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Numbers Point to a Tigers World Series Victory

• October 23, 2012 • 2:54 PM

Mathematician Bruce Bukiet has good news and bad news for San Francisco Giants fans.

The bad news: The New Jersey Institute of Technology professor, who uses a sophisticated mathematical model to predict baseball victories, says the Detroit Tigers “have a solid advantage” over the Giants in the 2012 World Series

The good news: He gives the Tigers a 58 percent chance of beating the Giants in the best-of-seven series. Earlier, he gave the St. Louis Cardinals a 68 percent chance of beating the Giants to become National League champions.

If this never-say-die team can beat those odds—granted, by falling behind and then winning three straight must-win games—this final challenge should be a snap.

Bukiet (who gave the Tigers a 53 percent chance of beating the Yankees for the American League championship) says the most likely outcome is for the Tigers to win the World Series in five games. The first game will be played in San Francisco Wednesday night.

Bukiet has also released his picks for the 2012 Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards. His model computes how many extra wins each player would have produced for “a team of otherwise average players.”

“In the American League, the Cy Young Award should go once again to Detroit Tiger Justin Verlander, whose performance would have added 3.6 wins to an average team,” he writes. “The Most Valuable Player Award should go to his teammate Miguel Cabrera, whose performance was worth a whopping 5.9 extra wins. The runners up should be Los Angeles Angel Jered Weaver, with 2.8 extra wins, and rookie Los Angeles Angel Mike Trout with 5.5 extra wins, respectively.

“In the National League, the Cy Young Award should again go to Los Angeles Dodger Clayton Kershaw, whose performance would have added 3.7 wins to an average team,” he adds. “The Most Valuable Player Award should again go to (Milwaukee Brewers outfielder) Ryan Braun with 5.45 extra wins. The runners up should both be San Francisco Giants, pitcher Matt Cain and catcher Buster Posey with 2.6 and 5.36 extra wins, respectively.”

In other words, the contest between Braun and Posey is “really too close to call,” he concludes.

While Posey surely love to win it, he’d no doubt settle for another World Series ring. All his team has to do is beat the odds—one more time.

Tom Jacobs
Staff writer Tom Jacobs is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years experience at daily newspapers. He has served as a staff writer for The Los Angeles Daily News and the Santa Barbara News-Press. His work has also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Ventura County Star.

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