Projecting the AL standings

If there's ever an article that makes you look back six months later and eat crow, hats or myriad other semi-edible items, it's team predictions. Stories like Baltimore and Oakland in 2012, however, make being wrong a good deal of fun.

Spring is here -- though I wouldn't know it by the snow in my driveway -- so it's time once again to run the final projected standings in the ZiPS projection system and brace for reality. (We'll start with the AL and run the NL on Wednesday.)

Seasons are simulated a million times using a Monte Carlo method, the percentile performance of player projections and estimates of roster construction. There are other bits of mathematical nerdery involved (linear algebra for the win!), but I'm sure you want to get down to the results, so here we go.

AL East

With a few of the historical powers stumbling this year, the O's showing a pulse and Toronto's makeover, there's no division that's more wide open than the American League East.