Every year, a system put together by Baseball Prospectus predicts the the season ahead. PECOTA, which stands for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm, takes a look at player histories and projects what the season ahead could look like. If PECOTA is right for this year, the Minnesota Twins are in for a good year.
Most of the guys on the Twins roster are all players with long histories of being productive or are younger guys with room for likely improvement. That helps out with the team’s overall projections and makes that team more likely to be successful in the real world too.
With the roster picture for each team becoming clearer, the system likes the Minnesota Twins to take home the division crown in 2021.
The Twins were always expected to be a front runner for the division crown, especially after the additions of J.A. Happ, Andrelton Simmons, and the re-signing of Nelson Cruz, but it’s very encouraging to see the Twins ahead of both Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox.
The Twins are currently projected to win 90.6 games in the average simulation, the sixth most in all of baseball behind the Dodgers, Yankees, Mets, Padres, and Astros. That’s good enough to win the division by nearly five whole games.
The Twins also are projected to be tied for the sixth-fewest runs allowed, which makes sense when you look at the major steps forward that they’ve taken on defense (Thank you greatest shortstop defender in a generation Simmons).
While the defense is expected to have a good year, the projections don’t like the offense very much. The Twins are only expected to score 797 times, good for only twelfth in the league. Twelfth sounds nice in terms of being in the top half of the league, but this team finished second in runs in 2019, so I expect a bounce-back.
The Twins also benefit from Cleveland only being expected to win 85.7 games and the White Sox are expected to win 83.1 games. I have a sneaking suspicion that none of those three totals will be accurate in 2021, but it’s still fun to try and predict the future.