Yankees projected as the AL East division winners by PECOTA, well ahead the Rays

New York Yankees, NYY, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton

After rather quiet months in October, November, and December, the New York Yankees went to work and started shaping their 2021 roster once they re-signed second baseman DJ LeMahieu. That gave them an idea of how much money they could spend in upgrading the starting rotation and the bullpen.

Now, after adding starters like Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon and reliever Darren O’Day, the New York Yankees cemented their place as the favorites to win the division title in the American League East.

Last season didn’t go smoothly for the Yankees, as they finished seven games behind the Tampa Bay Rays and then lost to them again in the Division Series.

Now, Tampa lost two crucial starters in Charlie Morton and Blake Snell and even though they also made some additions, they appear to be behind the Yankees, at least on paper, prior to the 2021 campaign.

PECOTA likes the 2021 Yankees

Baseball Prospectus’ projections system, PECOTA, seems to agree with that notion, and has the Yankees as the clear favorites to take the division this time around.

PECOTA’s full 162-game projections has the Yankees with an average of 97.4 wins and 64.6 losses. Tampa is at 86.4 wins and 75.6 losses, while the Toronto Blue Jays, a much improved team that added All-Stars Marcus Semien and George Springer, among others, are at 84.9 wins in the simulation.

In fourth place are the Boston Red Sox with 80 wins, and the Baltimore Orioles once are last with 66.3 wins and 95.7 losses.

Even though the Yankees lost starters Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ, not to mention relievers Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, and Jonathan Holder, they are still expected to come out on top.

New York teams fared pretty well on PECOTA’s projections. The New York Mets are the favorites to win the NL East by about 10 games, just like the Yankees.

If the projections are true, the Yankees should win the AL East division quite comfortably in 2021. Will they?