Mathematicians predict Cy Young winners

November 8, 2005

Two Rhode Island mathematicians say they have calculated who will win the 2005 Major League Baseball Cy Young awards.

Mathematicians Rebecca Sparks and her husband, David Abrahamson of Rhode Island College say they've developed a mathematical formula that indicates the winners will be pitchers Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals and Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees.

The actual winners, representing the most outstanding American League and National League pitchers during the regular season, will be announced this week by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, whose members vote on the awards. The American League winner will be revealed Tuesday and the National League winner will be announced Thursday.

The researchers say they structured their formula to predict voting results for starting pitchers, who almost always win the award. However, their formula reveals a lack of standout AL starters this year, suggesting the AL award will go to relief pitcher Mariano Rivera for his extraordinary 2005 season.

Sparks and Abrahamson presented their model in the April issue of Math Horizons, published by the Mathematical Association of America.

Abrahamson will discuss the model during a regional MAA meeting Nov. 18-19 at the University of New Hampshire.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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