Sports

Newark Math Professor Predicts MLB Post-season Teams

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Sorry New York Yankees and Mets fans. A Newark math professor predicts your teams won't make the post season.

New Jersey Institute of Technology math professor Bruce Bukiet predicts the Boston Red Sox will top the American League East and the Washington Nationals will take the National League East.

Bukiet, who is also an associate dean at the Newark college and a Mets fan, has just published his model’s projections of how the standings should look at the end of Major League Baseball’s regular season in 2017.

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It's the 20th year that Bukiet has applied mathematical analysis to compute the number of regular season games each Major League Baseball team should win. Last year, he correctly predicted 8 of the 10 MLB post-season teams in 2016 and that the St. Louis Cardinals would just miss making the playoffs.

Though his expertise is in mathematical modeling (rather than baseball), his projections have consistently compared well with those of so-called experts.

Bukiet predicts the Mets should make the playoffs, but the Washington Nationals, with 97 wins, should repeat as winners of the National League East.

The World Champion Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers should repeat as winner of the National League Central and West Divisions with 104 wins each to lead the Major Leagues.

The San Francisco Giants with 95 wins should be the fifth National League post-season team.

The same five teams, which were correctly called by Bukiet, made the post-season in 2016 and once again the St. Louis Cardinals with 88 wins should be the best team that doesn’t make the post-season – though it shouldn’t be so close this time.

In the American League, Bukiet’s model has the Boston Red Sox winning 91 games to clinch the American League East and the Cleveland Indians winning 99 games and repeating as division winners in the American League Central.

Bukiet predicts the Houston Astros to win 94 games and the American League West. Last year, Bukiet also predicted the Astros would win, which did not pan out. The Texas Rangers won that division.

The model calls for the Toronto Blue Jays to win 90 games and the Detroit Tigers with 86 wins to be the American League Wild Card teams. The Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees should all be 6 games behind the Tigers and thus not make the post-season.

At the other end of the spectrum, the San Diego Padres with 53 wins should replace the Minnesota Twins as the team with the worst record in baseball. The Padres should win just over half as many games as the division winning Dodgers, ending up 51 games out of first place. The White Sox with 64 wins should win the least games in the American League.

Bukiet makes these projections to demonstrate and promote the power of math. He wants to show young people that math can be fun, that it can be applied to improve one’s understanding of many aspects of life and that if you love mathematics, it can be a great college major and lead to a satisfying career.

Bukiet bases his projections on a mathematical model he started developing in the late 1980s. He has made various revisions over the years. His results have been noted in many publications and he has been predictions champ at baseballphd.net several times.  See more results for his baseball modeling, including the projected wins for each of the 30 Major League Baseball teams, at  http://web.njit.edu/~bukiet/baseball/baseball.html and at www.egrandslam.com. 

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