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MLB 2016 season predictions

The MLB Daily Dish writers put together their predictions for the upcoming season.

Eric Christian Smith/Getty Images

With Opening Day inching closer, we here at The Dish decided to put together some predictions. Instead of doing it the conventional way, we did things a bit differently.

Five of the writers on staff assigned win totals for every team. Then the score was averaged between all of us, and you have our consensus rankings for the upcoming season. Without further ado:

AL East

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Baltimore Orioles

It appears as though at least some of us on staff here appreciate the moves the Red Sox made. However, despite having the highest win total, only two of the five writers picked the Red Sox to finish first in the division. The other three picked the Blue Jays.

The Orioles were the team that staff disagreed upon the most in this division, with the lowest prediction at 71 and the highest at 79. With only nine wins separating first from fourth, the AL East was a difficult division to predict.

AL Central

Cleveland Indians
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Detroit Tigers
Minnesota Twins

Our staff seems to believe in the bad-luck Indians of last year. According to their third-order Pythag win percentage, the Indians should have won around 93 games last year. They'll have to overcome missing one of their best players in Michael Brantley, but their starting rotation could end up being the best in the division.

With only 10 wins separating first from last, the AL Central was the toughest division for our writers to call. Like the AL East, the Indians are only one win above the second-place team. And, exactly like the Red Sox, only two of our writers actually picked them to win the division. The other three picked the Royals. The highest overall win-total of the division was also handed to the Royals. But, it appears, the doubters are are still loud.

AL West

Houston Astros
Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics

The Astros are set to overcome the Rangers this season according to our staff. The predictions were made before it was announced that Lance McCullers would start the offseason on the disabled list. However, the rotation is more-than-buoyed by Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh. Throw in one of the best middle-infields in baseball, and new closer Ken Giles and the Astros could take a significant step forward in 2016 and become the best team in the American League.

The team our staff disagreed on the most was the Angels. The lowest score given was 69 and the highest was 88 which helped to contribute to a standard deviation from the mean of over seven. Simply put, we can't decide on who the Angels are. They were given a last-place finish, two fourth-place finishes, a third-place finish, and a second-place finish.

NL East

New York Mets
Washington Nationals
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves

We have ourselves our first tie. Technically though, our staff picked the Mets and the tie is a result of some rounding. Averaging out the Mets score, our staff gave them 89.4 wins, while the Nationals were granted 88.8 wins. Three of us picked the Mets to finish first, and the other two picked the Nationals.

If the Angels were the team we agreed upon the least, our staff really felt confident about our Mets predictions. With win totals only ranging between 88 and 91, we clustered together nicely.

Similarly, it appears we separated the NL East into three distinct tiers: contenders, rebuilders, and the Marlins. The Marlins were picked to finish third by all five of us. The Braves were picked to finish with 100 losses by two of us, and the Phillies were picked to finish with 100 losses by one of us.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates
St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers
Cincinnati Reds

Like everyone else in the world, we picked the Cubs to finish first in all of baseball. While their starting rotation is probably their one worrying spot, their bench depth is second-to-none. No other team will start the season with players as good as Jorge Soler and Javier Baez on their bench.

While the Reds consensus rank is the same as the Braves, they were actually given the worst overall ranking by one of our writers -- a 102-loss season. The Cubs came the closest to getting a 100-win prediction with two of us giving them 99. However, that didn't stop the Pirates from stealing one first-place finish. That makes the Astros the only team that all five of us marked as a first-place team.

Perhaps most interestingly, we have the Cardinals missing the postseason for the first time in five seasons. While it isn't by much, the second-place teams from every National League division are slated to finish better than them.

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies

Another tie! And this time the tiebreaker was a lot closer with the Dodgers pegged for 90.4 wins and the Giants pegged for 90.2 wins. Three of our writers actually picked the Giants to finish first in the division. It appears some of us may believe in the even-year pattern of Giants supremacy. Or perhaps they just believe in the fact that they made key additions in the offseason while the Dodgers lost Zack Greinke. One of our writers even picked the Diamondbacks to finish second over the Dodgers.

The Rockies, like the Reds, were also given a 102-loss prediction by one of our writers. In a division where there could be three contenders, the Rockies look like they could be the team that gets beat up on the most. The Padres have the same standard deviation as the Mets with all of their predictions clustering between 72 and 75. In short, we decisively think of them as a fourth-place team.