Holding a shortened MLB season in the middle of a global pandemic is going to present challenges. More than any other sport, baseball is a grind. Over the course of a 162-game season, the best teams usually rise to the top.
But over a 60-game stretch, anything can happen. Baseball Prospectus unveiled updated MLB projections Wednesday, and while the division leaders haven’t changed drastically, there’s plenty of potential for the pandemic-shortened season to produce unusual results.
Who’s a favorite now? Who dropped back?
The biggest change in the projections comes in the National League East. In the projections Baseball Prospectus ran in February, the New York Mets were projected to narrowly win the division over the Washington Nationals. This time around, the Nationals are a slight favorite. Washington is projected for 32.8 wins in 2020. The Mets are now projected to win 32.3 games, so it should be a close race.
Over in the American League West, the Oakland Athletics are now projected to finish second in the division over the Los Angels Angels. Oakland is projected for 31.6 wins. The Angels sit at 31.4 wins.
Other than that, the projected standings are probably what you would expect. The Los Angeles Dodgers are projected for the most wins, sitting at 38.4. The New York Yankees(36.4) and Houston Astros (36.1) aren’t far behind. The National League Central remains a giant mess. The Cincinnati Reds (32.8) are projected to win the division, but the fourth-place Milwaukee Brewers (30.0) are not far behind.