PECOTA projections have the New York Mets winning the East

Andres Chavez
Jul 14, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets left fielder Jeff McNeil (6) celebrates his home run against the Miami Marlins in the first inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the New York Mets failed to sign any of the “big three” free agents – catcher JT Realmuto, pitcher Trevor Bauer, and center fielder George Springer – they have greatly improved their team and are now the favorites to win the National League East division in 2021.

That seems to be the popular opinion around the league, and even though the Braves brought two high-profile rotation upgrades in Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly and were able to re-sign Marcell Ozuna, the Mets are viewed as the clear favorites after adding catcher James McCann, pitchers Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman, Trevor May, and star shortstop Francisco Lindor, among other players.

Baseball Prospectus, more specifically its projections system PECOTA, is also adhering to this thinking.

PECOTA has the New York Mets finishing at the top of the standings in the East, and by a quite significant margin.

The Mets are projected to lead by more than ten games

The simulations ran by PECOTA have the New York Mets with an average of 95.5 wins and 66.5 losses, with the Washington Nationals at 85-77 and the Philadelphia Phillies third at 83-79.

Oddly, the Atlanta Braves are projected by PECOTA to finish fourth in the East with an average of 82.4 wins and 79.6 losses. The Braves won the division in 2020, while the Mets and Nationals were tied for last.

This time, PECOTA is projecting the Miami Marlins to finish fifth and last, with an average of 68.1 wins and 93.9 losses.

Baseball Prospectus explains the methodology of the PECOTA projections:

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.