It’s that time of the year for projections, and it’s also become that time of the year for those projections to constantly overlook the Atlanta Braves.
For four straight years now most of the projection systems have predicted the Atlanta Braves would finish third or fourth in a very good NL East.
And for the past three seasons, the Braves have made those projection systems look pretty silly by winning the division each time.
Now they’ll look to do it for a fourth straight season after the recent PECOTA projections on Baseball Prospectus has them finishing fourth in the NL East with just 82 wins.
They have the New York Mets as the clear favorites in the East projecting them to win 94 games, while the Phillies, Nationals, and Braves are in the 82-85 win range.
To be fair, there isn’t a lot of human elements put into these projections. It’s simply a simulation based on certain factors. Those projections don’t take into account the fact Atlanta has proved them wrong the past three seasons and they were one win away from reaching the World Series last year.
And these projections were also updated after the Braves signed Ozuna, so it’s not like they have that as an excuse.
The NL East will certainly be a tough division in 2021 and I wouldn’t be surprised if any of those top four teams took the crown.
But the Braves have shown they have that winning pedigree and are even deeper in the starting rotation going into 2021.
As I wrote on Monday, am I very concerned with the bench of the Braves, which will be a much bigger factor in 2021 over 162 game schedule with no DH.
But for the most part, this team is set up nicely to make another run at a division title and 82 wins would be a huge disappointment. Here’s to hoping they prove them all wrong again.