- Dan Szymborski, ESPN Insider
Using the ZiPS projection system, a Monte Carlo simulation and a few scary-sounding bits of math stuff, the 2012 season was simmed a million times to see which teams projected to come out on top.
For each team we've provided their projected record, as well as their odds of winning the division, making the playoffs and winning the World Series. Additionally, you'll find each club's 95th- and fifth-percentile projected win totals, which is basically a best- and worst-case scenario for everyone.
Some predictions will end up looking prescient and some decidedly less so, but part of the fun of the baseball season is watching players and teams shred all the expectations.
Today, we'll project and analyze the American League divisions. On Friday, we'll tackle the National League.
American League East
The AL East should look quite similar to what we've seen in recent seasons: a three-way battle between three of the elite teams, the Toronto Blue Jays hanging around .500 and the Baltimore Orioles hoping that baseball's next structural change doesn't involve a soccer-style relegation. Michael Pineda's apparent exchange of mph on his fastball for inches on his waist notwithstanding, the New York Yankees addressed the bottom-of-the-rotation weakness more aggressively than last season. While the team is old, the Yankees have a strong case for being the best team in the division.
Dan Szymborski of Baseball Think Factory uses the ZiPS projection system to predict the division races and pick winners in the American League East, Central and West for the 2012 season.