NJIT mathematician's 2015 Major League Baseball projections
The snow is almost gone in the northeast and that means baseball season cannot be far behind. Like most seasons, some teams look like they will continue to dominate their competition while others may spring some surprises. This is the 18th year that NJIT Mathematical Sciences Professor and Associate Dean Bruce Bukiet has published his model's projections of how the standings should look at the end of the regular season. Over the years, Bukiet has applied mathematical analysis to compute the number of regular season games each Major League Baseball team should win. Though his expertise is in mathematical modeling (rather than baseball), his projections have consistently compared well with those of so-called experts.
The numbers indicate that only one game might separate the first and second place teams in the American League (AL) West division, with the Seattle Mariners (90 wins) edging out the Los Angeles Angels (89 wins) while both teams make it to the playoffs. Bukiet expects the Detroit Tigers to take the AL Central with 94 wins, while the Toronto Blue Jays should surprise in the AL East with a mere 85 wins giving them a 5 game lead over the second place Yankees. In addition to the Los Angeles Angels, the Oakland A's (87 wins) should be the wild card teams with the Cleveland Indians falling 4 games short of making it to the postseason.
In the National League (NL) the Washington Nationals (99 wins and the best record in baseball) the St. Louis Cardinals (92 wins) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (93 wins) should repeat as winners of the East, Central and West respectively while the 2014 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants (91 wins) and the New York Mets (88 wins) should be the wild card teams. The Milwaukee Brewers (86 wins) and Pittsburgh Pirates (84 wins) will keep things exciting in September.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Texas Rangers should tie for the worst record in Major League Baseball with 64 wins and 98 losses. A complete listing of what the standings should look like on October 5 is found below.
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://m.njit.edu/~bukiet/baseball/baseball.html and at http://www.egrandslam.com.
Bukiet's favorite team is the New York Mets, which usually means he has plenty of time to do math over the summer. However, with the Mets expected to be in the thick of things in 2015 he says he'll have much less time for that.