Baseball Pro PECOTA system projects Rays for 84-78
The Rays off-season moves - to this point - have gotten, at best, mixed reviews, seemingly even less so locally.
But the computers driving the Baseball Prospectus PECOTA system sure seem to like them, projecting the Rays to finish 84-78, which would have them right in the battle for a playoff spot.
Overall, PECOTA tags the Rays for second in the AL East, behind the Red Sox, and sixth overall in the AL:
Red Sox 90-72
And it has the AL East looking like this:
Red Sox 90-72
Blue Jays 82-80
The key to the Rays projected success is their run prevention - pitching and defense - which has them allowing only 691 runs, fourth fewest in the AL, while scoring 722 runs, 10th most.
A couple things to know:
One, is that moves made going forward and injuries can change the projections, which will be updated during the spring.
Two, the projections are only that, the product of complicated math. Known officially as the Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm, it is Prospectus' proprietary system that projects player performance based on comparisons with thousands of historical player-seasons. Prospectus then projects playing time and uses the projected individual statistics to determine the team's record.
Here is a link to the Baseball Prospectus projections.