The beginning of each new baseball season marks the annual tradition of prognosticators attempting to prognosticate how each individual player will do, how each team will fare, and how the divisions will shake out when all is said and done. Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) projections are another educated attempt at playing psychic on a 162-game season that will inevitably have twists and turns that flip all pre-season projections on their head, but there is value in seeing mathematical data behind what amounts to guessing. Besides, we're still a few days away from Spring Training games, so what better to occupy our time with than discussing the rapidly approaching season before us?

According to this season's PECOTA projections, the Yankees' quiet offseason and questionable projected lineup won't keep them from taking home the American League East crown again in 2013 by an impressive six-game margin with 92 wins. It seems a bit optimistic to have the Yankees coasting to that easy of a victory in one of the more difficult divisions in baseball, especially considering the gaping holes in their lineup that have not been filled. Can a team with a fragile left side of the infield, an offensive black hole at catcher, and a potentially historically powerless outfield really take the AL East on the backs of a question mark-riddled pitching staff by six games? I'm skeptical. I believe in this team as a perennial playoff threat, but I'm just not sure I see them running away with their division as one of the teams tied for the second-most wins in baseball behind the Dodgers by only one game.