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Reason for optimism? PECOTA forecasts Rays to make playoffs

By Times Staff Writer
Published: February 8, 2018
TimesRays leftfielder Mallex Smith (0), centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) and rightfielder Peter Bourjos (18) celebrate after a September win.

Baseball Prospectus released its annual PECOTA computer projections Wednesday, and there was a bit of a surprise: The Rays are projected to finish 84-78, which would put them in third place in the AL East … but in the second wild-card position, three games back of the Red Sox. Obviously a lot can and will change before the regular season begins, and PECOTA has been unduly optimistic about the Rays several times in recent years — something others have noticed:

Find someone who loves you as much as PECOTA loves the Rays

— Chris Cwik (@Chris_Cwik) February 7, 2018

Other projections are less surprising — for instance, the Yankees running away with the division, the defending league champion Astros and Dodgers winning 99 games each and the rebuilding Royals and Marlins tying for the worst record in baseball.