Looking at the projected standings you hear the same complaints year after year. "This doesn't look like any standings I'm used to!" "These teams are all bunched together!"
While you might be tempted to say these are stupid people that don't understand how these sites are getting these numbers, really I place a good deal of blame on the guys making the standings themselves. When you attach a definitive win total to a team and put all 30 in standings form, what do you expect fans to do? Of course they are going to compare them to the usual standings and hey, these do look kind of weird in comparison.
The improvements that should be made to avoid this are simple ones. These win totals shouldn't be numbers, they should be ranges. 95% confidence is one standard but if that's too broad cut it down to 75% or whatever feels right. And they shouldn't be placed in standings form. Listing them by division is necessary, you want to compare your team versus its direct competitors, but ranking them would probably be the best. No, that isn't too different than standings but visually this :
Ranking the NL teams
1. WAS 85-89 wins
2. ATL 83-88 wins
3. NYM 73-81 wins
4. MIA 70-79 wins
5. PHI 66-81 wins
is different enough from this :
WAS 87 75
ATL 85 77
NYM 78 84
MIA 75 87
PHI 72 90
to get what I assume your true point is across. I hope you are saying "Here are the teams in the NL East and how I think they compare to eachother" as opposed to "Here are how the teams in the NL East will probably finish next year!" beacuse the former is all you really can say. The latter is mathematical snake oil.
Also, I wish rather than react with the knee-jerk "you just don't get it", there was more "we just don't get it". By that I mean admitting to the reader right up front that there are a bunch of season altering events that we just can't predict. Injuries are huge every season. There are breakout years for a couple young players, and years from veterans where everything seemingly goes wrong. In season deals can change the make-up of a team. Then there is luck. A few more one-run losses or wins than you probably should have and the whole year looks different. All this ranges from just barely predictable (you can somewhat account for injury prone players) to not predictable at all and the wrong injury coupled with bad luck and an offensive collapse from a key player and suddenly your playoff team looks like an also ran. I know people that do projections do admit this, but it's often in small type or after the fact. It should be first thing. We really don't know. Here's our best guess.
Nothing really is going on Nats-wise as everything took a break for the Super Bowl (including the Broncos! Hey Yo!) so I suppose it's time to open up the mailbag. Oh wait. I have no emails because I didn't ask for any questions. Goes to show me.
So here you go : gmail account, natsoftheroundtable
Ask away and sometime later in this week. I'll get back to it.