Predicting the 2021 MLB Standings

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It's Opening Week of the 2021 baseball season, with a full 162-game schedule on deck beginning Thursday. 

Need a quick rundown on where each team stands? Is your team tanking or trying? Spending or scrimping? Here are the projected regular-season standings for each league.

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American League East

1. New York Yankees (97-65)

Order, restored: The Yankees should match the AL’s highest payroll with the league’s best record.

2. Toronto Blue Jays (91-71)

A batch of new faces—George Springer, Marcus Semien, Steven Matz—definitely signals a new era for the Jays.

3. Tampa Bay Rays (86-76)

It hurts to trade away Blake Snell, but if any team can succeed when it looks like it shouldn’t, it’s the Rays.

4 Boston Red Sox (80-82)

They may not have actively torn down any more this winter—but they sure didn’t start building back up.

5. Baltimore Orioles (62-100)

It should be yet another looong summer. At least Trey Mancini is back after recovering from colon cancer.

American League Central

1. Chicago White Sox (94-68)

A talented young core will make Tony La Russa’s return season a fun one. He’s back with the Sox after 35 years.

2. Minnesota Twins (92-70)

They weren’t particularly aggressive this winter (Nelson Cruz is back!), but they’re still a good bet to reach the postseason.

3. Cleveland (81-81)

This pitching staff is still a force—but a league-low payroll did no favors this winter for a paltry offense.

4. Kansas City Royals (78-84)

Despite a few notable acquisitions (outfielder Andrew Benintendi, for one), their outlook is bleak.

5. Detroit Tigers (64-98)

The bright spot here? At least they’re better than the Orioles. AJ Hinch also came aboard as manager.

American League West

1. Los Angeles Angels (90-72)

In spring training’s first week, Shohei Ohtani threw 100 mph and hit a 468-foot homer. Can he do it all year?

2. Houston Astros (88-74)

Losing center fielder George Springer will sting, but the Astros are still, well, the Astros.

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3. Oakland Athletics (86-76)

The A's did their best to replace key players who departed, but it still won’t be enough to catch Houston or L.A.

4. Seattle Mariners (69-93)

Fans have the call-up of top prospect Jarred Kelenic to look forward to and ... not a whole lot else.

5. Texas Rangers (63-99)

This is officially a rebuild, and it might be rough for a while. Enjoy the (new) new stadium.

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National League East

1. Atlanta Braves (92-70)

They came agonizingly close to beating the Dodgers last year to win the pennant. This year they’ll do it.

2. New York Mets (89-73)

Steve Cohen’s cash can’t buy championships, but it can keep Francisco Lindor around for years to come.

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3. Washington Nationals (88-74)

The NL East is loaded, but any team anchored by Max Scherzer and Juan Soto can’t be overlooked.

4. Philadelphia Phillies (82-80)

The bullpen (7.06 ERA in ’20) won’t be historically bad, but the NL’s longest playoff drought should continue.

5. Miami Marlins (71-91)

Phenom righthander Sixto Sánchez makes this team worth watching once every five days.

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National League Central

1. St. Louis Cardinals (85-77)

How do you fix one of baseball’s worst offenses? Easy. Trade for Nolan Arenado.

2. Milwaukee Brewers (84-78)

Relievers Josh Hader and Devin Williams are already giving hitters late-inning nightmares.

3. Chicago Cubs (81-81)

Yu Darvish and Jon Lester have exited. Will Javier Báez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo go next?

4. Cincinnati Reds (73-89)

Losing Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer to the Dodgers in free agency squashes their chances of an October return.

5. Pittsburgh Pirates (57-105)

Baseball’s worst team deteriorated even further after trading Josh Bell and Joe Musgrove over the winter.

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National League West

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (101-61)

The champs got better (welcome, Trevor Bauer), but so did several of the teams chasing them.

2. San Diego Padres (97-65)

After winning the winter and revamping their pitching staff, the Padres are still second best in the West.

3. San Francisco Giants (79-83)

The sun is setting on the championship tenure of Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey.

4. Arizona Diamondbacks (73-89)

They better hope Year 2 of Madison Bumgarner’s stay in the desert goes better than Year 1 (6.48 ERA).

5. Colorado Rockies (58-104)

At least Coors Field is beautiful and star shortstop Trevor Story hasn’t been traded ... yet.