2019 MLB Projected Standings & Preseason Ratings

Today we’re going to do something we’ve never done before … post our MLB projections before Selection Sunday!

Last year was the earliest opening day in MLB history, and this year they’re getting it started even earlier, with games in Tokyo starting March 20th.

We’re ready. Here are our 2019 MLB preseason ratings and 2019 MLB projected standings.

As always, the main purpose of our preseason MLB ratings is to provide a data-driven starting point for our MLB projected standings.

They also drive our MLB postseason seed projections and our other MLB season projection details. These include fully automated win-loss predictions, playoff chances, and World Series win odds.

We’ll update these every day to reflect the latest results and most up to date MLB power ratings.

How We Create The Preseason Ratings

For football and basketball, we use our own data and models to come up with independent estimates of team quality. We then compare those to the market, and to other projections, and make final adjustments.

We treat baseball a bit differently, though. So far at least, our methods for projecting MLB aren’t as cutting edge, relative to other sports.

So rather than trying to create our own preseason ratings, and deriving a season projection from those, we base our initial MLB projected standings on a weighted average of betting market info and projected standings from other well respected sources.

Essentially, we combine projected win total info from various sources into a consensus win total projection for every team. Then we figure out what preseason team ratings would lead to those exact projections.

We’re still publishing these, so that you know what the initial rating in our projection system was for each team. But at this point we can’t recommend using these MLB projected standings to go place preseason bets, for example, if for no other reason than we haven’t done extensive backtesting of our approach.

A Seemingly Narrow Win Distribution

You may look at the projections below and think that they aren’t extreme enough. In a way, you’d be right — the best team in the league will probably win more than the 97 games we’ve forecast for the Yankees. And there’s a good chance the worst team (*cough* Orioles *cough*) will lose more than 104.

But if a team wins 100 games this year, it’s going to be because things have gone better than could have reasonably been expected to start the season. And picking which teams will wildly exceed expectations is rather tricky. On average these conservative predictions should provide a less biased starting point than more aggressive ones.

More Team Projection Details

If you’d like to see our more aggressive best case and worst case scenarios for each team, check out their team projections page. Here are the LA Dodgers projections and the Baltimore Orioles projections as examples.

Click through to find a chart showing the projected odds of the Dodgers or Orioles winning any specific number of games. From the details in the Orioles’ chart, you can glean that we project about a 2% chance for them to lose 120 or more games. Gulp!

The projections detail page also includes a list of each team’s toughest & easiest games, and a table showing how their chances of winning the World Series change depending on what seed they get in the playoffs.

2019 MLB Projected Standings Highlights

A few years ago, starting with the market projected standings and working backwards to ratings gave us implied ratings where the NL took up most of the bottom spots in the rankings, and the AL took up most of the top spots. The world at large thought the top of the AL was great, and the bottom of the NL was terrible.

That trend is over, and this year’s preseason ratings are more favorable to the NL:

  • 7 of the top 10 teams are from the NL
  • 9 of the bottom 10 teams are from the AL. including the bottom 4

2019 MLB Projected Playoff Results

Here is how the playoffs would play out, if these projections are spot on (numbers below refer to the team’s playoff seed within their league).

Wild Card Round:

  • #4 Nationals over #5 Brewers
  • #4 Red Sox over #5 Twins

Division Round:

  • #1 Dodgers over #4 Nationals
  • #2 Phillies over #3 Cardinals
  • #1 Yankees over #4 Red Sox
  • #2 Astros over #3 Indians

League Championship Series:

  • #1 Dodgers over #2 Phillies
  • #2 Astros over #1 Yankees

World Series:

  • #2 Astros over #1 Dodgers

Full Preseason 2019 MLB Projected Standings

American League
AL EastWLTR RankPlayoffsWin DivTop SeedWS Champs
NY Yankees97.364.7290.5%57.4%32.5%12.7%
Tampa Bay84.377.71737.1%6.9%2.5%1.4%
AL CentralWLPlayoffsWin DivTop SeedWS Champs
Chi Sox72.589.5255.4%2.8%0.0%0.1%
Kansas City69.592.5282.4%1.2%0.0%0.0%
AL WestWLPlayoffsWin DivTop SeedWS Champs
LA Angels82.279.81929.3%9.5%1.5%1.2%
National League
NL EastWLPlayoffsWin DivTop SeedWS Champs
NY Mets85.176.91037.9%17.9%6.2%3.3%
NL CentralWLPlayoffsWin DivTop SeedWS Champs
St. Louis87.674.4550.5%31.9%9.8%5.7%
Chi Cubs85.976.1843.4%25.8%7.7%4.5%
NL WestWLPlayoffsWin DivTop SeedWS Champs
LA Dodgers92.969.1178.3%67.4%26.2%13.2%
San Diego77.784.31613.0%6.1%0.9%0.7%
SF Giants7389224.8%2.2%0.2%0.2%