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PECOTA says Mariners eight games better than defending champs

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The 1s and 0s have announced their conclusion, and it's not so bad.

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After yesterday, and USA Today's entertaining game of pin-the-win-loss-record-on-the-team-meets-Dizzy-Bat, today saw the release of the congenial, respected grandfather of the projections game, PECOTA. There are plenty of other projections systems out there, of various methodology and merit. You can (and definitely should) read USS Mariner's Marc W break a few of those down after you're done here.

You should gander at all of it, and later BP will release the full player projections as well, but the summary is the model has the Mariners going 84-78, good enough for 2nd in the AL West behind Houston. That's encouraging, and a result I think most Mariner fans would take at this point. Of course PECOTA still has the team missing the 2nd Wild Card by one game for the second time in three seasons, and that's something I imagine far fewer are willing to accept.

Reactions and opinions to things like PECOTA vary wildly from fan to fan, and fanbase to fanbase. The system infamously projected the Royals to win 72 games last year, despite them making the World Series the year prior. This season, after winning the whole thing Kansas City has seen their win projection upped to......76. Meanwhile the Mariners disastrous 2015 was only enough to see their projected win total fall from 87 to 84.

As always with these things it's important to remember what PECOTA does, and what it does not. That "E" in there stands for "Empirical" as in "unbiased" as in "science without care or preference". The "A" stands for "Algorithm" meaning that all the data is fed into a heartless formula that has been carefully refined over time to narrow its error bars as much as possible. It is cold, it is detached, and it hates your team, and you, as it hates all carbon based lifeforms. PECOTA would indeed be flawless, if humans would simply do what they are supposed to do.

Really, as someone with great respect for the science of baseball projections, and only a very layman's understanding of how they work, today is a fun day to take in some data, and another sign that the season is getting closer. People will get upset, people will claim bias, people will use the opportunity to grandstand their own, better projections, etc. In many ways it's just another day for everyone to argue over something we can't prove of disprove. Welcome to the Internet, friends. But, for today, take solace in knowing that one of the industry's most respected projections systems has been fed the data of Jerry's mad offseason, and thinks he may have built himself a fun, competitive team. I can't imagine a much better outcome for today.