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PECOTA standings project Royals to win 71 games

Bleep, blorp, baseball.

Ordinateurs de la société Tandem Computer uax USA Photo by Francois LOCHON/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Baseball Prospectus has their annual projected standings out, with the Royals projected for 71 wins (technically 70.8 wins, but let’s round up). That would actually mark a slight improvement from their winning percentage last year, as their 26-34 mark would translate to 70 wins over a full season.

PECOTA has the Royals as the fourth team in the division, behind Minnesota (90 wins), Cleveland (86), and Chicago (83). Detroit rounds out the division with a projected 66 wins, tied for Baltimore for the worst projected record in the American League.

The Yankees project to have the best American League record with 97 wins, while the Dodgers project to have the best overall record with 103 wins. The Padres, who were aggressive in adding to their team this winter, project to have the second-best record in the National League with 96 wins.

PECOTA stands for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm, and is considered one of the leading baseball player projection systems, using past performance and typical aging curves as indicators on how players will perform in the future. Last year’s unique season also poses many challenges for projection systems, due to a shortened season, difficult circumstances for players, and no minor league season.

The projection may seem a bit low for a team that did add some significant pieces this off-season such as slugger Carlos Santana and pitcher Mike Minor. The Royals are also counting on a number of young pitchers this year, such as Brady Singer, Kris Bubic, and possibly prospects Daniel Lynch, Jackson Kowar, and Asa Lacy.

PECOTA has a reputation among Royals fans for underprojecting their record, but in recent years the Royals have actually significantly underperformed their record a few times.

PECOTA projected win totals

Year PECOTA win projection Actual win count Difference
Year PECOTA win projection Actual win count Difference
2010 66 67 -1
2011 66 71 -5
2012 70 72 -2
2013 76 86 -10
2014 79 89 -10
2015 72 95 -23
2016 76 81 -5
2017 71 80 -9
2018 66 58 8
2019 71 59 12
2020 68 70* -2

*-26-34 record pro-rated to 162 games

Is PECOTA a grudge-holding algorithm? Are you taking the over or under on 70.8 wins?


Will the Royals win over or under 70.8 wins?

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