NEWARK, N.J., March 11 (UPI) -- A U.S. professor says he has once again used mathematical analysis to compute the number of games Major League Baseball teams should win this year.
New Jersey Institute of Technology Associate Professor Bruce Bukiet bases his predictions on a mathematical model he developed in 2000. But for this season, he said he incorporated a more realistic runner advancement model into the algorithm.
His findings suggest the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers should repeat as winners in their divisions, while the Atlanta Braves will take the wild card slot in the National League.
In the American League, he says the New York Yankees should blow away the competition, winning in the East, while the Minnesota Twins repeat as winners of the Central Division. He said the AL West is too close to call with all four teams within five wins and the Texas Rangers, Oakland A's and Los Angeles Angels expected to win 82, 81 and 80 games, in that order. The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox, Bukiet said, will have a close contest for the AL wild card slot.
The contest for primacy in the NL East should be tight with the Phillies (90 wins) defeating the Braves by just two games (88 wins). In the West, the Los Angeles Dodgers should finish 3 games above the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the Central Division, he said the St. Louis Cardinals appear poised to achieve the best record in the NL with 91 wins, 5 more than the second-place Chicago Cubs.
Bukiet says the Pittsburgh Pirates should repeat as the worst NL team with 66 wins, while the Cleveland Indians should win 67 for the most futile effort in the AL.
The 2010 predictions, compiled with the help of high school students Kevin Fritz and Jack Rabner, are available at http://m.njit.edu/~bukiet/baseball/2010_season_predictions.htm and will be updated after spring training.