‘Stats Man’ uses formula to make baseball predictions

March 29, 2018

Rothman speaks in a lecture hall.

It’s official – Major League Baseball is back. With opening day upon us, Quinnipiac’s own Professor Stan “The Stats Man” Rothman weighs in with his playoff predictions for the 2018 season.

According to Rothman’s breakdown, not much will change this season. He expects all three of the National League’s 2017 division winners to repeat in 2018. Over in the American League, Rothman sees the defending World Champion Houston Astros and the Cleveland Indians winning their respective divisions again as well.

He does, however, predict a reversal from 2017’s AL East finish, with New York Yankees winning the division crown, and the Boston Red Sox finishing in the American League’s first Wildcard spot. According to Rothman, 2018 stands to be a good year for New York baseball all around. He expects the Mets to bounce back from an injury-plagued 2017 and win the first National League Wildcard spot.

Ultimately, it will come down to the Yankees and the Dodgers in the Fall Classic, a clash Rothman sees the Yankees winning. If Rothman’s prediction is correct, it would mark the first post-season meeting between the two teams since the 1981 World Series, a match-up that the Dodgers won 4 games to 2. It would also be the 12th World Series to feature both teams. Their 11 total meetings to date is a baseball record.

On the surface, the projected success of teams can be linked to key off-season acquisitions — such as the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton. Predictions also assume a general clean bill of health and impactful, mid-season contributions from top minor league prospects.

Like last year, Rothman dove below the surface with the following linear formula:

  • Lin W-L% = .000579*(Runs Scored – Runs Allowed) + .50, where Lin W-L% was a team’s expected winning percentage based on their (runs scored — runs allowed).

In 2016, Rothman accurately predicted 5 of 6 division winners, 3 of 4 Wild Card teams, and that the Chicago Cubs, a team that that hadn’t won a World Series since 1908, would be world champions. He also said the Cubs would win at least 100 games in last year. They came close — with 92.

Professor Rothman’s picks for the 2018 MLB Season

American League and National League Division Winners:

  • AL East - New York Yankees | NL East - Washington Nationals

  • AL Central - Cleveland Indians | NL Central - Chicago Cubs

  • AL West - Houston Astros | NL West - Los Angeles Dodgers

AL Wildcard Winners:

  • Boston Red Sox & Minnesota Twins

NL Wild Card Winners:

  • New York Mets & St. Louis Cardinals

Pennant Winners:

  • New York Yankees | Los Angeles Dodgers

The 2018 World Series will be between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Yankees will be the 2018 World Series Champions.

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