By Michael Klopman
As most baseball fans know, Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projections were recently released. We're going to give fans a chance to predict whether teams will finish over or under their projected win totals, just like Will Leitch did.
Heading into the 2016 season, Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projections had the Tampa Bay Rays finishing in first place in the American League East with 91 wins. Three other teams were projected to have winning records -- the Boston Red Sox (88 wins), Toronto Blue Jays (86 wins) and New York Yankees (85 wins) -- with the Baltimore Orioles in last with 72 wins. At the end of the regular season, the AL East did in fact have four winning teams, but the Rays were not one of them and the Orioles outperformed their projected win total by 17 wins.
This year, PECOTA remains high on the Rays -- but higher on the Red Sox -- and low on the O's. The Red Sox are projected to repeat as division champions at 90-72 and for good reason: They may have lost the legendary David Ortiz (38 homers and a 163 wRC+ in 2016) to retirement, but they also traded for lefty ace Chris Sale and have plenty of rising stars throughout their Major League roster.
The Rays and Yankees are right behind Boston, respectively. BP has the Blue Jays, who lost Edwin Encarnacion but kept Jose Bautista, finishing at .500. The O's, who have outperformed their win total in each of the last five seasons and have the most wins of any team in the AL over that span, are projected to finish in last place, as usual.
Now it's your turn. Make your over/under picks below!
American League East
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays