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Analyzing the 2017 Projected MLB Standings, As Of Today

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2017 Projected MLB Standings: National League

The Washington Nationals look like a runaway champion in the NL East. Like the Astros, Washington built up a sizable division lead early. Nobody else is worthy of mention in the same paragraph.

It should have been the New York Mets contending with them, but their rotation fell apart. Their disabled list is a mile long and what was the NL’s most feared pitching staffs is now one of the worst. That’s not getting fixed overnight, no matter how talented some of these guys are. BP predicts the Mets in third at 77-85 in what would be a bitter disappointment of a year. Nevertheless, the potential accuracy level of that guess is high.

Perhaps the most surprising division this year is the NL Central. The Cubbies finally won the World Series and the hope was that they’d mow down their division foes again in 2017. It hasn’t happened, as the Cubs are stuck in neutral and the Milwaukee Brewers, of all teams, rule the roost.

Baseball Prospectus figures in their 2017 projected MLB standings that Chicago will still win the division. Yet, they’re doing it at 86-76, a full 17 games worse than last year. Chicago’s hitting is below average this year and their pitching barely holds its own. Milwaukee is actually overperforming, despite a projected 82-80 finish, but the division is wide open. The Cubs, in all likelihood, will take it, but this is a weak vote of confidence.

Finally, the NL West is a race to the top instead of the bottom. The Dodgers, Rockies, and Diamondbacks are all excelling and have fairly equal chances of a division title. This predicts the Los Angeles Dodgers do it at 95-67. That would also make them the top seed in the National League.

As long as Clayton Kershaw’s arm is attached, they will contend. Give the Dodgers credit for what they’ve done, but the Rockies and Snakes are also impressive. Colorado is loaded with young talent and Arizona looks the way they should have last season. LAD-COL-ARI, in that order, seems a fair prediction. Any combination of those three would, but Los Angeles is the best team on paper. All three would make the playoffs with ease.

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