You’d think projecting win totals for all 30 Major League Baseball teams in early February would be a perilous task.
And you’d think that task would be all the more difficult in this unprecedented winter, when 100 perfectly employable, in some cases elite, ballplayers are sitting at home, victims of (pick one) front office actuaries/collusive thoughts among billionaires/their own stubborn nature.
Yet if 2017 proved anything, it’s that the Tanking Era we’re in the heart of makes this job much easier.
Our win totals – comprised of season simulations provided by six writers and editors – correctly forecast all six division winners last year. It’s not because we’re brilliant – reader comments and email indisputably put that notion to rest – but simply because at a time when so few teams are trying to win, the chance that a “surprise team” messes up the calculus is greatly diminished.
It’s also why in 2018, we envision five of six division winners repeating, with the sixth merely swapping wild-card and division champion roles.