Mathematics Professor Says Yankees, Dodgers Should Make World Series

October 14, 2009

With the League Championship Series set to begin tomorrow, NJIT Mathematics Professor Bruce Bukiet has, once again, analyzed the probability of each team winning their post-season series. Bukiet updates his calculations daily during the Major League Baseball post-season.

"The Los Angeles Dodgers have a 63 percent chance of defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in the best of seven National League Championship Series," he said. "The Yankees have an even stronger 68 percent chance of winning the American League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Angels."

While anything can happen in short series, this year's League Championship Series appear likely to be more one-sided than usual, he said. According to Bukiet's , the Yankees have an 11 percent chance of sweeping the American League series, and a 19 percent chance of winning in each of five, six and seven games for a total 68 percent chance of winning the series.

The Angels have a three percent chance of sweeping the Yankees, an eight percent chance of winning in five games and an 11 percent chance of winning in six games. They have a ten percent chance of winning in seven games for a total 32 percent chance of defeating the Yankees.

In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers have a seven percent chance of sweeping the series and a 16 percent chance of winning it in five games. They have a 24 percent chance of winning it in six games and a 16 percent chance of winning in seven games. That gives them a 63 percent chance of winning the series.

The Phillies have a four percent chance to sweep the series, a nine percent chance each of winning in five or six games and a fifteen percent chance of winning in seven games for a 37 percent chance of winning the series.

The model developed by Bukiet was published in Operations Research. The model computes the probability of a team with given hitters, bench, starting pitcher, lineup, relievers and home field advantage winning a game against another team. "Winning the first game in a short series can change a team's fortunes markedly. For example, if the Phillies win the first game against the Dodgers, their chance of winning the series jumps from 37 to 59 percent," he said.

This is the ninth year that Bukiet has used his model to predict the outcome of games each day during the baseball season. His picks (posted on www.egrandslam.com) have led to (slightly) positive results for six of the previous eight years, while this season's results are so far marginally negative.

Source: New Jersey Institute of Technology

Explore further: Mathematician foresees tight races in Major League Baseball's Eastern divisions

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