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USA Today releases 2016 standing predictions

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The USA Today has released their 2016 standing predictions complete with records for each team.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2016 season looming, the USA Today has taken it upon themselves to predict the outcome. Not only did the predict the standings, but they also predicted the win-loss record of each team. While some seem fairly reasonable, there are others that seem to stand off the page. Such is the nature of predictions though. There's a reason the games are played.

Drawing special attention to their "semi-scientific stab at the standings come Oct. 2," the USA Today's Gabe Lacques adds the caveat "unlike the many excellent projection models out there, we are not beholden to formulas capable of producing strikingly accurate statistical projections, but lack an occasionally necessary human element."

While there seem to be many level-headed predictions, there are a number of bold ones as well.

The Chicago White Sox are expected to hop right into first place after adding Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie. The AL Central should be a hotly-contested division this upcoming summer. A case can be made that all five teams finish first in that division. The Minnesota Twins do seem like the long shot of the five though, and were placed at the bottom. To his credit, Lacques addresses how difficult this division will be in the article.

Other notable predictions are that there will be three 100-loss seasons next year. That hasn't happened since 1985.

While the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies do seem like historically bad teams, it's hard to imagine a series of events in which three teams lose 100 games and only one team wins 100 games.

As bad as the Rockies are, they haven't finished in the triple-digit-loss range in franchise history.

It should be worth noting that, according to Depth Charts projections -- which is beholden to a formula -- no team will finish with triple-digit wins or losses. Projection systems are notably conservative in their approach, which is partially what Lacques is getting at. However, there is a lot of luck and randomness in baseball that nobody can truly predict.

Lacques predicts the Chicago Cubs to finish at the top of major league baseball with 101 wins. Depth Charts projections agrees, but with only 94 wins. Somewhere in the middle seems likely.

Lacques predicts the Phillies to finish at the bottom of all of baseball with 101 losses. Depth Charts agrees once more, but only suggests 96 losses, which is still a substantial total.

Which predictions strike you as the strangest? The Atlanta Braves finishing a whole six wins better than the Phillies? Will the New York Mets really follow up a World Series appearance by not making the postseason? Will anyone ever take the Kansas City Royals seriously?