With Spring Training just around the corner and hope springing eternal for most baseball fans, Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections always have to ruin it for some.

The Nate Silver-inspired algorithm that digests decades of data, grinds it up into team depth charts and spits out a win-loss projection has just been released.

Since its inception in 2003, PECOTA, which stands for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm, has been quite accurate with forecasting outcomes.

Last season, for example, PECOTA had the Cubs winning 91 games; they won 92. It also had the World Champion Astros leading the AL with 99 wins; they won 101. And, it had the NL Champion Dodgers winning 99; they won 104.

In 2016, it correctly picked all five NL playoff teams.

This season, PECOTA has the Cubs projected to win 89 games, tops in the NL Central with the Cardinals (84) and Brewers (83) in pursuit.

As for the rebuilding White Sox, PECOTA forecasts a 73-win season in the AL Central, far behind the division-leading Indians (97).

PECOTA projects the Astros and Dodgers to top both leagues again with 99 wins apiece.

CLICK HERE for the full projected standings.

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