The Washington Nationals are projected to battle for the wild card in 2021, per PECOTA.
Catchers and pitchers are getting ready to report. Position players will follow. Spring training games are soon to be on the horizon. Another facet of the game which means baseball is right around the corner, the PECTOA standings have been released. You’ll like where the Washington Nationals are predicted to finish.
The PECOTA standings are published each year by Baseball Prosepectus and project each team’s win/loss record based on individual performances.
For the National League Eastern Division there are a few eyebrow raising predictions.
Several platforms have picked the NL East as the most competitive division in baseball this year. The additions of Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco, James McCann, Josh Bell and Charlie Morton, plus the retention of free agents J.T. Realmuto, Didi Gregorius and Marcell Ozuna, make the division a difficult labryinth to navigate this year.
While many suspect the Atlanta Braves will forge ahead to a fourth straight division title, PECOTA has them winning just two more games than they lose. Having the Braves finish in fourth place in the division isn’t even the boldest prediction. Having four teams finish with at least 80 wins may be.
The division is stacked and while the Marlins seem the most likely to finish in the cellar, they are an improving franchise. Aside from their only major free agent addition being Adam Duvall, they will be playing with the momentum of making the expanded playoffs last year. The teams in the East are surely to beat up on one another, making running away with the division difficult. With the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres beefing up their rosters as well, the East better hope to feast on a weaker National League Central.
PECOTA has the Nationals finishing second in the division and with the same record as the Chicago Cubs, tied for the second wild card spot. Much like we think the Braves will do better than projections, with the Cubs shedding payroll this offseason, we think they will do worse than what is projected.
Analytics are one thing, playing the game on the field another.