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Over/under: Breaking down 2019 PECOTA projections for every team

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Thankfully, Baseball Prospectus released its PECOTA projections for the 2019 season on Thursday, giving us something to talk about as another dispiriting offseason approaches its denouement. (Reminder: Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain unsigned less than a week out from the start of spring training.)

Maybe you love projections. Maybe you despise them. Either way, you're here already, so let's dive into the projected win totals for every MLB team that Baseball Prospectus' proprietary (and polarizing) algorithm spat out. (My over/under predictions are listed in the last column of the tables.)

AL East

Team PECOTA wins Run diff. Prediction
Yankees 96 150 Over
Red Sox 90 85 Over
Rays 86 50 Over
Blue Jays 76 -52 Under
Orioles 57 -255 Under
Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Yankees won 100 games in 2018 and still managed to get better this offseason by fortifying their rotation with James Paxton and bolstering an already hilariously loaded bullpen with Adam Ottavino ... Even with regression from Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez (and the presumed loss of Craig Kimbrel), the Red Sox won't win 18 games fewer than last year ... Recent improvements to the fringes of the Rays' roster, along with the notable addition of Charlie Morton, should position them to compete for a wild-card berth this year following a wildly successful 2018 campaign that featured breakouts from several young players ... With Vladimir Guerrero Jr. poised to join the club in mid-April, the Blue Jays' future looks bright, but, as evidenced by their remarkably quiet offseason, the front office clearly views 2019 as a development year ... The rebuild is officially underway in Baltimore, while Trey Mancini may be the best player on the Orioles' projected 25-man roster, which, yikes ...

AL Central

Team PECOTA wins Run diff. Prediction
Indians 96 148 Under
Twins 81 5 Over
Royals 71 -102 Under
White Sox 70 -104 Over
Tigers 67 -137 Under
David Maxwell / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Indians should waltz to a fourth straight AL Central title, but a five-win improvement from 2018 seems overly optimistic considering the losses to their lineup (Michael Brantley, Yan Gomes) and bullpen (Andrew Miller, Cody Allen) ... Perhaps galvanized by the sorry state of their division, the Twins added some pop this winter (Nelson Cruz, C.J. Cron) in pursuit of a wild-card berth, and a season above .500 now seems plausible even without significant steps forward from the likes of Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton ... The rebuilding Royals have some intriguing pieces in Adalberto Mondesi, Jorge Soler, and Hunter Dozier, but they're ultimately trying to lose as many games as possible in 2019, and their roster very much reflects that strategy ... While the end of their rebuild isn't exactly nigh, the White Sox should take a step forward this year, with top prospect Eloy Jimenez set to join a roster that's increasingly replete with young - albeit unproven - talent (Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Carlos Rodon, Reynaldo Lopez) ... The newly rebuilding Tigers - who won just 64 games in each of the last two seasons - will only get worse in the coming months when they trade impending free agent Nicholas Castellanos.

AL West

Team PECOTA wins Run diff. Prediction
Astros 99 179 Under
Angels 81 -1 Over
A's 79 -16 Over
Mariners 75 -64 Under
Rangers 69 -122 Over
Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Astros' stranglehold on the AL West isn't loosening, by any means, but the losses of Charlie Morton, Dallas Keuchel, and Marwin Gonzalez will make a third straight 100-win season exceedingly difficult to achieve ... Bad luck had an outsized effect on the Angels last year - Shohei Ohtani made only 10 starts; Kole Calhoun forgot how to hit; Zack Cozart missed two-thirds of the season; Mike Trout spent a couple weeks on the disabled list - and they still won 80 games, so finishing above .500 doesn't seem all that farfetched, especially with the recent additions of Justin Bour, Trevor Cahill, and Matt Harvey ... While the A's were undoubtedly greater than the sum of their parts in 2018, an 18-win drop-off seems too great for team with such a robust, if unheralded, core of talent (Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Stephen Piscotty) ... The Mariners played at a 77-win pace last year while they were actually trying to contend, and now they're not ... Stuck in that murky spot between competing and rebuilding, the Rangers added just enough this offseason (Asdrubal Cabrera, Lance Lynn, Drew Smyly) to ensure they don't make the postseason or snag a top-five draft pick for 2020.

NL East

Team PECOTA wins Run diff. Prediction
Mets 89 69 Under
Nationals 89 77 Over
Braves 84 26 Over
Phillies 84 31 Over
Marlins 66 -140 Under
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The Mets are primed to compete in 2019 thanks to new GM Brodie Van Wagenen, but even with Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie, and Wilson Ramos in tow, they still need too many things to break right to win 90 games, especially considering the strength of their division ... Bryce Harper or not, the Nationals still feel like the presumptive favorite in the NL East, boasting arguably the most enviable combination of veteran talent (Anthony Rendon, Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin, Stephen Strasburg, Adam Eaton) and high-upside youngsters (Juan Soto, Victor Robles) ... The Braves' path to a second straight division title appears decidedly fraught, but they're still a virtual lock to eclipse 84 wins, having added 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson to one of the most impressive collections of young talent in the game ... A bevy of moves (Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura, David Robertson, J.T. Realmuto) have the Phillies poised for their first winning season since 2011, and they haven't yet spent the "stupid" money their owner suggested they would ... Realmuto was the only Marlins player projected for an above-average season in 2019, and he literally got traded to Philadelphia as I wrote this.

NL Central

Team PECOTA wins Run diff. Prediction
Brewers 89 78 Under
Cardinals 89 52 Over
Cubs 84 9 Over
Reds 84 0 Under
Pirates 66 1 Over
Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Brewers' dearth of starting pitching didn't hurt them in 2018, but they won't get away with that again once Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain come back down to earth a bit ... After missing the playoffs three years in a row, the Cardinals went - by their standards, at least - all-out this winter by adding arguably the best hitter in the National League (Paul Goldschmidt) and two-time All-Star reliever Andrew Miller to a sneaky-talented roster ... The Cubs haven't won fewer than 92 games in a season since 2014 and didn't lose any players of consequence this winter, which makes their projection decidedly puzzling ... While their attempt to compete is admirable, the Reds are destined for disappointment in 2019, and certainly can't add 17 wins to last year's total merely through Sonny Gray, Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Tanner Roark, and Matt Kemp ... Four division rivals with title ambitions will make for a rough season in Pittsburgh, but the Pirates aren't capitulating, either; they won't be good, but they certainly won't be as bad as the 2018 Padres.

NL West

Team PECOTA wins Run diff. Prediction
Dodgers 95 133 Over
Rockies 85 42 Over
D-Backs 81 3 Under
Padres 75 -55 Under
Giants 72 -88 Over
Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Fresh off a second straight National League pennant, the Dodgers - gunning for a seventh successive division title in 2019 - are no worse than last year, and now have the luxury of a third non-competitive division rival in the Diamondbacks ... The addition of Daniel Murphy, along with a full season from David Dahl, should bolster the Rockies' offense, which was god-awful in 2018 and still didn't prevent them from making the postseason ... A .500 finish would be an unwelcome development for the Diamondbacks, who unloaded Paul Goldschmidt early this offseason and will likely keep dismantling their roster in the coming months ... As rich as their farm system is, the Padres can't expect to eke 10 marginal wins out of their cadre of prospects, especially if they're into service-time manipulation, like every team is ... Another franchise that's seemingly devoid of direction, the Giants don't look poised to compete for a wild-card spot or reap the benefits of being non-competitive.

Jonah Birenbaum is theScore's senior MLB writer. He steams a good ham. You can find him on Twitter @birenball.

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