Los Angeles, 99 wins
Boston, 97 wins
New York Yankees, 95 wins
Kansas City, 69 wins
San Diego, 68 wins
Washington, 55 wins
Based on Baseball Prospectus’ updated PECOTA team projections, these six teams are the only ones among all 30 teams that are projected to finish with more than 90 or fewer than 70 wins this season. The other 24 teams comprise the entire divisions of the NL Central (currently five teams within four games of the lead) and AL West (currently three teams within five games of the lead).
It is a shocking display of parity amongst a vast majority of the teams in baseball and should lead to among other things, a rather stagnant trading deadline as a remarkable nine teams in the AL and 12 teams in the NL are currently in or within five games of a playoff berth. That is 21 teams in total that right now would consider themselves to have a reasonable shot at post season play.
As boring as that might make July 31st, it should make August and September exciting. And with the economy the way it is, there might be more post-July 31st deals this season with more teams reluctant to lay waiver claims on expensive players. Of course the economy might also prevent teams from trading for some of those hefty salaries, but with the playoffs in more direct sight and a more tangible pay off looming in terms of ticket sales, perhaps teams will pull the trigger more often.
Even if not, we stand a good chance at seeing some close finishes for playoff spots, even if the eventual winner is around the 88-win mark instead of the usual 92 wins or so.
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