Both Baseball Prospectus and USA Today released their annual win total projections for the entire league, and both publications agree that the National League East race will be decided by one game. The two publications disagree, however, on which team will win the NL East crown.
Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA system projects that the Amazins will finish 88-74, one game better than the Nationals. PECOTA does see the Nationals hosting the Giants in the NL Wild Card game, though. Also of note is the fact that PECOTA projects the Mets to allow only 649 runs—second in the NL behind the Dodgers. PECOTA sees the Mets’ offense as being middle-of-the-pack, as their projected 716 runs scored would be good for 8th in the NL.
USA Today’s six-person panel of reporters and editors is actually slightly more bullish on the Mets, predicting them to finish 89-73. However, their projections also see the Nationals winning 90 games and taking the division title. USA Today does project the Mets to reach the NL Wild Card game for a rematch with the Giants.
Interestingly, USA Today also opines that the Mets and Nationals do not have “much of a rivalry,” speculating that a closer race this year could change that. Mets fans who attended Mets-Nationals games over the past couple of years may not agree with this sentiment.
Neither publication projects the Braves, Marlins, or Phillies to reach 80 wins.