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This Week in Projections

I’m about to drive myself mad waiting for pitchers and catchers to report on Wednesday, so to kill some time, let’s take a look at some projected standings.

The CAIRO projection system has the Reds winning the NL Central with an average of 87.2 wins after 10,000 simulations. The Brewers are tied with the Cardinals with an average win total of 86.6, although the Brewers are trailing both teams when it comes to actual playoff odds. Cincinnati makes the playoffs 41.8% of the time in the CAIRO simulations, with St. Louis just a touch behind at 40.9%. Milwaukee is a good 5% behind, making the playoffs in 35.9% of the simulations. The Brewers only win the division 26.5% of the time with CAIRO, as opposed to 31.8% for the Reds and 31.0% for the Cards.

I wanted to compare this to the PECOTA projections, which always seem to be evolving. The latest update to their playoff odds was made Sunday night, and they currently have the Brewers winning the NL Central with an average win total of 85.5. That’s a rather comfy lead over the Cardinals (83.2) and the Reds (82.7). Perhaps the most surprising part, though, is the overall playoff odds. PECOTA currently has the Brewers making the playoffs 40.8% of the time, with St. Louis only making it in 30.9% of the simulations and Cincinnati’s odds of returning to October being roughly 29%. In nearly 1/3 of the PECOTA projections, the Brewers win the division.

PECOTA looks really, really good right now if you’re a Brewers fan, but it’s important to remember that these projections are prone to quick and sudden changes, as we saw last year. I’m not even sure they’re official numbers, as the Team Audit pages still reflect 2010 numbers. Still, it’s something fun to look at and think about.