PECOTA projections tab Dodgers, New York clubs as division winners
Baseball Prospectus released its PECOTA projections for the 2021 season on Tuesday, with the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers winning the National League West, while the New York Yankees and New York Mets finished atop their respective divisions.
The Milwaukee Brewers were tabbed to win the NL Central division, topping the Nolan Arenado-led St. Louis Cardinals. The Atlanta Braves - winners of three straight NL East titles - fell to fourth place.
The Brewers finished with a losing record in 2020 and were inactive this offseason. Outfielder Lorenzo Cain is expected to rejoin Milwaukee after opting out of all but five games last season, while the division also includes contenders in the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds.
Atlanta has been one of MLB's top teams the past three seasons and were active in free agency. The Braves re-signed slugger Marcell Ozuna and added Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly to a starting rotation also expected to get Mike Soroka back following an Achilles injury. Their division rivals were also busy this offseason, with the Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, and Washington Nationals all improving.
Meanwhile, PECOTA projects the Minnesota Twins will win the AL Central, with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox finishing second and third, respectively. In the AL West, the Houston Astros once again take home the division crown, with the Los Angeles Angels rising to second thanks to an 87-win campaign.
The Colorado Rockies, who traded Arenado to the Cardinals, are projected to finish with 101 losses and the worst record in baseball. The Rockies have never lost 100 games in a season before.