven guys, and that gives them the edge.  PUSH.

Cleveland Indians: PECOTA projection: 91 wins  Verdict: UNDER

I really want to pick this Indians squad to win the AL Central, but a recent slue of injuries have plagued this team yet again.  This has suddenly became an underwhelming Opening Day roster, with Francisco Lindor and Corey Kluber as bright spots.  You’d hope that the defense improves, and it should since Jose Ramirez will be limited in playing time.   Still, 91 games is just too much, even if they win the division.  I’ve never heard of the centerfielder for the Indians, and Marlon Byrd is another starting outfielder.  Yikes!  And the reigning World Series champions are in the same division.  UNDER.

Colorado Rockies: PECOTA projection: 74 wins  Verdict: OVER

Not by much.  This Rockies team is so frustrating.  I couldn’t imagine being a fan of them.  Colorado has a good infield, arguably a great one, and posses a talented outfield.  If only they had some pitching.  Seriously, I’ve heard of one guy in this rotation.  Its been an issue for years, and its been written about over and over.  They can’t develop pitching, and its killed them, and with this talent they currently posses, it still will.  OVER.

Detroit Tigers: PECOTA projection: 79 wins  Verdict:  OVER

This division, man.  PECOTA really screwed it up, as I said above.

Its going to be really competitive in the AL Central this season.  This Tigers team has grown on me as I examine them more.  Their biggest issue (as it has been for years) has been their bullpen.  Mark Lowe was a good addition, but besides that its a little frightening.  OK, K-Rod was a nice addition too.  But what should we really expect?  This is the Tigers we’re talking about!  They’ve never had a good bullpen.

Thats the only true weakness on this team, besides the inability to stay healthy.  It plagues them every year.

The Tigers spent a lot of money this offseason, and it will pay off.  The Royals are the main competition in this division.  Detroit can give them a challenge, but their weaknesses can’t affect them too much.  OVER.

Miami Marlins: PECOTA projection: 76 wins  Verdict:  PUSH

While Miami has some really big holes in their roster (Catcher, 1st base and shortstop), this could be a really fun team.  First, THAT OUTFIELD THOUGH.  Lets all hope Giancarlo Stanton is healthy.  Its better for the game when he is.  And lets hope the Marlins front office doesn’t piss him off.  I’ve always loved Christian Yelich, and think he’s in for another good year.  And Marcel Ozuna, who almost got traded this offseason, but is in Miami and completes a fantastic young and talented outfield.   Also, Jose Fernandez will be fully back!  Miami improved their rotation, getting Wei Yen Chen as their 2nd starter.  Jarred Cosart winds out the rotation of guys I know, which is a little concerning.

Anyways, this Marlins team will be one to have the highest highs and lowest lows.  Though, Don Mattingly’s presence can hopefully give some great experience to the young guys and keep this team under control when ownership is a mess.  PUSH.

Houston Astros: PECOTA projection: 87 wins  Verdict: PUSH

Its more about the surroundings for the Astros.  The Rangers are locked and loaded for this season, while Houston lost Chris Carter (I think this will have a bigger impact than most think, even though last season was horrendous for him).  He’s not an Astros-mold.  Hank Conger left, which again, doesn’t seem too important now, but may have an impact down the road.  The case against Hank Conger leaving is that this pitching staff is loaded, rotation and bullpen.  Its probably the best thing about this team, in fact.

Its gonna be the 2nd season of Carlos Correa, and it will be fantastic.  He makes this team even more watchable than they already are.

Still, I think the Rangers are gonna take this division.  Houston is a still a team to take seriously, especially if the Rangers are injury-riddled.  Thats why this is a push.  Houston will be good, but just not good enough.  This should hint to how I feel about the Rangers later.

Kansas City Royals: PECOTA projection: 75 wins  Verdict: OVER

We discussed it above.  This division is flawed by PECOTA’s standards, especially this team.  No one knows why it doesn’t like Kansas City.  Baseball Prospectus doesn’t know, Sam Miller (BP EIC) doesn’t know, none of the brainiacs at BP know.  The only person who may know is Nate Silver, but he has other things to worry about, especially when he doesn’t have anything to do with PECOTA anymore.

The gamble the Royals have taken with team building has paid off majorly.  Two World Series the past two seasons and one ring.  They’re certainly on pace for that again.  Sure, there are challenges in the division this year, but those are only taken seriously if the Royals falter or those teams improve their weaknesses, which are pretty large.

Its hard to see anyone falling off for the Royals.  The rotation may pose questions by some, but there’s enough talent elsewhere to make up for it.

This was too easy.  OVER.  DEFINITELY OVER.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: PECOTA projection: 77 wins  Verdict: OVER

Not by much though.  This division is way too strong.   The Andrelton Simmons trade seemed a little uncecsarry, and only helped the Braves down the road.

This very well may be a team that is hurt more by their division by anything else.  Anaheim finally found their third outifielder in Daniel Nava, but there is a heavy consequence if that goes poorly.  Nava is great when productive, and horrible when not, with WAR values as high as 3.4 and as low as -0.3 in his career.

The Angels will be lacking Albert Pujols to start the season; someone who has came back to life over the past two seasons.  It really does remain the same with him:  Healthy and amazing, injured and putrid.  With the way this season has began, you can’t expect the best, but anyone might be a better option than C.J. Cron.

I think the rotation is underrated, though there isn’t a great catching staff to help them out.  If the Rangers have another bad injury season (as floated above), then the Angels may be able to sneak into the playoff race.  OVER.

Los Angeles Dodgers: PECOTA projection: 94 wins. Verdict: UNDER

I wrote about the Dodgers in the division questions column, and how I think they’re in for a regression, mostly due to offseason losses and the new competitiveness in the division.

I remember doing this last season.  Thinking that they’d regress, then reexamining the roster and realizing they’re still so good.

The rotation and outfield still remain the talking points of this team’s issues.  After losing Zach Greinke, it seemed like the Dodgers did all they could to fix their rotation.  Some good moves, like Alex Wood (he was actually a trade during last season), and Scott Kazmir, and some bad ones, like the confusing signing and contract of Kenta Maeda, and losing Hisashi Iwakuma to the Mariners.

The Dodgers finally have some depth in their rotation, something they’d lacked when they possessed the two-headed monster of Greinke and Clayton Kershaw.

The ever so crowded outfield is somewhat solved, though Andre Either is going to miss time. Yasiel Puig generates people to become hot-take machines, including me, so here is mine:  How is Puig not an upgrade over Andre Either?  He is a spark, on and off the field, and could be in for progression this year.  Either’s injury hurts their depth, but may not have an impact on the field.

There’s still a lot to like.  Corey Seager is awesome.  Adrian Gonzalez is gonna produce.  2nd and 3rd base could be concerning, but the Dodgers will make a move if necessary.

I don’t exactly know who is going to win this division, but I think the Dodgers’ regression will be due to the increase in competitiveness within the NL West.  UNDER.

Milwaukee Brewers: PECOTA projection: 77 wins  Verdict: UNDER

This team sucks.  Ryan Bruan and Jonathan Lucroy have to become trade targets for other teams at some point, because they just don’t belong.  This is year one of a massive rebuild for the Brewers.  Its gonna be ugly.  I have no explanation for why PECOTA even got to 75 wins for this team. UNDER.  DEFINITELY UNDER. 

Minnesota Twins: PECOTA projection: 79 wins  Verdict: OVER

Writing about the Twins this season is gonna be much easier.  Last year, we all said they would suck.  Like really suck.  And they won 83 games.

Now, its acceptable for PECOTA to be skeptical.  PECOTA was wrong last year and its probably not happy about it.  Plus, there are some huge problems with this team.  Their overloaded with power in the lineup, and their rotation and bullpen is horrendous.  HOWEVER, they might have the most exciting and young outfield in the league.  And yes, I am supportive of Miguel Sano in right field.

The Twins last year were good early and slowly declined throughout the year, and were out of the playoff picture with around three weeks left.  This season, I think they hang around longer.  Byron Buxton will be fulling contributing now, and that will be huge (PECOTA agrees).  Minnesota’s biggest problem and worst case scenario is all their power guys slumping, because then there’d be no one to get on base.  Pitching is going to enough of a problem, so the offense better produce.

Still, I trust the youth and Brian Dozier.  And thats about it.  But no one else has youth this talented.  OVER.

New York Mets: PECOTA projection: 90 wins  Verdict: PUSH

As I wrote in the division questions column, this team is this division’s only hope.  I don’t think there is a dominate team in this division, though I can’t go less than 90 because of this rotation.  PUSH.

New York Yankees: PECOTA projection: 84 wins  Verdict: OVER

This division is going to be ridiculous.  Its plausible that three teams contend for winning it, including this Yankees team.

The Starlin Castro trade was a win-win for the Cubs and Yankees.  He solidifies 2nd base, creating a very solid left side of the infield, something the Yankees lacked last year.  I think PECOTA’s projection was very fair, but honestly am surprised it wasn’t higher due to this loaded bullpen.  Now, two of three super relievers in that bullpen may not be ready for Opening Day. Aroldis Chapman is suspended, but its not like the Yankees were stunned by that.  And just the other day, Andrew Miller sustained a chip in his wrist.  It sounds like he’ll pitch through it, which is huge for the pairing of him and Dellin Betances.

New York has found themselves in a position they didn’t expect:  This bullpen suddenly being weak.  Its the only real concern with this team.  The biggest question is whether they can matchup with teams like Tampa Bay and Toronto.  Still, 84 seems low for a team with this much stability.  OVER.

Oakland Athletics: PECOTA projection: 76 wins  Verdict: PUSH

I covered the A’s quite a bit in that division questions column, and how them and Seattle could be fun teams to watch this year, but won’t have a ton of success.  Oakland definitely stays under .500 this year, mostly due to a weak infield and rotation (I still love you Sonny Gray!).  PUSH.

Philadelphia Phillies: PECOTA projection: 66 wins  Verdict: PUSH

The two worst teams in baseball exist in the NL East.  This is definitely a fair projection, mostly because I’ve heard of four players in their lineup.  Thats a problem.  However, going below 66 wins just seems mean, and I think they’re trying, unlike Atlanta.  PUSH.

Pittsburgh Pirates: PECOTA projection: 82 wins  Verdict: OVER

There’s a lot to like about this Pirates team and a lot to not like.  Pittsburgh greatly improved their rotation this offseason, with Gerrit Cole leading as always.  Jon Niese’s addition was underrated, and I think is in for a better season than last (at least, you’d hope so).

However, Pittsburgh’s infield is very underwhelming.  John Jaso is playing 1st base, and David Freese is playing 3rd.  The corners are not in great condition here.  To make up for it though, the Pirates posses one of the best outfields in the game, and have a great amount of depth in those positions too.  82 wins was way too low, but it will take everyone’s production to make the playoffs in this tight division.  OVER.

San Diego Padres: PECOTA projection: 76 wins  Verdict: PUSH

The Padres biggest impact this season may be as sellers.  San Diego has three rotation spots locked down, and two of those guys have high probabilities of getting traded this season.  James Shields almost did.  Tyson Ross is going to be a hot commodity around the trade deadline, and who knows, maybe some of these outfield pieces get moved.  It is their most solid position, but will also retain the highest trade value.

San Diego has a serious issue in the middle infield, which isn’t good when there are pitching issues.  This team might be painful to watch at times, with defense still looking like it will be a problem.  However, going lower than 76 seems a little harsh, especially since they are in a rebuild.  PUSH.

San Francisco Giants: PECOTA projection: 84 wins  Verdict: OVER

The reason PECOTA didn’t like the Giants this year was because of their underperformance last season.  You also can’t blame PECOTA for being afraid of their revamped rotation.  Spending as much money as they did on Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzja was concerning and certainly didn’t make me too pleased.  While there is a lot of sketchy in the rotation, its not like there isn’t a spot locked down.

The Giants have no weaknesses with their position players, and have plenty of depth.  Expect them to contend with the Dodgers for the NL West.  OVER.

Seattle Mariners: PECOTA projection: 84 wins  Verdict: UNDER

 I like a lot of pieces on this team, but am skeptical of them coming together this year.  They’re like last year’s Padres without the expectations.  Jerry Dipito has reasonable but not lofty goals for this team.  Again, its only the first year of this squad being together.  I’m not fond of the bullpen, and need to see it from Ketel Marte before I believe it.  This is a tough division, and while Seattle may come on strong at some point, I don’t think this is the year they make the playoffs.  UNDER.

St. Louis Cardinals: PECOTA projection: 81 wins  Verdict: OVER

This is not the type of regression I see the Cardinals having.  The whole basis of their regression was on how much the Cubs improved, not the Cardinals’ offseason losses.  This is still a mighty good team.  OVER.  DEFINITELY OVER.

Tampa Bay Rays: PECOTA projection: 90 wins  Verdict: PUSH

Toronto and New York are certainly going to challenge Tampa Bay for the division, so anything above 90 seems a little unreasonable.  The Rays have an excellent rotation and are stellar defensively.  The only thing holding them back is their competition.  PUSH. 

Texas Rangers: PECOTA projection: 79 wins  Verdict: OVER

Another case of PECOTA not liking a team for no reason.  Texas is the favorite for this division, as they have great offensive capabilities and a solid rotation.  This is the year it comes together for them.  OVER.  DEFINITELY OVER.

Toronto Blue Jays: PECOTA projection: 86 wins  Verdict: OVER

Not by much though.  The AL East is going to be a log jam, so I don’t see Toronto hitting 90 wins.  I’m worried about the right side of their infield, but think their rotation will be much better this year.  If the rotation is better, imagine how good they’ll be compared to last year.  Then again, there will be more competition with Tampa Bay, New York, and maybe even Boston.  OVER.

Washington Nationals: PECOTA projection: 87 wins  Verdict: UNDER

Remember how last year’s Nationals were supposed to win 100 games?  Yeah, I’m not making that mistake again.  I do think this team is talented, but its too hard to pick against the Mets and that rotation.  Dusty Baker could turn this clubhouse around or ruin it, though after the player’s review of Matt Williams, you’d think anyone would be better.

Even if the Nationals exceed 87 wins, they’ll be shut out from the playoffs.  The NL is too competitive this year for playoff spots, mostly due to how good the Central is.  No matter what, this Nationals season should go much better than last’s.


Season prediction time!  I guarantee all of these predictions will be 100% at the end of the year.

(April Fools!)

Here goes nothing.  These do correspond to what I wrote above (almost 3800 words!).



  1. Tampa Bay Rays 90-72
  2. Toronto Blue Jays 87-75
  3. New York Yankees 85-77
  4. Boston Red Sox 81-81
  5. Baltimore Orioles 78-84


  1. Kansas City Royals 90-72
  2. Cleveland Indians 86-76
  3. Detroit Tigers 84-78
  4. Minnesota Twins 84-78
  5. Chicago White Sox 80-82


  1. Texas Rangers 93-69
  2. Houston Astros 87-75
  3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 82-80
  4. Seattle Mariners 81-81
  5. Oakland A’s 76-86



  1. New York Mets 90-72
  2. Washington Nationals 86-76
  3. Miami Marlins 76-86
  4. Philadelphia Phillies 66-96
  5. Atlanta Braves 65-97


  1. Chicago Cubs 104-58
  2. St. Louis Cardinals 87-75
  3. Pittsburgh Pirates 86-76
  4. Cincinnati Reds 73-89
  5. Milwaukee Brewers 69-93


  1. San Francisco Giants 91-71
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers 87-75
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks 85-77
  4. Colorado Rockies 80-82
  5. San Diego Padres 76-86

Playoff Predictions:


  1. Texas Rangers
  2. Kansas City Royals
  3. Tampa Bay Rays
  4. Toronto Blue Jays
  5. Houston Astros


  1. Chicago Cubs
  2. San Francisco Giants
  3. New York Mets
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers
  5. St. Louis Cardinals

AL Wild Card: Astros over Blue Jays

NL Wild Card: Cardinals over Dodgers

ALDS #1: Astros over Rangers in 5

ALDS #2: Royals over Rays in 4

NLDS #1: Cubs over Cardinals in 4

NLDS #2: Giants over Mets in 3

ALCS: Royals over Astros in 5

NLCS: Cubs over Giants in 7

World Series: Cubs over Royals in 6

A Question For Each Division In The MLB


AL East: Will There Be A Dominant Team This Season?

This is the question every year with this division.  Its full of okay-to-good teams every year, and then someone comes out and wins 90 games.  Last year it was Toronto.  This year, PECOTA likes Tampa Bay, which is logical.

The Rays have a great infield full of guys who get on base, and an outfield that is a defensive showcase (the infield is underrated defensively too), and a rotation that features Chris Archer.  The Rays starters were 4th in the MLB in strikeout percentage last year.  This is the definition of a sabermetrically built team.  They have everything and more a sabermetrically-geared GM would want.

The case against them?  No true star-power, and the cloudy future of the team in Tampa Bay.  Sure, Chris Archer was a AL Cy Young candidate last season, and I almost picked him, but he’s their most popular player.  Kevin Kiermaier is a highlight reel, but is in no way a star… yet.

Look, I know this isn’t basketball where star power always wins.  But the other teams in the division have big names who will produce too.  Toronto looks like a division-winner yet again, but the pitching problems from last year still have to be factored in.  Hopefully the development of Marco Estrada takes another leap, and Marcus Stroman comes back in old-form.

Toronto and Tampa Bay are the best bets for being dominate.  But we know how injuries and other factors affect teams.  It takes one to derail everything.

AL Central: Are The Royals Gonna Prove The Projections Wrong Yet Again, And If Not, Who’s There To Take Their Place?

PECOTA projection placed the Royals at the bottom of the AL Central, tied at 76 wins with the Tigers.

Why is this?  Well, it has been happening for years.  PECOTA has hated the Royals for years now, always assuming their regular seasons were flukes.  Last year, they proved that wrong, and PECOTA didn’t care.

I was on that train prior to last season.  The roster just didn’t seem playoff-caliber.  But as you watched the numbers soar for their guys, you realized what it was becoming, and it translated perfectly into the postseason.

Now, looking at this depth chart, there’s proven guys who will produce.  Except Omar Infante.  But he has a special place in my social life, so he’s not too left out. (If I do explain why that is the case at some point, it might take a whole column.)  Anyways, as this group of Royals has developed and improved, its become hard to not like them, and even pick againist them.  PECOTA’s not a human, and it doesn’t care.  It is hard to see things going so wrong for the Royals this season.  Not to say though, that they won’t be challenged.

PECOTA likes the Indians to win the AL Central this year.  Similar to the AL East’s projection, it is logical.  I wouldn’t say it is as likely, but its not out of reach.

The Indians outfield has suddenly became a mess, but at least their defense will improve after last year’s horrendous output.  Whats most likely to succeed on this team is it’s pitching, which is very good, and will quickly gain attention this year.  Kansas City is more experienced, but if the Indians can pitch lights out in games and scrape runs together, then they’ll be contending for the division title.

AL West: What The Mariners And A’s Expectations For Themselves?

This is one of the divisions that doesn’t have too many questions when it comes to who’ll be good and who won’t.  We’d expect the Astros and Rangers to contend.  The Angels to be meh.  And the A’s and Mariners to be, well, that is what I’m gonna answer.

The A’s do have a nice outfield.  I loved the acquisition of Khris Davis.  Billy Burns is a little Billy Hamilton-ish.  The infield is the weak part, along with a rotation that features only three guys I have heard of.  You’d have to expect Yonder Alonso to regress after a good season (That was a surprise).  Jedd Lowrie and Marcus Semien are nice pieces, though you’d hope Semien starts to improve drastically.  Danny Valencia feels like a place-holder (Why isn’t Eric Sogard starting?).

This team feels really underwhelming, which is okay.  The A’s probably know that. This is a team that is rebuilding.  They’ve never been a team to have too high of expectations of themselves for a season.  They have smart fans.  They get it.  Trust me.  

Best case scenario: The A’s pull off a .500 season and add some fun to it, but fall short due to the competitiveness of the Rangers and Astros.

The Mariners were one of the busiest teams this offseason, and that’s not surprising considering Jerry Dipito is their GM.  With these moves, its okay for the front office and the media to have higher expectations.  Mine are actually a little higher than you might think.  That’s because this team may not be that bad.

I put them under this question because of those offseason moves, not because I thought they’d be bad.  No one really expects Oakland to contend this year, and I don’t either.  They’re under this question because they’re an outlier in the good division.

Seattle has a lot of experience on this roster, and the roster reflects a Jerry Dipito-like team.  Part of the reason he was out with the Angels was because that wasn’t a roster you’d expect him to be in control of.  Here, he got his due.

This team is really interesting.  They, like Oakland, feature a good outfield.  The Leonys Martin trade was a great move, and he adds to an already good defensive outfield.  Seattle’s lineup has the balance of power and on-base; the power guys like Adam Lind, Robinson Cano, and Nelson Cruz.

Speaking of Cano…  If there’s a year he gets it together in Seattle, it is this one.  This is the best team they’ve had since he got there, and this is the highest expectations they’ve had since he got there.  Then again, expectations don’t treat Cano that well.

NL East: Can The Mets Rotation Save This Division From A Complete Atrocity Of Baseball?

Notice the specific reference to the rotation?  Yeah, thats because its the only thing you can like about this team.  Like, Lucas Duda is this team’s first basemen.  There is no reason to think David Wright will be good or even healthy.  You’d expect a regression from Curtis Granderson, considering his age and last year’s 5.1 WAR performance.  And then there’s Yo, who, well, lets discuss.

He stayed because of the money.  The Mets threw everything they had at him and got him to stay.  Fine, but the money and leverage they gave him was unreal, for what could perhaps be a one year stint.  Then again, if the Mets win this division, that could be a different story.

And that is a reasonable expectation.  This division has the two worst teams in baseball (the Braves and Phillies), the Sacramento Kings of baseball (the Marlins), and a talented, yet in-transition team in the Nationals.

There will be people who pick the Nationals.  But after last year’s disaster, blamed on poor managing, injuries, and lack of production from some, its really hard to do that.  Plus, is it possible to pick against the team that went to the World Series, without losing anything too important?

No, and its because of the super-rotation the Mets have.  People have finally taken notice of it.

  1. Matt Harvey
  2. Jacob deGrom
  3. Noah Syndergaard
  4. Bartolo Colon
  5. Steven Matz

Colon starts out the season ahead of Matz because of the experience difference, but good Lord, this rotation is nuts.  The pure dominance that is featured, plus the stark contrast of age and styles.

With this and not much else to like, it should prevail.  Not like there’s much competition anyways.

NL Central: What Are The Odds The Cardinals Regress?

PECOTA believes the Cardinals will only win 81 games, which even giving the title of this question seems low.  But the real question is: Could the Cardinals regress enough for another NL Central team to jump them?  This doesn’t mean they won’t make the playoffs, but the NL did greatly improve.

Theoretically, the Diamondbacks and Giants should be contending for a playoff spot (more on that later).  Two NL Central teams will as well.  That creates a cluster for the two Wild Card spots.

The Pirates are tired of being in the 2nd Wild Card spot.  They lose every year (that sounded harsh).  Even with the Cubs making the dramatic improvements, there are spots left in this division.

St. Louis still has a great team.  But injuries have already plagued the start to the season.  Jhonny Peralta will be out 2-3 months.  Lance Lynn, their best pitcher last season, had Tommy John Surgery this offseason.  Granted, Adam Wainwright is coming back, and should be the ace like he was last year.  This isn’t an arm injury he was dealing with.

The Cardinals do have depth, especially in the infield.  That’s a change for once.

The other thing St. Louis doesn’t have going their way is luck.  The Cardinals were 3rd in the majors last year in Cluster Luck, a stat that measures how a team staggered their hits against specific pitchers.  That itself was concerning, and was a major reason why some people didn’t like their playoff odds.  But since we have a weaker team to deal with, that stat points to even more regression.

The Cubs are the favorite in this division and no one can doubt that.  St. Louis won’t fall apart.  They’ll win at least 87 games or so.  But that slight regression, in this division, may be too much.

NL West: Are The Dodgers Still Good?

You look at this Dodgers’ roster and you might go like this:


And others may go:


If I could make a meme of this:

“When you see Chase Utley is the starting 2nd basemen for the Dodgers.”


So yeah, there is issues, and there is a lot of talent.  Corey Seager is really exciting.  Clayton Kershaw will be Clayton Kershaw.  Zach Greinke’s loss will hurt, but the Dodgers did a pretty good job building the rotation back up.

For years, it was Kershaw and Greinke and no one else in the rotation.  Now, its an ace and a 2,3,4, and 5.  Like a normal rotation.   Los Angeles has a great bullpen, which is good news considering that the back of the rotation has trust issues.

The GIFS above represent the position players perfectly.  Chase Utley fits DeAndre Jordan, as does Enrique Hernandez and Carl Crawford.  Corey Seager, Adrian Gonzalez, and Yasiel Puig represent the top GIF.  Justin Turner is somewhere in the middle.

Three years later and the Dodgers are still dealing with a cluttered outfield.  Joc Pederson currently isn’t starting, neither is Andre Either, which is probably a good thing.  You could argue they’re stacked with talent, but this isn’t basketball where you need talent that doesn’t start.

This wasn’t the issue with the Dodgers last year.  Their issue is that they can’t win in the playoffs.  But are we sure they’ll even get there this year?  Arizona and San Francisco loaded up this offseason.  They’re gonna be in the playoff race.  A Dodgers regression is foreseeable, and this isn’t like the NL Central, where St. Louis will remain in playoff contention all year.

Catching Up With The NFL Offseason

With the new league year beginning next week, I thought it’d be nice to give a little recap of the weeks since the Super Bowl.  It’s the NFL Offseason, which, well, kinda doesn’t exist, I guess.

We’ll start by going through guys who received the franchise/transition tag.

Muhammed Wilkerson

I was a little surprised by this.  Muhammed Wilkerson has been a great player the last three seasons.  He’s secretly making his way into the top ten pass-rushers in the league.  With 12 sacks this past year and 10.5 two years ago, he’s made his case.  So why didn’t he get paid?

The pass-rushing market is getting insanely expensive.  If you thought last year’s money was insane, then you just wait.  He is the best pass-rusher on the market this Spring, but are we sure he’s worth a Justin Houston-like contract?  Are we sure Justin Houston was worth a Justin Houston-like contract?

The Jets probably weren’t ready to give him a massive deal.  They wanted one more year.  They had the cap room to do it.  Maybe they have a couple funny feelings going forward for him?  The tag keeps Wilkerson with the team, and pays him an amount he should be content with, at least for one year ($15.701 million).

Justin Tucker

I don’t know what the right price is for Justin Tucker, let alone kickers themselves.  I don’t understand tagging your kicker.  Give him whatever he wants!  He knows what is reasonable.  He knows he getting no more than $5 million a year.  Just hammer out a deal!  This isn’t hard!  Ravens, you have one of the best kickers in the league (and definitely the best fantasy kicker)!  Just pay him!

Cordy Glenn

Cordy Glenn has proven himself, no doubt.  However, in the season where his true value showed, the Bills happened to be cap-crunched.  That is the simplest way to explain Glenn getting the tag.  The Bills just simply don’t have the money this offseason.

As said with most these guys though, their salary is just fine.  He’ll make $13.706 million this upcoming season.  Yeah, players like long-term security, but it’s not like Glenn is getting screwed here.  He has one more year to prove himself even more.  Glenn exploded on the scene this year not only due to his production, but for the fact that he had a young and raw quarterback to protect too.

It’s too hard to project what Glenn will make after next year, but for now, he’s taken care of and the Bills keep a valuable guy.

Alshon Jeffrey

This tag makes no sense.  The Bears have all the cap space in the world, and weren’t able to get a deal done with Alshon Jeffrey.  Jeffrey is a top-13 or so wide receiver in the league, and even higher when he’s 100% healthy.

That’s been the main problem with Jeffrey, and perhaps it is why he was tagged.  We know he’s a beast when he is 100%.  But he missed seven games this past season, and had a banged up rookie year too.  The years he has been healthy, his production has been massive.

Perhaps Chicago wasn’t comfortable with giving him a big deal the year after he played half the season.  He is worth it though, and the Bears have to understand the risk they’re taking here.  This is not a guy you want to hit the open market.

Josh Norman

This is one of the tags that actually make sense.  Josh Norman had a great year and was one of the best players on the league’s 2nd best defense (by DVOA).  But I understand this tag.

This was Norman’s 1st great year.  It is the best walk year a guy can have.  But when you’re practically unknown, at least to the general NFL public, it could be hard to get a big deal.  Again, Norman’s never had a better year.  Carolina tagged him to see whether he could do again, and if he proves himself, then he’ll get paid.

I’m not playing the “Are we sure he’s good?” game with Norman.  It’s just a little concerning that he was unknown before this year, and was probably gonna get a Byron Maxwell-type deal (Good God, is that thing ugly)  from someone.  Smart move by Carolina.

Olivier Vernon

The Dolphins have absolutely no cap room, so applying the tag was really the only option.  I think they were scared of what Olivier Vernon was gonna ask for.  We know how this pass-rushing market is, and his demands might have been insane.  Vernon’s a very good player, and he’s super skilled.  With 29 sacks in four seasons, he’s gonna get paid at some point.  Staying healthy (which has never been a problem for him, by the way) is all he can hope for this upcoming season.

Von Miller

The Broncos aren’t out of room on their cap, it’s just that there’s a lot of uncertainty.  We don’t know about Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler yet (more on that later).  Malik Jackson is a free agent, and is gonna get paid by someone.  Tagging Von Miller, Super Bowl MVP, has pros and cons.  We know he’s amazing.  There’s no need for him to prove himself.  If I’m a GM, John Elway or not, I’d be making him the highest paid defensive player in the league.  Denver couldn’t do that because of the other predicaments they’re in.  Those we’ll get into soon.

Kirk Cousins

This was a logical move by the Redskins.  There was a good chance Kirk Cousins’ contract demands were gonna be insane.  We know how expensive a starting quarterback is these days.  Washington, understandingly so, wasn’t comfortable giving him massive money.

Washington’s battled themselves over who the right guy is for the past four seasons.  Its why Mike Shanahan got fired, and its why Robert Griffin lll is gonna be cut soon.  Washington has found their guy, or at least you’d hope so.

They are 80% sure Cousins is their guy, but you have to be 100% before handing him big money.  That is what this upcoming season is doing for the Redskins and Cousins: Gaining that last 20%.

Eric Berry

I’m gonna do a list of guys who’re most likely to get a deal done this Summer as opposed to keeping the tag below, and I think Eric Berry tops it.

I don’t think the Chiefs and him have reached an agreement yet, and that is why the tag was applied.  Just to be safe.  Eric Berry is an incredible safety and story.  He deserves the money, because he has proven he can come back from anything.

Trumaine Johnson

Los Angeles has two starting cornerbacks to re-sign this Spring, and the better one has been taken care of.  I don’t know if Janoris Jenkins is gonna return with the Rams.  It may be a one or the other situation.

Sure, the Rams would like to have both, but Jenkins is gonna get paid this year, deservedly so, but if the Rams feel better about committing future money to Johnson, than Jenkins will earn his money elsewhere.  He’s frustrated, which isn’t a good sign.

I think they’ve made the right call keeping Johnson for next season.  Don’t think though that they don’t want Jenkins.

Who is most likely to get a deal done before the Summer deadline?

  1. Eric Berry
  2. Von Miller
  3. Alshon Jeffrey

Big names here.  I covered Berry above, and am about to cover Miller below.  Miller hinges on whether Peyton Manning is coming back, what kind of contract Brock Osweiler gets (if any from Denver), and whether Denver re-signs Malik Jackson.

Maybe the Bears re-think it, and decide to hand Jeffrey the money.  He deserves it.

On Peyton Manning and the Broncos…

You can’t believe anything you read, because it changes daily.  From my own thoughts, to Woody Paige’s (I think that column was thoughts, and not a true report, even though he claimed to have two sources on it), to articles you read later in a given afternoon with reports that completely contradict what you read that morning with your coffee.  Its a mess, but thats how this always works, right?

I think Manning is exploring everything.  Because he has a lot of options on his plate.  A return to the Broncos is least likely, but possible.  Going somewhere else like Los Angeles, Houston, or Cleveland has to be considered if he still wants to play.  A GM or front office role/offer could be sitting there from someone, and so could a TV deal from a big-time network (CBS makes all the sense in the world).

I think there’s no doubt that Manning would like to keep playing.  Its just a matter of whether NFL teams want him to keep playing, for them.  The three teams I listed are desperate, but could also have hope in the Draft.  The Rams make perfect sense.  They don’t have a really high pick; chances are the guy they really like will be gone.  Its LA, I mean, what is more appealing than that?  Having Manning come be the quarterback would attract so many more fans, which, newsflash, won’t be a problem in the next six years anyways (taking into account the years before the new stadium and the 2-3 afterward).

I don’t think he knows what he wants to do, and Woody Paige certainly doesn’t either.  Though, if Manning does step away, Paige takes the credit for it, I guess.  Congratulations on breaking news we’ve hoped to know for months.

On notable cuts…

Marques Colsten

The Saints cap is a mess, so this was kinda expected.  Colsten was a great Saint, I mean, look at these stats:

Meanwhile, I can’t wait for Willie Snead to have 100 targets this season.

Roddy White

The Falcons automatically enter the market for a wide receiver with this move.  Whether they spend money on one or use a high draft pick on one remains to be seen.

Roddy White has been on the bubble when it comes to being cut.  His production has dipped, and he’s getting up there in age.

He was becoming a liability for the Falcons, and that is not what Matt Ryan needs.  This gives Atlanta the chance to bring someone new in.

Does White have anything left?  This could be a classic Patriots move, as long as he doesn’t demand to much money.

Scott Chandler

Classic Patriots move.  Yes, his role had diminished, but I’ve always liked Scott Chandler.  He’s never really found the consistency.  He had the right situation in Buffalo for two years, and it has never came back.  Maybe my Cardinals can swoop in and make a signing?

Brandon LaFell

Another Patriots cut from this week.  People are wondering who Tom Brady is gonna throw to again.  Lets all chill.  You know they’ll be fine.

James Laurinaitis

The three Rams cut I’m about to go through were all stunning, this one especially.  Laurinaitis has been the guy there for years.  A leader and a phenomenal player.  Of course he was shocked.

Someone is gonna get a good player out of signing him.

Jared Cook

This one made a bit more sense, even though he signed quite a big contract three years ago.  This is another tight end Arizona could go after (Sorry, I just want my team to have a tight end and be able to guard them, two things we haven’t had/been able to do in years).  Cook won’t command a ton of money, like some of the other cuts.

Chris Long

Another shocking cut made by the Rams.  His production had too dipped in the past couple seasons.  Someone will snag him on a bargain, because Chris Long is a good player.  The Rams have built an insanely talented defensive line, and they clearly want to go younger.

Los Angeles clearly has their eyes on a big free agent, aside from the guys they’re already tasked with re-signing.

Charles Johnson

This was more about cap-saving, and Charles Johnson only played nine games this season.  They honestly just didn’t need him anymore.  And at his cap-number, he was solidified in being cut.  He’s another guy who will get a good deal somewhere.  It was only three seasons ago when he had 12.5 sacks, and he’s only 29.

Arian Foster

There’s a lot of ways for someone to understand this move and for someone to not.  Arian Foster for two years straight has had an injury end his season, and was getting paid close to $9 million a year.  Houston wasn’t gonna put up with the injuries anymore, and paying him like a top back was killer.

However, Alfred Blue doesn’t sound too exciting!  The Texans have a lot to address in this upcoming Draft.

Mario Williams

We’ve seen this one coming for awhile.  The original contract he was given was insane, and he’s never made it work there.  He didn’t get along with Rex Ryan, but honestly, its not like he’s totally need there.

After the money he was given by Buffalo, everyone should be cautious with handing him a contract.

On Sam Bradford’s contract…

Remember talking about the insane going rate for starting quarterbacks above?  Yeah, this is what I referencing to.

The length of Sam Bradford’s $36 million contract is two years, which makes sense.  The Eagles don’t know whether Bradford is gonna be their guy, and perhaps two years gives them enough time to see how he fits in new coach Doug Pederson’s system.

But the money? Put it this way:  Sam Bradford is gonna get $18 million a year while the Eagles figure out whether they should pay him more.

This is just how it is now.  If you’re a starter not on a rookie contract, you’re gonna be demanding more than $13 million a season.  There’s nothing the team can do about it.  There’s nothing anyone can do about it.  But paying a guy that much when you’re not totally sure about him yet?  There has to more confidence in the Eagles front office than there is anywhere else.  You’d hope so if they’re paying him that money.

On Colin Kaepernick’s reported trade demand…

This was pretty stunning to me.  I thought Chip Kelly’s hire was perfect for Colin Kaepernick.  I thought he’d be happy by it.

Something tells me though, that his frustration has to do with the front office, and all the mistakes they’ve made, including handling his benching last season.  Guys have a breaking point, and assuming this report is true, we’ve reached it with Kap.

If this is nonsense, or the 49ers really don’t want to move him, I think San Francisco holds off on drafting a quarterback, at least until the later rounds.  They need another guy there, but he doesn’t have to be a high pick.  We know what Kap is, and hopefully Kelly can improve him.  Blaine Gabbert played very well last season.  Chip Kelly can help develop him too.  If the 49ers keep Kap, chances are we have a quarterback battle in training camp.

Now, if someone offers the 49ers a trade for Kap (the teams that would do this are probably the same teams who would have interest in Peyton Manning), and San Francisco moves on, then a quarterback has to be taken early.  We could let Chip try and work some magic (Are we sure its magic?  Nothing has worked yet…) with Gabbert, but chances are he’s not the answer.

I don’t know who the 49ers would take in the draft yet.  We’ll get there later in the Spring.  But keeping Kap and drafting someone high creates a media and quarterback cluster.  We know how those two things go together, and they’re never pretty.