As we near the start of Spring Training, the PECOTA standings were announced for the 2021 MLB season. The ’21 season will look to be the first step back to normalcy in baseball, and as protocols have been announced, these standings are projecting off a full 162-game season.
Houston Astros‘ GM James Click was one of the lead contributors in creating PECOTA, when he worked for Baseball Prospectus. Now, his team is projected to win the AL West for the fourth time in five years. Of course, the Astros did finish second in the West in 2020, but the expanded playoff was what did the trick in getting them to the ALCS with a losing record.
The Houston Astros are projected to glide their way through the AL West in 2021 per PECOTA.
PECOTA is projecting the Astros to finish 93-69 (.559%), which is lower than in years past, but that comes from the loss of elite talent backed by rising stars. Among the AL West teams, the Astros and the Los Angeles Angels hold a large lead above the pack as they are the only two teams projected to score more runs than they allow, while also being the only clubs with winning records. Here is the break down in chances of winning the AL West:
Los Angeles (23.6%)
Houston is projected to have a 71.6% chance of winning the West, and while one of the most incomplete divisions in baseball, Houston should take what they can. Playing 76 games a season against franchises that are rebuilding will help seeding come October.
Looking at it in an overall stance, the Astros would finish second in the AL behind the New York Yankees by roughly four games, which all in all is a projection, but the numbers are showing a lot of trust in an Astros team that has lost some talent. The balls might start to spin a little different in 2021, but a healthy Astros team looks to be back at the top of the AL come October.