So, what is PECOTA?
Simply put, it’s a sabermetric system for forecasting MLB player performance, standing for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm. PECOTA was introduced to the general public in the book Baseball Prospectus 2003 – predicting how each individual baseball player in the league is projected to perform for their team for that season.
Is that win total a rough estimate for how this team will perform this season? It’s tough to say. The Brewers, who are fresh off of consecutive postseason appearances, have trimmed their payroll by nearly 20% from the previous season, watching Mike Moustakas, Jordan Lyles, Yasmani Grandal, Drew Pomeranz, and others walk away. It’s virtually a new look for the Brewers this season, as they tend to get sexy looking at creative solutions and pegging interesting pieces into different holes as they look to try and stay competitive during Christian Yelich’s prime.
For now, what do these forecasts mean? Honestly, a whole lot of nothing. We have yet to reach Spring Training and to fully understand how most of these new acquisitions will tend to work together. In fact, on first glance, the Cincinnati Reds, who, by far, has had the most active offseason amongst everyone in the NL Central, is only projected to win the NL Central with 86 wins. That puts them a game ahead of Chicago (85-78) with the St. Louis Cardinals at 80-82 and third place in the division.
If it makes Brewers fans feel any better about their chances – the Mets, yes, the New York Mets, are slated to win the NL East with roughly 88 games here in 2020, according to PECOTA. The Nationals, World Series Champions and all, are a game behind at 87 wins. My favorite for that division, the Atlanta Braves, are slightly to finish ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers with 83 wins. PECOTA was correct on the Brewers projection to win 89 games – but I would venture to guess myself that my projection for the club will be slightly above that, perhaps around 83-84 wins personally. More on that later -WGL