Mathematician Predicted Yankees' Success
But Bruce Bukiet didn't see the Orioles coming.
Before we get too deep into the playoffs, it's time to see how our favorite baseball guru, mathematician Bruce Bukiet, did with his season predictions. Since they're based on a sophisticated mathematical formula rooted in past performance, they're a good measure of whether a given team played above or below expectations.
In the American League, Bukiet was pretty close. He predicted the New York Yankees would win the Eastern Division with 97 wins (they had 95), Detroit would win the Central Division with 96 wins (they had only 88, but still came in first), and Texas would win the Western Division with 97 wins (the team had 93, but lost to the surprising Oakland As, which won the division with 94 victories).
The National League was a different story. Bukiet's model predicted wins by the Phillies, Cardinals and Diamondbacks in their respective divisions. In fact, the winners were the Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants.
He predicted the Minnesota Twins would have the worst MLB record, with only 64 wins; they outperformed his projection, but just barely, winning 66. The Colorado Rockies won a scant 64 games, and two other teams did even worse: The Chicago Cubs won 61, while the Houston Astros only managed to prevail 55 times. Bukiet projected they'd win 66; when you fall 11 behind even that sad prediction, you know you've had a season to forget.
On the other hand, he predicted the Baltimore Orioles would win only 67 games, when in fact they won 93 and made it into the playoffs as a Wild Card team. That's what you call overperforming.
Bukiet hasn't revealed any postseason projections yet, but we'll keep you posted.