NJIT News Room

Looking for something?
Search Newsroom
RSS Feed
Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT Mathematician Releases 2014 Major League Baseball Projections

Bruce Bukiet, associate professor of mathematical sciences

As Opening Day rapidly approaches for most Major League Baseball teams, NJIT Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences Bruce Bukiet has prepared his annual MLB projections for the upcoming season. And, to the chagrin of loyal Mets fan Bukiet, New York’s National League club looks to be in store for a disappointing year.

Bukiet, who developed a mathematical model for calculating expected MLB win totals that was published in Operations Research, forecasts a mere 68 wins and a last-place finish for the Metropolitans.

Bukiet’s model can be used to project the number of games a team should be expected to win, the optimal batting order for a set of 9 batters, and how trading players will likely influence a team’s number of wins. “This all began when I, because I am not very big or powerful, set out to prove that a singles hitter who gets on base frequently would contribute more to winning than a slugger who strikes out a lot,” Bukiet recalls. “What I found was the opposite—the slugger will generate more wins.”

For the 2014 season, Bukiet’s model pegs Boston, Detroit, and Oakland as American League Division winners, with Anaheim and Seattle narrowly edging Tampa Bay and the New York Yankees in the AL Wildcard chase. In the National League, the numbers say St. Louis, Washington, and Los Angeles will take the top spots in their respective divisions. San Francisco and Atlanta are predicted to fill the Wildcard slots.

“There are some unknowns that the model can’t incorporate in projecting team win totals before the season, such as rookie performance and trades that have not yet occurred, but, sadly for my Mets, the forecasts have been very accurate,” Bukiet noted. In fact, Bukiet’s preseason expectations for the Mets have been within 3 games of the win total attained by the team in 9 of the last 10 seasons.

Of his annual projections, Bukiet said, “I publish these to promote the power and relevance of math. Applying mathematical models to things that people care about or enjoy, like baseball, shows that math can be fun as well as very useful.”

Bukiet, who serves as an associate professor of mathematical sciences and as associate dean of the College of Science and Liberal Arts at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, has done extensive research into the mathematical modeling of physical phenomena, including the healing of wounds, detonation waves, and the dynamics of human balance. He also has applied modeling to sports and gambling. Bukiet has made a number of media appearances in the past and is available to discuss his projections. He can be reached by contacting Matthew Golden in NJIT’s Office of Strategic Communications at 973-596-5695 or golden@njit.edu. A listing of Bukiet’s 2014 expected win totals for each MLB team can be found below, and his daily projections are posted at www.egrandslam.com.

National League

Team Expected Wins Team Expected Wins Team Expected Wins
Washington 94 St. Louis 95 Los Angeles 95
Atlanta 90 Milwaukee 86 San Francisco 88
Philadelphia 79 Cincinnati 82 Arizona 83
Miami 69 Pittsburgh 76 San Diego 82
New York Mets 68 Chicago Cubs 57 Colorado 67

American League

Team Expected Wins Team Expected Wins Team Expected Wins
Boston 96 Detroit 99 Oakland 93
Tampa Bay 86 Kansas City 82 Anaheim 87
New York Yankees 86 Cleveland 80 Seattle 87
Toronto 82 Chicago White Sox 65 Texas 85
Baltimore 73 Minnesota 63 Houston 55
One of the nation’s leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT’s multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of 11,400 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering and cybersecurity, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $121 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com. NJIT has a $1.74 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey.