After being one of the few who picked the Mets to make it to the postseason in 2015, NJIT Mathematical Sciences Professor and Associate Dean Bruce Bukiet has published his projections of how the standings should look at the end of Major League Baseball's 2016 season. And things look good for one New York team.
The numbers indicate that the New York Mets will win 98 games, the most in baseball. They are followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers (97 wins) and the Toronto Blue Jays (97 wins), who should repeat as champions in their respective divisions (the National League East, West and the American League East). The Houston Astros will win a division title for the first time since 2001, when they were in the National League (NL) by winning 90 games to top the AL West. The Cleveland Indians (92 wins) should take the American League (AL) Central title for the first time since 2007 and the Chicago Cubs (97 wins) will win the NL Central division for the first time since 2008.
In the National League, the San Francisco Giants (96 wins) and the Washington Nationals (94 wins) should make it to the postseason as the wild card teams while the St. Louis Cardinals (93 wins) should miss by a single game making this season the first time since 2010 that the Cards won't be in the playoffs. The rest of the NL teams should finish well behind with no other team winning more than 84 games.
In the American League, the battle for the wild card spots will be among five teams expected to have mediocre seasons. The Boston Red Sox should win 84 games while the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays should win 83 and the Oakland A's and Seattle Mariners should win 82. Bukiet says that if he had to choose, it would be the Red Sox and the Rays who make the postseason.
"Surprisingly the World Series Champion Kansas City Royals should fall to fourth place in the AL Central, winning only 75 games," he said. "However, the model also picked them to finish in fourth place last year, so maybe there's something special and different about the Royals."
At the other end of the spectrum, the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves should tie for the worst record in baseball with 63 wins each. A complete listing of what the standings should look like Oct. 3, 2016 can be viewed in the two images attached.
This is the 19th year that 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.
He 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 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 coming out as the team that (mathematically) should earn the most wins in baseball, he says: "Well, work will have to take a back seat – just don't tell my boss."