The annual MLB PECOTA Projections dropped on Tuesday to a lot of backlash from some fans. Teams expected to be winners in 2020 were instead projected to miss the playoffs entirely, and these five teams specifically got really snubbed in the projected standings.
5. Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves truly looked like one of the most promising young teams for 2020. After gaining a year of playoff experience, when they took the St. Louis Cardinals to Game 5 of the NLDS, you'd assume they'd keep pressing forward, despite the loss of Josh Donaldson. An extra year of development for Max Fried and Mike Soroka on the mound, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Austin Riley at the dish, and the addition of Marcell Ozuna seem to not matter to the PECOTA Projections, as they have them instead losing the NL East to the New York Mets by five games.
4. Milwaukee Brewers
The 2019 Milwaukee Brewers folded at the hands of the eventual World Series champion Washington Nationals because of an error. Their MVP front-runner Christian Yelich was injured for this game, so to have him back for 2020 might completely cancel out the losses of Mike Moustakas and Eric Thames. The Cincinnati Reds, a team that's missed the playoffs every year since 2012, the declining Chicago Cubs, and the aging St. Louis Cardinals are not the teams that are going to surpass the Brewers in the NL Central in 2020. Why on earth would the Crew finish fourth and under .500?
3. Toronto Blue Jays
An infield led by Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio should make the Toronto Blue Jays perennial contenders by 2021. They could get their start in 2020, but the PECOTA Projections don't think so. It seems the acquisition of Hyun Jin-Ryu doesn't matter much, either, as the Jays are projected to finish eight games under .500 in a year their prized possessions are supposed to begin maturing. That's a massive improvement from last year's real-world mark, but they were certainly hoping for a bigger bounce.
2. St. Louis Cardinals
The veteran-loaded St. Louis Cardinals mashed past the young, surging Braves in the NLDS, just to get swept by the older Nationals in the NLCS. Despite making it so far and losing to the World Series champs, the PECOTA Projection has the Cardinals finishing behind the new-look Reds and the declining Cubs. This is while they have Paul Goldschmidt, Yadier Molina, Kolten Wong, and Jack Flaherty on their roster. Are the Cardinals really going to go from the brink of the Fall Classic to irrelevance that quickly?
1. Philadelphia Phillies
With a new manager in Joe Girardi, a new shortstop in Didi Gregorius, and a new second starter in Zack Wheeler, the Philadelphia Phillies have looked like they belong among the frontrunners to win the NL East in 2020 all offseason. Unfortunately, PECOTA only gives them a 9% chance to make the playoffs. Sure, the Mets look like they'll be a solid team, but they are mostly young and unproven, while Gregorius, Bryce Harper, and Andrew McCutchen are just a few of the proven solid pieces the Phillies have. Philly got the short end of the stick in these 2020 Playoff projections.